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NGC-certified Brasher Doubloon Realizes a Record $9.36 Million at Partrick Sale
Published on January 22, 2021
The finest Brasher Doubloon, graded MS 65★ by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), sold for an astounding $9.36 million on Thursday to become the most expensive NGC-certified coin ever sold at auction, more than doubling the previous record.
SARASOTA, Fla. (January 22, 2021) — The finest Brasher Doubloon, graded MS 65★ by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), sold for an astounding $9.36 million on Thursday to become the most expensive NGC-certified coin ever sold at auction, more than doubling the previous record. A second NGC-certified Brasher Doubloon, of a different type and graded NGC MS 61, sold moments later for $2.1 million.
The extraordinary results came in an elite sale by Heritage Auctions that featured a number of impressive early American rarities — all certified by NGC — from the unparalleled Donald G. Partrick Collection.
The coin collecting community cherishes Brasher Doubloons because they were the first gold coins struck in the newly independent United States. Only nine are known and they seldom come to market: Seven are called “New York Style” because they show a mountain sunrise scene similar to the one on the New York State seal, while the other two are referred to as “Lima Style” because they imitate Spanish gold coins.
The 1787 ‘EB’ on Wing New York-Style Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 65★ that realized $9.36 million is the highest-graded of these exceptionally rare coins. Its stratospheric price set records as the highest paid for an NGC-certified coin at auction, the highest price paid for any gold coin at auction and the highest price paid for any coin sold by Heritage at auction. This is only the third time this particular coin has been offered at auction; it also set records at its previous sales in 1907 and 1979.
“This extraordinary Brasher Doubloon represents the absolute pinnacle of US numismatics,” said Mark Salzberg, NGC Chairman and Grading Finalizer. “I am thrilled that NGC's expert and impartial certification helped it to achieve this record-shattering price.”
Meanwhile, the 1786 Lima-Style Doubloon graded NGC MS 61 that realized $2.1 million raced to a new record for its type as the finer of the two known examples.
“Heritage is proud to have showcased these Brasher Doubloons and other great rarities in early American numismatics in this sale,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions. “With the coins certified and preserved by NGC, bidders had the confidence necessary to set new records.”
Brasher Doubloons take their name from the man who created them, renowned New York City gold and silversmith Ephraim Brasher. His ‘EB’ counterstamp appears on the eagle of the New York Style coins and on the cross of the Lima Style coins.
Between the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 and the founding of the US Mint in 1792, several innovative ideas in currency were attempted in order to supplement the European coins that then circulated in the nascent United States. A few states authorized their own copper coinage. In other places, entrepreneurs such as Brasher stepped in.
This Heritage sale included over 70 rare coins, tokens and medals from the Partrick Collection, which has been entirely certified by NGC. This sale realized over $19 million, including an astonishing 34 coins and medals that realized prices over $100,000. The NGC-certified Partrick Collection has now realized more than $47 million, and additional sales are planned in the next few months. The full auction schedule is at HA.com/Partrick.
“NGC masterfully attributed and graded the diverse selections in the Partrick Collection,” said Stu and Maureen Levine, professional numismatists and Heritage Auctions’ guest catalog editors. “We were excited to see the historic results as these extraordinary coins crossed the auction block.”
New Jersey was one of the states that authorized its own coinage, and a very rare “Under Beam” variety graded NGC AU 55 BN realized $552,000 in the sale. Dated 1786 to 1788, these copper coins feature a horse’s head above a plow on the obverse. The "Under Beam" variety displays the year underneath the beam of the plow rather than at the bottom of the obverse.
These attempts at early coinage show the resilience and creative spirit of the young country. But by 1792, it was clear that a national coinage was needed, so the US Mint was founded. At this time, several patterns, or proposed designs for coinage, were struck privately, displaying the bust of President George Washington.
The Partrick Collection features several of these rare Washington patterns struck by Peter Getz, including a 1792 Small Eagle Ornamented Edge G. Washington President Half Dollar Pattern graded NGC MS 63 that realized $360,000.
Distinguished by its exceptionally high grade, it was joined by four other Washington Getz Pattern Half Dollars, including a 1792 Small Eagle Plain Edge G. Washington President graded NGC AU 58 + that realized $312,000.
Another group of patterns, also dated 1792, are attributed to Massachusetts engraver Jacob Perkins. A 1792 Eagle and Stars Silver Washington President Pattern graded NGC XF 45 and also pedigreed to the Roper Collection realized $288,000.
Washington, who served as president from 1789 to 1797, is believed to have been unreceptive to featuring his portrait on the nation’s coinage, a practice common among the monarchs of Europe. However, he did appear on Peace Medals issued during his presidency, including a 1795-dated Silver Oval George Washington Peace Medal certified by NGC as genuine and also pedigreed to the Garrett Collection. This medal, over 4 inches wide and nearly 6 inches tall, realized $288,000.
When Washington died in December 1799, various funeral medals were struck to celebrate his life and achievements. The sale featured three of them struck in gold, including a very rare (1800) GW-71A Gold Washington Funeral Medal with a “Skull and Crossbones” design graded NGC MS 63 that realized $276,000. It shows Washington on the obverse, surrounded by the words HE IS IN GLORY, THE WORLD IN TEARS.
Other NGC-certified highlights from the Partrick Collection in the January 21, 2021 sale included:
- a 1786 New York Copper - NON VI VIRTUTE VICI, Large Head, graded NGC AU 55 BN that realized $264,000
- a 1792-dated Silver Oval George Washington Peace Medal certified by NGC as genuine and also pedigreed to the Boyd Collection that realized $264,000
- a 1787 New York Copper - Indian Excelsior, graded NGC MS 65 BN and also pedigreed to the Brand Collection that realized $228,000
- a 1787 New York Copper - Indian Excelsior graded NGC MS 64 BN and also pedigreed to the Eliasberg Collection that realized $204,000
- a 1787 New York Copper - George Clinton, Excelsior, graded NGC AU 58 BN that realized $192,000
- a 1714 Virginia Shilling - Gloucester Courthouse graded NGC VF 25 BN and also pedigreed to the Parmelee Collection that realized $180,000
- a 1786 New York Copper - NON VI VIRTUTE VICI, Small Head, graded NGC MS 64+ and also pedigreed to the Eliasberg Collection that realized $180,000
- a 1792 Eagle and Stars Washington President Copper Cent graded NGC AU 53 BN also pedigreed to the Norweb Collection that realized $180,000
- a 1788 New Jersey Copper - Head Left, graded NGC MS 63 BN that realized $180,000
- a 1786 New Jersey Copper - Bridle, graded NGC MS 66 RB also pedigreed to the Norweb Collection that realized $156,000
- a 1789 Florida Proclamation 4 Reales graded NGC AU 58 that realized $156,000
Prices realized include buyer's premium.
About Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®)
NGC is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals, with more than 48 million collectibles certified. Founded in 1987, NGC provides an accurate, consistent and impartial assessment of authenticity and grade. Every coin that NGC certifies is backed by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which gives buyers greater confidence. This results in higher prices realized and greater liquidity for NGC-certified coins. To learn more, visit NGCcoin.com.
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