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History and profit combine

Walter Perschke’s Brasher doubloon with the “EB” punched on the eagle’s wing has been consigned to Heritage’s upcoming Florida United Numismatists convention auction.

It will be an historical moment when the coin goes up for bids.

In a press release, Heritage Auctions co-chairman Jim Halperin said, “It will be offered without reserve during our Platinum Night auction session on Jan. 8, 2014. We expect it will bring $5 million or more and set a new record as the most valuable early American gold coin.”

It will be interesting to see what it does sell for.

When I talked to Perschke at the Philadelphia American Numismatic Association convention in August 2012, he had just re-entered the numismatic public eye after a long absence.

HIs doubloon was on display during the convention at the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation booth slabbed in an NGC holder graded MS-63. It has since earned a Certified Acceptance Corporation sticker.

I took a photograph of Perschke with the coin at the convention and put it on the front page of Numismatic News.

In his conversation with me, he hinted around that he would part with the doubloon for a price in the neighborhood of $10 million.

That, of course, was Perschke’s purpose in talking to me. He wanted to soften up potential buyers by getting his number out there.

I did my part.

Obviously, though, the coin has not sold in the more than a year that has passed since then.

Whatever the final sales price achieved by the coin at auction, it will be a milestone and it will be profitable for Perschke. He paid $430,000 for it in 1979, having purchased it at a public auction of the Garrett Collection.

His purchase provided me with another headline for Numismatic News very early in my career.

No matter how many millions of dollars the doubloon sells for, it will be proof of what buying and owning American numismatic rarities can do to improve your financial situation as well as earning a place in numismatic history.

The compounding effects of rising incomes, inflation and collecting interest in America’s top coins over 35 years does indeed add extra zeroes to values.

I plan to be there to see this story reach its conclusion.

It will be a prime example of what long-term thinking can accomplish in numismatics.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."