Known as the "Brasher Doubloon" with the punch on the breast, this rare numismatic treasure is considered America's first and most important gold coin. It was purchased from John Albanese, founder of Certified Acceptance Corp. (CAC), and the transaction is the single highest price ever paid for a coin in a private transaction. It is truly unique as there is only one known example.
"Not only is this the highest-valued gold coin in the world, but it is also one of the most iconic pieces in all of numismatics," says Albanese, widely considered one of America's leading numismatists. "It is not a stretch to call this the holy grail of all collectible gold coins."
The Brasher Doubloon with the punch on the breast was minted in 1787 by Ephraim Brasher, a silversmith and goldsmith in New York City, and it contained $15 worth of gold at the time of its minting. Brasher made a small number of gold coins that historians today believe were intended for public circulation.
While Brasher worked as a regulator with the New York Chamber of Commerce certifying the weight and value of foreign gold pieces he established a solid reputation for his expertise, and his "E.B" hallmark counter stamp was esteemed in the area. He also stamped his own doubloons with his personal hallmark, but this is the single-known piece of his making that includes the stamp at the center of the eagle's breast on the coin's reverse rather than on its wing.
Why is it significant? Recent research has established that the Brasher Punch-on-Breast Doubloon is the first American-made gold coin that had a denomination in dollars and that was struck to the same standard that was later adopted for all U.S. gold coins, making it what is today considered the first truly American gold coin. No other U.S. Colonial or Federal coin can make that claim, putting Brasher's first New York-style Doubloon in a class by itself.