What is believed to be the finest known Brasher doubloon worth $10 million was certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America, NGC announced June 14.
The coin is owned by Chicago-area numismatist Walter Perschke.
NGC calls the coin MS-63. It features the “EB” punch on the eagle’s wing.
There are six examples known with the punch on the wing.
A unique punch-on-breast example sold for $7.395 million Dec. 12 in a deal brokered by Blanchard and Company. It graded PCGS AU-50.
NGC notes that Perschke paid $430,000 for the coin in 1979. There are only three others of this variety in private hands. Two of the six punch-on-wing variety are in museums.
“It is a great honor to own the extraordinary Brasher doubloon, the world’s most famous and valuable coin,” Perschke said. “Since I purchased it in 1979 it has been seen by more than 2 million people – more viewers than any other coin. It has passed through many famous hands on its journey through history, and the knowledge that its travels continue makes me feel truly blessed to be a custodian of the Brasher’s future. No other coin can claim to be so immersed in romance, surrounded by intrigue and shrouded in mystery,” Perschke explained.
“When I decided to have my Brasher doubloon certified, the obvious choice was Numismatic Guaranty Corporation,” Perschke said. “My decision to choose NGC was based on their grading credibility, experienced team and my long-standing relationship with Mark Salzberg. I am very pleased with the extraordinary service provided by NGC,” he declared.
Salzberg was also pleased.
“The Brasher doubloon is one of the most sought-after coins in existence and this example is likely the most important coin ever certified,” said the NGC chairman.
“This is our country’s first gold coin, struck in the infancy of the United States with a purely American design. Besides its obvious historical significance, this high-grade specimen literally glows with eye appeal. It is simply remarkable that this coin has survived in essentially the same condition as when it was struck 225 years ago,” Salzberg said.
NGC outlined the history of the famous coins. The Brasher doubloons were struck in 1787 in New York City and they have intrigued collectors for generations.
“Although the exact story behind their creation remains a mystery. The first example turned up in a deposit of foreign gold pieces made to the Philadelphia Mint in 1838. The depositor simply wished to have his metal restruck into federal coins or ingots, and it was the sharp eye of Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt that saved the coin from the melting pot. That coin is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
“Much of the historic value of the Brasher doubloons lies in Brasher’s close personal ties to George Washington. Ephraim Brasher was residing at No. 1 Cherry Street in lower Manhattan when Washington relocated to No. 3 Cherry Street. Brasher, a prominent gold and silversmith, actually furnished silverware for the future President on more than one occasion, and Washington even owned two tea trays bearing the prestigious EB hallmark. The same EB punch appears on the Brasher doubloons.
“The coin’s design is evocative of the spirit of the newly formed United States. The obverse mimics the Great Seal of the United States with an eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. The olive branch symbolizes a desire for peace while the arrows indicate a readiness for war. Around the obverse is the national motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, which means ‘Out of Many, One’ – the 13 states form one country. Brasher’s initials, EB, are punched on the eagle’s wing.
“On the coin’s reverse side a sun rises above a mountain in front of a sea, likely to signify a new beginning. Around the design is a Latin legend: NOVA EBORAC * COLUMBIA * EXCELSIOR. Columbia was an old nickname for the United States, Nova Eborac translates to New York, and Excelsior – Ever Higher – is the state’s motto. Brasher signed his name prominently in the center of the design.”