Rare Brasher Doubloon Sells for Record $5 Million

A rare 1787 New York Brasher Doubloon was recently sold for more than $5 million. The transaction, which was brokered by Heritage Auctions, sets one of the highest prices ever reported for an American coin.

Image courtesy of [Public domain or CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Brasher Doubloon is one of the rarest and most historical of all U.S. Coinage. They were the only gold coins struck for circulation in the colonial United States, with the U.S. Mint not producing gold coins until a decade later in 1795. Just seven Brasher Doubloons are known to still exist today.

History of Brasher Doubloon

The coin maker, Ephraim Brasher, was also enigmatic. The silversmith lived on Cherry Street in Manhattan, New York, where George Washington was one of his neighbors. Brasher and Washington were friends, and silverware with Brasher’s initials can still be found in the White House. Brasher’s hallmark, the capital letters “EB” in an oval, is also featured on numerous world gold coins of this period.

The same symbol can be found on the Brasher Doubloons. In this case, it is located on the wing of the eagle. Just like the Great Seal of the United States, the eagle holds an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. Around the eagle is the motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, which means “Out of Many, One.”

The front of the coin features a sun rising over a mountain peak and the sea, with Brasher’s name spelled out below the waves and the words NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR, which translates to “New York, America, Ever Higher.”

Sale of NGC-certified Brasher Doubloon

The recently sold 1787 Brasher Doubloon was graded MS 63 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). It was sold for more than $5 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for a U.S. coin.

Heritage Auctions, which brokered the sale between Monaco Rare Coins and a private collector located on the West Coast, said the terms of the transaction were confidential. However, it acknowledged that it was the highest price garnered by a coin in the company’s history. In January 2014, Heritage Auctions sold the same Brasher Doubloon for $4,582,500, which was previously the highest price ever paid for an NGC-certified coin.

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