News-Antique.com - Aug 05,2008 - (San Francisco, California) -- The first gold coin made for the United States, hand-struck in 1787 by George Washington's New York City neighbor and later owned by a prominent 19th century railroad magnate, will be publicly displayed for the first time in San Francisco. Insured for $6.5 million, the legendary "Brasher Doubloon" will be exhibited at the San Francisco Money Show investment conference in the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, August 7 - 10, 2008. Admission to the event is free.
"The renowned Brasher Doubloon is one of the most important coins in American history. It's a national treasure that, appropriately for an investment conference, represents the beginnings of our economic system," said Christopher Cipoletti, President of Rare Coin Consultants of America (RCCA) of Dana Point, California and a former Executive Director of the nonprofit, 32,000-member American Numismatic Association. RCCA will exhibit the famous coin.
"The Brasher Doubloon was struck in 1787 by President Washington's New York neighbor, silversmith and well-known political figure of the day, Ephraim Brasher. For much of the 20th century the coin was owned by the family of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad executive, T. Harrison Garrett, and later by The Johns Hopkins University. Our company acquired it at a public auction in early 2005, and since then we've underwritten public educational exhibits across the country," explained Cipoletti.
"Only seven Basher Doubloons of this type survive today, but the one being displayed in San Francisco is the very first gold coin made for the young United States and it's unique. It's the only one with the designer's initials, 'EB,' prominently punched across the breast of an eagle depicted on the coin. All the other subsequently-made, surviving examples have the initials on the eagle's right wing."
It's also the first gold coin with a U.S. motif. The Latin mottos read, "NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR," translated as "New York, America, ever higher," and the familiar "UNUM E PLURIBUS," meaning "one of many." The 13 stars around the eagle's head represent the original 13 colonies.
The fabled gold 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 story about fictional detective, Philip Marlowe.
The coin will be displayed by RCCA in a specially-constructed, five-foot tall wooden exhibit case that symbolically resembles the mid-19th century cabinets that housed the United States Mint's coin collection.
"Originally worth $16 in gold in 1787, today the Brasher Doubloon has an intrinsic gold bullion value of approximately $900 and a collector value of $6.5 million that's thousands of times more than its original value," said Cipoletti.
"According to the PCGS 3000, an authoritative index of the historical value of rare coins, the general marketplace for rare, high-quality United States coins has demonstrated growth and wealth creation by appreciating approximately 10 percent annually since the 1970s. Historically important coins, such as the famous 1804-dated silver dollars and the 1913 Liberty Head nickels have increased in value by 500 percent or even higher