For immediate release
March 25, 2015
News media contacts:
Jake Sherlock, for ANA, (719) 482-9872
Adam Crum, for Monaco Rare Coins, (888) 751-1933
(Colorado Springs, Colorado) — The finest certified 1787 Brasher Doubloon, the first circulating gold coin struck for the young United States, is on loan and on display at the American Numismatic Association headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, California.
“It is now prominently exhibited in the ANA’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum side-by-side with three other historic United States coins from the ANA’s collection: the Bebee/McDermott 1913 Liberty Head nickel, and both the Cohen/Dupont Class I and Idler/Bebee Class III 1804 Draped Bust dollars,” said Douglas Mudd, Director and Curator of the museum.
The Brasher Doubloon will remain on display in the museum through July. It previously was a featured attraction, also courtesy of Monaco, in Museum Showcases at the recent Portland ANA National Money Show and last year’s Chicago World’s Fair of Money.
“Everyone knows the significance of the year 1776 in U.S. history, but 1787 is actually when our government was created. It was the year the United States Constitution was adopted. The Brasher Doubloon is an important numismatic treasure of that historic year and it should be seen by the public,” said Adam Crum, Vice President of Monaco Rare Coins.
“The Brasher doubloon is truly a spectacular coin. Created by New York City silversmith Ephraim Brasher, it is the first gold coin with a distinctly American design struck to the weight and purity standard that would later be adopted for U.S. gold coins,” said Mudd.
“Not only is it a genuine rarity with high monetary value, it is a historical treasure-trove because of what it represents as the first gold coin struck for the nascent United States. It is beautiful and historically important as a record of the early design concepts discussed in Congress for U.S. coinage,” explained Mudd.
There are seven known 1787 Brasher Doubloons; one unique coin with the designer’s “EB” punch-mark on the eagle’s breast, and six others with the punch-mark on the eagle’s wing on the left side of the coin. The Monaco coin with a punch-mark on a wing weighs 26.4 grams of .890 fine gold, is graded NGC MS63 and insured for $10 million.
The obverse design of the Brasher Doubloon shows an eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in another to symbolize the United States wants peace but is ready for war. There are 13 stars around the eagle’s head representing the original 13 colonies, and the obverse motto is E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One,”).
The reverse design is a sun rising over a mountain in front of a sea, a symbolic representation of a new beginning. Around the design is another Latin legend, NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR. Columbia was a nickname for the United States, Nova Eboraca translates to New York and excelsior is Latin for “ever higher.”
In addition to his punch marked initials on the obverse, Brasher’s full last name is on the reverse. Besides his work as a respected gold and silversmith, Brasher served in various political and government jobs of the day in New York and later was a neighbor of George Washington on Cherry Street in lower Manhattan.
In a 1922 auction catalog description of this coin, Fort Worth, Texas dealer B. Max Mehl stated: “For historical interest and numismatic rarity, this great coin is second to none. It is rightfully recognized as one of the greatest numismatic rarities of the world.”
The fabled Brasher Doubloon was the subject of a 1942 Raymond Chandler novel, “The High Window,” and a subsequent 1947 movie, “The Brasher Doubloon,” based on Chandler’s story about fictional detective, Philip Marlowe.
The ANA Money Museum is located at ANA headquarters, 818 North Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs, Colorado, adjacent to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center on the campus of Colorado College. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Admission is free for ANA members, school groups and children ages 12 and younger. General admission is $5; admission for military, students and seniors (55 and over) is $4. There is free admission for everyone on the third Saturday of each month.