About The Brasher Doubloon


The Brasher Doubloon is one of the rarest and most valuable coins in the world, with only seven known examples in existence. This legendary gold coin was struck by Ephraim Brasher, a prominent goldsmith and silversmith in colonial New York, sometime around 1787.

What makes the Brasher Doubloon so special is its unique design and historical significance. The front of the coin features a sun rising over a mountain, with the Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (out of many, one) above it. The reverse side depicts an eagle with spread wings, holding arrows and an olive branch in its talons, with the legend “NOVA EBORACA COLUMBIA EXCELSIOR” (Excelsior means “ever upward,” and refers to the state motto of New York).

The Brasher Doubloon’s rarity and historical importance have made it a sought-after collector’s item for more than two centuries. One of the most famous examples of the coin was owned by American philanthropist and collector Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., who acquired it in 1942 for a then-record price of $7,500. The Eliasberg example is now part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

Despite its rarity and value, the Brasher Doubloon remains somewhat mysterious. There are only a handful of surviving examples, and the exact number and extent of Brasher’s coinage operation is not known with certainty. Some experts believe that he may have produced additional coins in addition to the seven known doubloons, while others argue that the seven examples may represent Brasher’s entire output.

In addition to its historical significance and rarity, the Brasher Doubloon has also captured the public imagination through its appearances in popular culture. The coin has been featured in novels, movies, and television shows, including the classic Raymond Chandler detective novel “The High Window” and the 1947 film adaptation “The Brasher Doubloon,” starring George Montgomery as detective Philip Marlowe.

Overall, the Brasher Doubloon is a truly unique and fascinating piece of American history. Its rarity, beauty, and historical significance have made it a legend in the world of coin collecting and beyond, and its place in popular culture only adds to its mystique and allure.