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Gold Brasher Doubloon creator still making numismatic headlines — centuries later
by Blanchard Coins | Feb 23, 2016

It seems almost like yesterday that Blanchard and Company made numismatic history by placing the famed “Brasher Doubloon” for a record $7.395 million with a Wall Street investment firm. The coin, dated 1787, was graded AU50 by PCGS and has a green CAC sticker.

At the time of the transaction, December 2011, CAC founder and Blanchard consultant John Albanese hailed the coin as “one of the most iconic pieces in all of numismatics” and “the holy grail of all collectible gold coins.” And it still is. Only seven Brasher Doubloons in all survive, and the one placed by Blanchard is the sole specimen with the initials of its maker, “EB” for goldsmith Ephraim Brasher, punched across the breast of the eagle depicted on the coin. The other six specimens feature “EB” on the bird’s right wing.

Gold Brasher Doubloon

“In a class by itself”: Why is it significant? As a Blanchard press release noted at the time: “Recent research has established that the Brasher Punch-on-Breast Doubloon is the first American-made gold coin that had a denomination in dollars and that was struck to the same standard that was later adopted for all U.S. gold coins, making it what is today considered the first truly American gold coin. No other U.S. Colonial or Federal coin can make that claim, putting Brasher’s first New York-style Doubloon in a class by itself.”

And as then-Blanchard CEO Donald W. Doyle, Jr. observed, “Blanchard specializes in all types of American rare coins serving investors and collectors of just about every budget, but when it comes to the rarest of the rare, the company has established itself through transactions like this and others as THE rare coin firm.”

Brasher “regulated” gold now graded: Now, in 2016, goldsmith Ephraim Brasher, who was a neighbor of George Washington in New York, is back in the news. NGC has announced that it has graded six so-called “regulated” gold coins, five of which Brasher personally handled.

Spanning years from 1726 to 1778, the 18th-century coins are the products of various foreign mints (Great Britain, Brazil, and Chile). Brasher’s role was to weigh them and either plug or clip them as necessary to make them compatible for U.S. commerce. The five coins bear his signature “EB” stamp, while contemporary silversmiths John Burger and Joseph Richardson Jr. also played roles in regulating some of the specimens.

The coins provide another fascinating look at the work of one of the pioneering — and towering — figures in American numismatic history.

 



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