Brasher Doubloon

Brasher Doubloon- back

Brasher Doubloon- back

Brasher Doubloon- front

Brasher Doubloon- front

Photos courtesy of Jay Parrino 
Composition: Gold, .917 Fine. Diameter: 28.6mm.
Weight: 26.6 grams. Edge: Plain.

  Last sold at public auction by Stack's for $625,000 in March 1981. In 1787, Ephraim Brasher was granted a petition to mint copper coins in New York State. Brasher, a goldsmith and silversmith, was already quite highly regarded for his skills. In fact, George Washington was one of his clients as well as a neighbor at one point in time. Brasher struck various coppers, in addition to a small quantity of gold coins, over the next few years. Keep in mind that the official United States Mint was not to become a reality until 1793 for all intents and purposes. The lack of readily available, full-weight, non-counterfeit coinage, was a major problem in this historically significant point of our nation's growth.

Brasher's hallmark was highly significant in early America. Not only did he mark his own gold coins, but he also stamped other coinage sent to him for assay. When Brasher's mark was present on a coin, it would "pass" without question. This was a very nice feature to have when one takes into account the level of "crapola" that was attempting to pass as "good" coinage. Some people show no lack of creativity in cheating their fellow man. Counterfeiting and clipping small (and sometimes not so small) portions of coins was quite widespread in colonial times. It is helpful to remember that the intrinsic value (fineness and weight of the metal) was the single most important aspect to coinage of the period. In other words, the issuing body wasn't such a major factor in whether or not the coin would be accepted at time of purchase. If a seller wished to refuse a coin, he was certainly well in his rights to do so. Again, because of his expertise and track-record, a coin with the Brasher hallmark was certain to pass in the channels of commerce.The hallmark "EB" represents its maker, Ephraim Brasher. This is the ONLY KNOWN SPECIMEN with the hallmark on the eagle's breast. Other Brasher Doubloons, of which very few are known, have the hallmark on the eagle's wing.
No one is quite sure why this is the only specimen known to exist with "EB" on the breast. Was this his personal piece? A special coin for someone special in his life? A customer request? We will probably never know for sure. In the 1940's, Raymond Chandler authored a novel entitled The High Window about the coin. A few years later, a movie with the apt title The Brasher Doubloon was made. Unfortunately, the entertainment industry sometimes thinks it must fictionalize important historical events to "sell" it to the "ignorant" public. The true story surrounding this coin needs no media hype as it stands on its own merits.
In 1792, a year before minting actually began at the Federal mint, Brasher did assay work for them, probably of foreign specie to be melted for recoinage. He earned a handsome $27 for these efforts!
A Brasher Doubloon currently residing in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution was discovered on its way to the melting pot in 1838. It was rescued from a group sent to the mint for melting. By 1875, three others had been discovered, including the present specimen. Charles I. Bushnell was the lucky collector to have gained possession of the "ultimate spotlight in all of numismatics". In that year, a book noted its uniqueness. "...four of the Doubloons have come to our knowledge; they are owned by Mr. Bushnell, Mr. Parmalee, Mr. Stickney, and the United States Mint at Philadelphia.; the first has the punchmark on the breast of the eagle."

 In 1882, the unique Bushnell specimen was first offered for sale. It created so much excitement in the numismatic community that the price soared to a record $505 before the auction hammer finally fell. Edouard Frossard, a famed coin dealer of the time, purchased the coin as a representative of T. Harrison Garrett. This coin remained in the Garrett family for nearly a century when it was given to the Johns Hopkins University along with the entire Garrett collection. The Johns Hopkins University sold the collection during 1979-81.

There are only seven examples of the Brasher Doubloon known to still exist, thus, only replicas are readily available:
 
Below are the results of our search returned for you on eBay based on Brasher Doubloon. If you get too few items then please broaden your search terms a little. If you see too many listings then please narrow your keywords and search again.
1787 EPHRAIM BRASHER HALF DOUBLOON RESTRIKE NGC GEM BRILLIANT UNCIR W BOX
1787 EPHRAIM BRASHER HALF DOUBLOON RESTRIKE NGC GEM BRILLIANT UNCIR W BOX
$925.00
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 2m

Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
$3.49
Time Remaining: 11d 3h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $3.49

1787 brasher doubloon Copy 2 Ounce Silver Round
1787 brasher doubloon Copy 2 Ounce Silver Round
$109.65
Time Remaining: 19d 2m
Buy It Now for only: $109.65

Two2 Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
Two2 Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
$4.99
Time Remaining: 11d 19h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99

Roll20 Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
Roll20 Brasher Doubloon 1 2 VDP oz 999 Fine Copper Round
$34.99
Time Remaining: 11d 3h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $34.99

1787 brasher doubloon Copy 2 Ounce Silver Round
1787 brasher doubloon Copy 2 Ounce Silver Round
$94.50
Time Remaining: 9d 4h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $94.50

1787 Brasher Gold Doubloon Jig Saw Puzzle Obverse  Reverse
1787 Brasher Gold Doubloon Jig Saw Puzzle Obverse Reverse
$10.50
Time Remaining: 3d 14h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $10.50



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