A 1787 Brasher doubloon set a record for any U.S. gold coin when it attained $9.36 million in Heritage Auctions Jan. 21 purchase of this Donald G. Partrick Collection in Dallas.
The sale makes it the 2nd most expensive U.S. coin to sell at auction.
The New York design, privately struck gold issue, with New York silversmith Ephraim Brasher’s distinctive EB punch on the eagle’s wing, was graded Mint State 65 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and had an NGC Star plus a green Certified Acceptance Corp. decal, which confirm its eye charm.
Heritage president Greg Rohan placed the winning bid from a phone bidder, saying after the sale that the winning bidder had never bought rare coins prior to purchasing all of the Brasher coins offered in the auction session for $11,940,000.
Legendary Texas dealer B. Max Mehl outlined the value of Brasher’s New York style gold difficulties, with an eagle on one side and the arms of New York on the flip side, writing,”This celebrated coin has the unusual distinctive significance of being rightfully included in the American Colonial Series, also, since it’s the first issue of a private gold coinage, can also be contained in that important series. For historic interest and numismatic rarity, this great coin is second to none. It’s rightfully recognized as one of the greatest numismatic rarities of the world.”
These were valued at $15 in New York money in 1787, which makes them approximately equal to the Spanish doubloon that was equal to 16 Spanish bucks.
The just sold slice is the best of just seven famous — just five of which are in private hands — and is referred to as the Stickney specimen after its first recorded proprietor Matthew Stickney who acquired it in 1848.
Lima style doubloon
After purchasing the famed New York style doubloon in 1979, Partrick would soon acquire the finest-known example of this Lima design Brasher doubloon for $80,000 when it was offered in lot 2341 of Section IV of the Garrett Collection in 1981.
Four years later, it realized $2.1 million in the Partrick sale. Graded MS-61 by NGC and also carrying a green CAC decal, Heritage calls the matter,”among the very elusive and enigmatic problems of early coinage.” It was just found in the 1890s and two examples are known, of which the offered coin is by far the finest.
Heritage adds,”Lima style doubloons have always been overshadowed by their more famous New York style sockets. On the other hand, the Lima doubloons are rarer and might be of equal or greater historical importance.”
They were made to closely resemble modern circulating Hispanic coins struck at the 1740s, but Brasher included their actual date of creation onto the coin.
Tests on the metallic material of their New York and Lima design Brasher doubloons affirm that they contain nearly the exact same amount of gold since the Spanish coins that they circulated alongside, but diverse in the amounts of silver and copper in their alloy.
“Therefore, Brasher’s coins had roughly the same intrinsic worth as the Spanish coins, but the gap in the subsidiary components in their metal suggests they weren’t made from common inventory,” Heritage clarifies, before concluding that they were intended for circulation in the ancient America.
The EB punch is seen at the middle of the reverse and is the same punch seen on other Brasher coins. A careful analysis, by Michael Hodder, of the punch marks suggested that the Lima style doubloons were counterstamped with the same punch which was utilized for its New York design doubloons, and also the earlier state of this punch seen about the Lima-type issues confirms they were made first in 1786.
Both known examples are struck on a planchet which was too small for the dies.
Brasher’s distinctive punch
Brasher’s issues get their own page in the”Red Book” that also contains a listing for”Various gold coins with Brasher’s EB mark.” In an era prior to the Philadelphia Mint made regular issue coins, Brasher would counterstamp that the a variety of gold coins from all over the world that circulated in ancient America, supplying evidence that he confirmed their worth. These are eagerly collected by enthusiasts of early American coins, enticed by their connection to the famed gold doubloon problems.
An 1757-R Brazil 6,400-real coin rated Very Fine 35 by NGC which was counterstamped by Ephraim Brasher and John Burger at the 1780s realized $138,000 in the Heritage auction. The host coin is slightly bent from the two counterstamps and shows a corresponding flat area on the reverse contrary the Burger stamp.
A Brasher counterstamp on a 1755 Portuguese 6,500-real coin — alternately known as a peca, 4 escudoes or”half Joe” — graded MS-61 by NGC, realized $132,000 from the auction. The EB counterstamp is on a golden plug over the king’s knee.
Heritage praises the unusually large tier for its host coin, which by the time Brasher stamped it, between 1783 and 1795, could happen to be nominated at least three decades before.