‘Doubloon’ – if ever a word evoked an image of a Spanish galleon being raided by a marauding gang of pirates it’s this – right?
The word ‘doubloon’ is actually Spanish for ‘double’ – but it has great significance in US numismatic history. The ‘Brasher Doubloon’ stands as the first US gold coin ever minted.
Which means, naturally, it’s pretty valuable. Actually, make that extremely valuable! One of only six known surviving Brasher Doubloons was sold for $9.36 million in 2021.
Is that a Brasher Doubloon in your coin jar?
‘Known surviving’ is a term that will always excite coin collectors. It means there’s a chance, someplace, somewhere, there might yet be a Brasher Doubloon still hiding in the darkness beneath a floorboard, or even – unknown – in the broad daylight of an inherited coin collection.
In case you’re wondering about that odd-looking coin rattling around at the back of a dresser, the Brasher Doubloon depicts the Great Seal of the United States – an eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows – and features the words ‘UNUM E PLURIBUS’ – which translates as ‘One from many’. Oh, and don’t forget the date – 1787.
On the reverse is the coat of arms of New York, with the inscription ‘NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR’ – New York, America, Ever Higher. Stirring words, that’s for sure.
The Brasher stamp and why it’s so important
So why Brasher? Well, Ephraim Brasher was a goldsmith, silversmith, and, handily enough, a neighbor of George Washington in New York, at that point the capital of the United States. He had a habit of stamping his hallmark on the reverse of his coins as a personal guarantee of quality.
With the Brasher Doubloon, the EB stamp can be seen on the eagle’s wing.
So esteemed was Brasher in the banking community that the presence of his hallmark on a coin meant banks would accept such coins without, unusually for the time, checking their weight.
The Brasher Doubloon on the big screen
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering its history and value, the Brasher Doubloon has featured several times in films and literature. In Raymond Chandler’s 1942 mystery novel The High Window, for example, legendary gumshoe Philip Marlowe sets off on a twisting turning hunt for a coin which has vanished from the grasp of a wealthy widow. The book was subsequently turned into the 1942 film Time to Kill and, the more obviously named The Brasher Doubloon, in 1947.
Have a mysterious coin in an inherited coin collection? OK, it might not be a Brasher Doubloon, but it’s always worth checking it out. At sell coins near me, we only recommend the best, experienced numismatists that offer excellent customer service and provide an educational appraisal service that leaves all parties happy.
That’s why we’d advise you to go straight to Coinfully – they’ll help you understand precisely what it is you have in your hands.
What can Coinfully do for you?
Coinfully offers detailed coin appraisals quickly and easily online. A team of friendly experts will talk you through the process from start to finish and have an honest discussion about the value of the coins in your possession. You can then make a realistic and considered decision about what to do next, safe in the knowledge that Coinfully’s extensive network of high-class dealers will deliver only the very best price.