1787 Good Year for Napa Vintner, Will Exhibit Vintage $7.5 Million Gold Coin The legendary Brasher Doubloon, the first gold coin struck for the U.S. and insured today for $7.5 million, will be displayed by a Napa Valley vineyard owner at the National Money Show in Sacramento.
News-Antique.com - Mar 13,2011 - (Napa, California) -- Coin collectors from across the country are expected to pop their corks over a Napa vintner's $7.5 million vintage gold coin when it is displayed in Sacramento, California for the first time. The valuable coin also provided the inspiration for his new brand of wine.
"The gold coin is the legendary, unique Brasher Doubloon that was made in 1787 by George Washington's New York City neighbor, Ephraim Brasher. It's one of the most important coins in American numismatic history because it's the very first gold coin struck for the young United States," said Steven L. Contursi who purchased Tony Soter's Little Creek Estate Vineyard in November 2007. Contursi is President of Rare Coin Wholesalers in Irvine, California (www.rcw1.com).
Since acquiring the historic gold coin at auction in 2005, he has exhibited it in a half dozen cities nationwide and at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado.
It will be displayed for the first time in Sacramento at the association's National Money Show™ (www.NationalMoneyShow.com) that will be open to the public in the Sacramento Convention Center, March 17 - 19, 2011. It will also be exhibited at the World's Fair of Money in Chicago, August 16 - 20.
The coin is insured for $7.5 million and will be displayed courtesy of Contursi and Donald Kagin in a custom-made wood cabinet that is reminiscent of the 19th century storage cabinets at the United States Mint.
"Only seven Brasher Doubloons of this type survive today, but this one is unique among them. It's the only one with the designer's initials, 'EB,' punched across the breast of an eagle depicted on the coin. Other surviving examples have the initials on the eagle's wing," according to Doug Mudd, Curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum.
The eagle is depicted clutching arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other, and Contursi has named his new wine label, Arrow&Branch®.
"This was a common design theme on many United States coins, indicating that America wants peace but also has the strength and willingness to defend itself. I named our wines Arrow&Branch (www.ArrowandBranch.com) in recognition of that familiar design," explained Contursi.
His first production, a 2008 Bordeaux style blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and malbec, will be released in April. "It will be available only through allocation because of the exceptional quality and considerable rarity," he said.
Arrow&Branch is also releasing a 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc at the same time as part of its expanding operations.
The fabled Brasher Doubloon was the subject of a 1942 Raymond Chandler novel about fictional detective Philip Marlowe, "The High Window," and a subsequent 1947 movie, "The Brasher Doubloon." At the time, it was considered the world's most valuable rare coin.
The creator of the coin, silversmith and well-known political figure of the day, Ephraim Brasher, was George Washington's neighbor on Cherry Street in lower Manhattan. At the time the gold coin was struck in 1787 it was valued at