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Brasher: Doubloon worth $5-$10 million worth seeing

The legendary Brasher doubloon will lead a display of eight significant American rarities Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2019, at the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp and Sports Collectible Expo.

It is a $5 million item.

It sold in a private treaty transaction in early 2018 to an anonymous buyer.

The last public auction of the specimen occurred Jan. 9, 2014, when it went for $4,582,500 in a Heritage Auctions sale.

Longtime owner was Walter Perschke, who died in 2016, and had originally purchased the coin in 1979 in a Garrett Collection Auction.

Before the 2014 auction, Perschke had had the coin slabbed by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and placed a value of $10 million on it.

In Long Beach, the coin will be displayed by the Professional Coin Grading Service as it had been at the Philadelphia American Numismatic Association convention in August.

“The reaction from visitors to the exhibit at the PCGS booth in Philadelphia was more than just positive. The PCGS staff could hear some of the visitors literally saying ‘Oooh!’ and ‘Ahh!’” said PCGS Set Registry® Manager Cosetta Robbins.

The Brasher doubloon and seven of the finest-known 1780s New York colonial-era copper coins will be displayed together for the first time on the West Coast in an educational exhibit hosted by PCGS at the Long Beach Expo.

The show will be in the Long Beach, California, Convention Center, and the exhibit will be at the PCGS Set Registry® booth No. 401.

“The lettering and some design elements of all of these distinguished coins are punch linked, and each of these coins is an important part of early American history and numismatics,” said Robbins.

Brasher doubloons are the first gold coins made in the United States proposed or intended for circulation.

The design includes the obverse motto, NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR (translated as “New York and America ever upward”).

The coin’s creator, Ephraim Brasher, was well known at the time as a silver and goldsmith and civic leader in New York City, and later was a neighbor of George Washington in lower Manhattan.

Only seven Brasher doubloons are known, six with the designer’s “EB” hallmark on the eagle’s wing and one with it on the eagle’s breast.

The coin that will be displayed in Long Beach has the hallmark on the eagle’s right wing, and it is the discovery specimen for Brasher doubloons that was first documented in 1840.

It was exhibited at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, was a featured display in a nationwide touring exhibit for the 1987 bicentennial of the United States Constitution, and was displayed at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World in 1988.

The anonymous current owner of the Brasher doubloon is described by PCGS as a “West Coast collector,” and the owner of the New York copper coins is described as “a New York dealer and collector.”

The seven New York copper pieces are all either the finest known or among the finest known of their kind:

• 1786 Small Head Non Vi Virtute Vici (“Not by force, but by virtue we have won”) with a portrait believed to be George Washington. Less than two dozen examples are known.

• 1787 New York Excelsior, Eagle Left. This is the only Mint State example known and was formerly in the famous Garrett Collection.

• 1787 New York New York, George Clinton cent, with New York coat of arms, less than a dozen known.

• 1787 New York Excelsior, Indian/Arms, one of only about 12 known.

• 1787 N York Excelsior, Indian/Eagle on Globe design, one of the finest of only about 14 known.

• 1787 Copper Nova Eborac (“New York”), Large Head variety, one of the finest of only a few dozen known.

• 1787 Copper Nova Eborac, Small Head variety, less than a dozen known and closely linked to the Brasher doubloons. This is the finest certified example and was formerly in the C.I. Bushnell and Eric P. Newman collections.

Don't miss this opportunity to see these coins.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."