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SERIES: U.S. Colonial Issues
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

LIMA Dbln Brasher (Regular Strike)

PCGS #:
491
Diameter:
Designer:
Weight:
Edge:
Mintage:
Metal Content:
Other
Auction Record:
$690,000 • NGC EF40 • 1-12-2005 • Heritage
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 2 R-9.9 3 / 4 4 / 12 TIE
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 4 1 / 12
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 4 1 / 12
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 XF40 PCGS grade  
1 XF40 estimated grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 XF40 PCGS grade  
1 XF40 estimated grade  

David Hall: There are two known specimens of what is known in the numismatic community as the Brasher "Lima style" gold doubloons. They are dated 1742, but it is almost certain they were struck much later, probably in 1786 before the other Brashers. The Garrett specimen brought $80,000 in March, 1981. When it was reauctioned in the January, 2005 Heritage sale, it brought $690,000.

 


P. Scott Rubin: The 1742 Lima-style Brasher Doubloon might be the most under-appreciated coin in numismatics, even though one of the two known specimens sold for $690,000 in 2005. This masqueraded, United States private-issue gold coin was made for commercial circulation by Ephraim Brasher, the same famous New York City goldsmith who created the much more famous Brasher Doubloon (or more properly, the New York Style Doubloon by Ephraim Brasher). Brasher's Lima-style coin is also a Brasher Doubloon, but is of a different style. This is the earliest dated gold coin made in the United States for circulation in the United States. Unlike the New York Style coins, the Lima-style doubloon was made to resemble the gold coinage from what is now Lima, Peru, because it would be easily recognized as a gold coin of value in American commerce in the 1780’s America. However, like all of Brasher's coins, his full last name appears on the coin along with his famous EB counter punch, so these were not made to deceive but to make the coins more acceptable in local business transactions. The date of this issue was not determined until Michael Hodder examined the two known specimens and was able to discern the correct date from the bottoms of four numbers barely visible on only one of the two coins. Previously, researchers thought that both the Lima and New York style doubloons were made in 1787, but Hodder proved that the date on the Lima coins is 1786. It seems strange to modern collectors to see a coin struck from dies larger in diameter than the finished coins. But this was done on at least three of the Brasher gold issues. Both Lima style doubloons do not show the entire image of the dies they were struck from and this is also true of the unique Brasher New York style half doubloon now in the Smithsonian. In the case of the latter denomination, the gold used to make the coin was half that of the regular doubloons so the metal did not spread out to cover the entire area of the dies, yet still keep the thickness desired for the coin. This was also done on the Lima Style doubloons even though they had as much metal as the New York style coins. Because the the Lima-style Doubloon is the first, true gold coin struck in the United States, it should be just as valuable as, if not more valuable than, the New York style doubloon which have sold for almost three million dollars.