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$10 million rare coin? Brasher Doubloon sets records even for gold coins

July 19, 2012341 view(s)

According to reports, a recently graded coin may just be the most valuable rare coin in the world. The specimen in question is a Brasher Doubloon, one of the very mysterious gold coins that have long fascinated collectors due to how few facts are actually known about them. Unlike other rare coins, the Brasher Doubloons were struck in New York City back in 1787. This makes them incredibly special for collectors who can appreciate their historical value. The Brasher Doubloon has close ties with George Washington because it is the first gold coin ever produced by the United States; Washington knew its designer personally because they were neighbors.

As mind boggling as it seems, this particular specimen owned by Walter Perschke, was given the rare coin grade MS 63 from the highly respected Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Now certified, the gold coin is worth $10 million due in part to its role in history, in part to its age of 225 years old, and also because it has survived all this time in such excellent condition, say experts. To have a coin pass through two and a quarter centuries in what some are describing as close to the same condition it was in during its first day, definitely draws admiration.

Perschke was an important collector of gold coins. He paid $430,000 for the coin back in 1979, setting the record for the highest price a single coin had then sold for. When it comes to rarity, there are just 7 Brasher Doubloons known to exist in the world today and 2 of those are held by museums. The recent sale of one in New Orleans, which held the lesser grade of AU 50, sold for over $7 million, illustrating just how much the quality of care a coin receives can impact its value over time.

The first Brasher Doubloon was discovered in 1838 when it was nearly melted down at the Philadelphia Mint. At that time, it was in with a mixture of non US gold coins and the person who had turned it in merely wanted either ingots or federal coins in exchange. Instead, Adam Eckfelt, Chief Coiner at the Mint, spotted the coin and kept it from being liquefied. Today, that first discovered coin is held by The Smithsonian Institute.

The Brasher Doubloon gets its name from the fact that it was designed by Ephraim Brasher who was a gold and silversmith that lived just two houses down from George Washington when the first president lived in Manhattan. His initials feature prominently in the coins design which features the Great Seal of the United States as well as an Eagle, while on the other side there is an image that features a sun rising above mountains bordering the sea, its rays reaching out in all directions.

Perschke told the press that having such a historically important coin was important to him and that, monetary value aside, it was an honor to be able to not just own it, but ensure that it was viewed by members of the public. To date, more than 2 million people have seen the coin since it was purchased by Perschke in 1979.

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