Brasher Doubloon

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1787 Brasher Doubloon

The Brasher Doubloon is a rare American coin, privately minted in and after 1787.


In 1787, Ephraim Brasher,[1] a goldsmith and silversmith, submitted a petition to the State of New York to mint copper coins. The petition was denied when New York decided not to get into the business of minting copper coinage. Brasher was already quite highly regarded for his skills, and his hallmark (which he not only stamped on his own coins but also on other coinage sent to him for assay [proofing]) was highly significant in early America. Brasher struck various coppers, in addition to a small quantity of gold coins, over the next few years.[2]

One of the surviving gold coins, weighing 26.6 grams and composed of .917 (22-carat) gold, was sold at public auction for $625,000 in March 1981.[2]

On January 12, 2005 Heritage Auction Galleries sold all three varieties of Brasher Doubloons as part of their Florida United Numismatists U.S. Coin Auction, Platinum Night Session. The coins realized $2,415,000 for the New York Style EB Punch on Wing NGC AU55,[3] $2,990,000 for the unique New York Style EB Punch on Breast NGC XF45[4] and $690,000 for the rare but less iconic Lima Style Doubloon.[5] The unique Brasher Doubloon, the first gold coin made for the United States, was sold in December 2011 by rare-coin dealer, Steven L. Contursi of Laguna Beach, California, to Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) of Far Hills, New Jersey. An undisclosed Wall Street investment firm subsequently purchased it from Blanchard and Company of New Orleans, Louisiana for nearly $7.4 million, the most money ever paid for a coin minted in the United States.[6]

The coin was the subject of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe mystery The High Window.[7], which was made into a film, The Brasher Doubloon (1947). It is also mentioned in Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza[8] and John Bellairs's The Mansion in the Mist.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ephraim Brasher
  2. ^ a b "1787 Brasher Doubloon".
  3. ^ Mark Borckardt. "Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing, Auction Description and Photos".
  4. ^ Mark Borckardt. "Brasher Doubloon EB Punch on Breast, Auction Description and Photos".
  5. ^ Mark Borckardt. "Brasher Doubloon Lima Style, Auction Description and Photos".
  6. ^ Brasher doubloon brings nearly $7.4 million
  7. ^ Raymond Chandler. The High Window. ISBN 0-394-75826-9.
  8. ^ Lawrence Block. The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza. ISBN 0-06-087276-4.
  9. ^ John Bellairs. The Mansion in the Mist. ISBN 978-0-14-240262-7.

External links[edit]