A lawsuit has been filed against California dealers Steve Contursi and Don Kagin by Michigan hobbyist Bill Swoger over the value of information Swoger says he supplied to them that makes the dealers’ “EB” stamp-on-breast Brasher doubloon more valuable.
The coin owned by the two dealers was purchased by Contursi for $2.99 million at a Florida United Numismatists auction in 2005 and he then arranged for Kagin to take a one-third ownership.
All Brasher doubloons have a 1787 date, but six have the “EB” initials of Ephraim Brasher on the wing. Brasher was a New York jeweler. Brasher doubloons were made by him. A doubloon at the time was worth roughly $16
Swoger contends that the initials-on-breast doubloon was not struck before the other six as popularly believed, but last, and sufficiently later that it conforms to weight standards from the Coinage Act of 1792, giving this piece the distinction of being the first federal coinage and hence enhancing its value to $10 million.
The suit filed in Orange County Superior Court, according to the Los Angeles Times, alleges that Swoger sought $500,000 for the information, was met with a counter offer of $250,000, but only received a coin worth $35,000.
Contursi issued a statement via e-mail: “I greatly regret that Mr. Swoger has chosen to sue me and my partner. We never sought anything from Mr. Swoger regarding the Brasher doubloon and never benefited in any way from any information he volunteered to us. The lawsuit is utterly frivolous and I urge him to withdraw it.”