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This book tells the fascinating story of a new countryis struggle for a national currency, from pre-Incan "money axes" to the adoption of the United States dollar in the year 2000. Quoting extensively from contemporary documents, here translated into English for the first time, it relates the story of a national mint, run by a Sardinian colonel who had never before even seen a mint and who wanted to put the mint personnel into uniform, give them military ranks and make them subject to summary jurisdiction by a mint court. We read how the same colonel was put into a dungeon by rebels who held the mint for six months and even introduced a new denomination, how the mint later commandeered counterfeiters' confiscated equipment because it was better than their own, how the President over-ruled a court order requiring the destruction of counterfeit coins in the Treasury because without them it would be impossible to pay the civil service and the armed forces, how another President organised an armed assault on the vaults of the Bank of Ecuador, and how a determined Scotsman devoted thirty years to keeping the struggling mint operational. With much of Ecuador's currency provided from beyond its borders, from the Potosi cobs first introduced to Quito in 1594, through the French Napoleon III silver 20 centimes which provided much of the small change in the 1860s, to the United States coins which provided most of circulating coinage in the year 2000, there is plenty here to interest numismatists concerned with coins of other series, and the author has also made excursions into the realms of banknotes and postage stamps.