What is believed to be the finest known Brasher
doubloon worth $10 million was certified by the Numismatic
Guaranty Corporation of America, NGC announced June 14.
The coin is owned by Chicago-area numismatist Walter Perschke.
NGC calls the coin MS-63. It features the “EB”
punch on the eagle’s wing.
There are six examples known with the punch on the wing.
A unique punch-on-breast example sold for $7.395 million
Dec. 12 in a deal brokered by Blanchard and Company. It
graded PCGS AU-50.
notes that Perschke paid $430,000 for the coin in 1979.
There are only three others of this variety in private hands.
Two of the six punch-on-wing variety are in museums.
“It is a great honor to own the extraordinary Brasher
doubloon, the world’s most famous and valuable
coin,” Perschke said. “Since I purchased it
in 1979 it has been seen by more than 2 million people –
more viewers than any other coin. It has passed through
many famous hands on its journey through history, and the
knowledge that its travels continue makes me feel truly
blessed to be a custodian of the Brasher’s future.
No other coin can claim to be so immersed in romance, surrounded
by intrigue and shrouded in mystery,” Perschke explained.
“When I decided to have my Brasher
doubloon certified, the obvious choice was Numismatic
Guaranty Corporation,” Perschke said. “My decision
to choose NGC was based on their grading credibility, experienced
team and my long-standing relationship with Mark Salzberg.
I am very pleased with the extraordinary service provided
by NGC,” he declared.
Salzberg was also pleased.
doubloon is one of the most sought-after coins in existence
and this example is likely the most important coin ever
certified,” said the NGC chairman.
“This is our country’s first gold coin, struck
in the infancy of the United States with a purely American
design. Besides its obvious historical significance, this
high-grade specimen literally glows with eye appeal. It
is simply remarkable that this coin has survived in essentially
the same condition as when it was struck 225 years ago,”
NGC outlined the history of the famous coins. The Brasher
doubloons were struck in 1787 in New York City and they
have intrigued collectors for generations.
“Although the exact story behind their creation remains
a mystery. The first example turned up in a deposit of foreign
gold pieces made to the Philadelphia Mint in 1838. The depositor
simply wished to have his metal restruck into federal coins
or ingots, and it was the sharp eye of Chief Coiner Adam
Eckfeldt that saved the coin from the melting pot. That
coin is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
“Much of the historic value of the Brasher
doubloons lies in Brasher’s close personal ties
to George Washington. Ephraim
Brasher was residing at No. 1 Cherry Street in lower
Manhattan when Washington relocated to No. 3 Cherry Street.
Brasher, a prominent gold and silversmith, actually furnished
silverware for the future President on more than one occasion,
and Washington even owned two tea trays bearing the prestigious
hallmark. The same EB
punch appears on the Brasher
“The coin’s design is evocative of the spirit
of the newly formed United States. The obverse mimics the
Great Seal of the United States with an eagle holding an
olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. The olive
branch symbolizes a desire for peace while the arrows indicate
a readiness for war. Around the obverse is the national
motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, which means ‘Out of Many,
One’ – the 13 states form one country. Brasher’s
are punched on the eagle’s wing.
“On the coin’s reverse side a sun rises above
a mountain in front of a sea, likely to signify a new beginning.
Around the design is a Latin legend: NOVA EBORAC * COLUMBIA
* EXCELSIOR. Columbia was an old nickname for the United
States, Nova Eborac translates to New York, and Excelsior
– Ever Higher – is the state’s motto.
Brasher signed his name prominently in the center of the