22 mm (7/8”), 11.34 grams
HISTORY: Long before the founding of the Republic of Chile on September 18, 1810, conquistadors moved across the land, laying waste to its indigenous people. Thus, in 1536, the Arauco War began between the colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people of Araucanía, lasting until 1881. In 1540, the Spanish conquest succeeded by adding the new territory to its ever-expanding empire. The Mapuche doubled down and resisted.
OBVERSE: Lautaro (1534?–1557) was a little boy when the wars began, living the rest of his life in resistance to Spanish domination. Legend has it that he was pressed into the service of the Spanish overlords, working in their stables. Eventually escaping, he returned to his village and, in 1553, at 19 years of age, was awarded the title of Toqui, a leader in times of war. He took charge of numerous successful battles but finally lost his life in the early dawn of April 29, 1557, at the Battle of Mataquito.
This coin memorializes Lautaro, leading a charge while seated on his horse with spear raised.
REVERSE: Designed by English artist Charles Chatworthy Wood Taylor (1792–1856) in 1834, Chile’s coat of arms is featured. A huemul (a mammal known to Chile) raises its hoof on the left. A condor (an esteemed bird of the Andes) is on the right. Below the condor is the mint mark of Santiago, an “o” over an “S.” Also, 1 escudo equals 2 pesos, so this 5-escudo coin is equal to 10 pesos.