If you’ve ever been worried about taking advantage of the investment opportunities provided by rare coins, the recent auction of the Brasher Doubloon may have you feeling a bit more confident about your return on investment.
At the beginning of January, Heritage Auctions and Florida United Numismatics held an auction that ended up bringing in a staggering amount of money, and the headliner of the show was the first coin ever minted by the U.S.—the Brasher Doubloon. The coin, sold to an undisclosed buyer, went for over $4.5 million.
Leading up to the Heritage Auction, the last time the coin was sold was in 1979, to Walter Perschke, and it brought in a cool $430,000, which looks like a bargain compared to its most recent sale price.
History of the Brasher Doubloon
This particular coin is part of American history. The coin was minted in 1787, by a silversmith believed to have lived just a few feet from none other than George Washington himself, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The silversmith was not just neighbors with Washington, but also personal acquaintances.
There are only seven known Brasher Doubloons in existence today, and it’s the only colonial gold coin to be minted by the U.S.
Not only is the coin part of U.S. history, but it was also featured in Raymond Chandler’s 1942 novel, entitled “The High Window.”
"The legendary Brasher Doubloon is one of the most important coins in American history because it's the first gold coin struck for the young United States and it's one of only a handful that exist," Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions, told the wire service.
The coin sold at the recent auction is considered to be the best of all circulating Brasher Doubloons. The reverse side of the coin is similar in design to the 1788 Massachusetts Cent, and the rim of the coin features the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.
This Brasher Doubloon has several features still seen on U.S. coins, including an olive branch, thirteen stars and the image of an eagle.
The coins were minted just a decade after the end of the Revolutionary War, which is why many believe the images and mottos on the coin are so patriotic in nature.
It wasn’t just the headlining coin that brought in a huge amount of money. The Heritage Auction sold a total of $105 million in coins and currency, which made it a record-breaking event.
Along with the Brasher Doubloon, another attention-grabbing sale at the auction pertained to a nickel, minted at the Philadelphia Mint in 1913. The coin, featured on Hawaii Five-O, brought in nearly $3.3 million.
According to Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, the recent auction just speaks to the importance and popularity of coin collecting throughout the world. It continues to become an increasingly thriving hobby, and also investment opportunity, and the huge prices being brought in by these coins are evidence of the value people see in coins.