America's First Gold Coin Returns to Baltimore for $6 Million "Homecoming" Insured for $6 million, the fabled Brasher Doubloon -- the United States' first gold coin -- returns to Baltimore for the first time in a quarter century for a public display, March 17 & 18, 2006.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - (Baltimore, MD) -- The unique, first gold coin made for the United States over 200 years ago, the legendary multi-million dollar Brasher Doubloon, will be publicly exhibited in Baltimore for the first time since Johns Hopkins University sold it a quarter-century ago.
Insured for $6 million, it will be displayed during the first two days of the three-day Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention in the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt, March 17 - 19, 2006.
The event is free and open to the public.
"The coin was hand-struck in 1787 by George Washington's New York City neighbor, silversmith Ephraim Brasher," said Edward Kuszmar an official of the collector’s show. "It's one of the most important coins in American history."
The fabled gold coin was purchased at an auction in early 2005 by Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers of Dana Point, California. Since then Contursi has set up educational exhibits of the historic rare coin in New York City, San Francisco, Kansas City, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Orlando and Houston. Now it's coming "home" to Baltimore for the first time since 1981.
The unique Brasher Doubloon was kept in a Baltimore vault for most of the 20th century when it was owned by the family of Baltimore & Ohio railroad magnate, T. Harrison Garrett, and later bequeathed to Johns Hopkins University.
The school sold the Brasher Doubloon at a 1981 public auction for the then-astounding price of $625,000.
"Being the first gold coin struck for the United States makes it a national treasure with tremendous significance for American history. It underscores the beginnings of our economic system," said Contursi, the coin's current owner.
"Only seven Brasher Doubloons survive today, and the one coming back to Baltimore is unique. It is the only one with the designer’s initials, 'EB,' punched across the breast of an eagle depicted on the coin. The other surviving examples have the initials on the eagle's wing," Contursi explained.
Former American Numismatic Association President, Kenneth E. Bressett, recently commented: "The gold Brasher Doubloon is without doubt our country's most famous and significant coin."
The coin was the subject of a 1942 Raymond Chandler novel, "The High Window," and a subsequent 1947 movie, "The Brasher Doubloon," based on Chandler's Philip Marlowe detective story.
What is a doubloon?
"The denomination, 'doubloon,' may seem unusual today, but it was the coin-of-the-realm when the Brasher Doubloon was issued in 1787 as proposed coinage for the new republic. At the time, doubloons contained $14 worth of gold, but the Brasher Doubloons actually had $15 worth of gold when they were made," explained John W. Dannreuther, a co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Newport Beach, California, the world's largest rare coin authentication company. "This is America's first $15 denomination coin."
This will be the first opportunity for the public to see the coin in person in the Baltimore/Washington area. It will be displayed during the first two days of the coin show, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and