by | Dec 15, 2023 | History, Numismatics

4. The Brasher Doubloon – Early American Goldsmithing Mastery

Step back in time to 1787 and explore the legacy of the Brasher Doubloon, a rare coin crafted by the skilled goldsmith Ephraim Brasher. Discover the unique design and historical significance that make this early American coin a cherished item among collectors. Unearth the stories embedded in its craftsmanship and understand its esteemed place in numismatic history.

In the annals of American numismatic history, one coin stands as a testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of its time—the Brasher Doubloon. Crafted by the skilled hands of Ephraim Brasher, a renowned goldsmith of colonial New York, this rare coin has become an iconic symbol of early American numismatics.

The story begins in the late 18th century, around 1787, when Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith and neighbor of George Washington, sought to address a shortage of circulating coinage. In an era when the United States was still in its infancy, local merchants and citizens faced challenges in conducting daily transactions due to a scarcity of coins. Brasher saw an opportunity to contribute to the burgeoning nation’s economic growth and decided to mint his own coins.

The Brasher Doubloon, officially known as the “EB” on the Wing, featured a distinctive design with Brasher’s initials (“EB”) stamped on the eagle’s wing. The coin was struck in high-quality gold, showcasing Brasher’s commitment to excellence in both metallurgy and artistry. The reverse side displayed an eagle with an olive branch and arrows, symbolic of peace and readiness for defense.

What set the Brasher Doubloon apart was not only its unique design but also its weight and purity. The coin was equivalent to the Spanish doubloons circulating at the time, making it readily accepted in commerce. Ephraim Brasher’s reputation for precision and reliability further solidified the legitimacy of his privately minted coin.

Despite being a skilled goldsmith, Ephraim Brasher was not an authorized mint, and his coinage was not officially recognized by the fledgling United States government. As a result, the Brasher Doubloons were limited in number, adding to their rarity and allure among collectors.

Today, the Brasher Doubloon is a cherished numismatic rarity, with only a small number of specimens known to exist. These coins are sought after not only for their historical significance but also for their role in shaping the early financial landscape of the United States. The Brasher Doubloon serves as a tangible link to a time when skilled artisans, like Ephraim Brasher, played a vital role in the development of American currency, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Jonathan Lerner Revised

Jon Lerner

Jon Lerner, Scarsdale Coin president, is a recognized expert in the numismatist field. Jon has spent over 30 years collecting and evaluating coins. He is often sought out by fellow coin collectors for his advice and knowledge of rare coins.


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Jon Lerner, a renowned figure in numismatics, discovered his passion for rare coins in his Scarsdale, New York upbringing. With a keen eye for quality, he founded Scarsdale Coin in 1985, quickly establishing it as a premier destination for collectors. Beyond dealing, Jon is a respected speaker and prolific writer, sharing his expertise with enthusiasts worldwide. His commitment to integrity and professionalism has earned him admiration throughout the numismatic community. Jon remains dedicated to enriching collectors' experiences and preserving the legacy of rare coins for future generations.