The Brasher Doubloon
November 12, 2005 2:35 PM   Subscribe

The Brasher Doubloon has been called "the single most important coin in American numismatics." Struck in 1787 by George Washington's neighbor Ephraim Brasher, it's believed to be the first gold coin made in the United States. Seven of Brasher's 1787 doubloons are in existence, each with the initials EB stamped on an eagle; the one that gets title-case capitalization is the only one where the intitials are stamped on the eagle's breast instead of its wing [hi-res pics: front, back]. In January 2005, it was sold at auction for $2.9 million. It's now on a tour of the United States (and insured for $6 million). In Raymond Chandler's 1942 novel The High Window and the 1947 film adaptation The Brasher Doubloon, Philip Marlowe investigates the theft of the doubloon.
posted by goatdog (9 comments total)
Excellent post. The only thing that would make this story better would be if I bought one for $5 at a garage sale.
posted by MrZero at 3:45 PM on November 12, 2005

Wait: there really IS such a thng? Oh.
posted by davy at 3:58 PM on November 12, 2005

I was intrigued by the inscription "Nova Eboraca"--apparently, that's "New York" in latin.

Excellent post!
posted by halcyon_daze at 5:33 PM on November 12, 2005

Very interesting post, thanks.
posted by interrobang at 6:28 PM on November 12, 2005

Investigating whether Eboraca was the Roman name for York (it wasn't, it was Eboracum), I discovered this and its homepage here . There's a version of Wikipedia in Latin, with 3768 articles so far. Who knew?
posted by Hogshead at 7:04 PM on November 12, 2005

posted by Deathalicious at 7:34 PM on November 12, 2005

great post, thanks goatdog.
posted by jba at 10:20 PM on November 12, 2005

amazing post. thank you!

the people who publish these crazy things (site courtesy of our own bhance) mention the Brasher Doubloon on occasion.
posted by carsonb at 11:08 PM on November 12, 2005

Interesting that almost the only Google hits "Nova Eboraca" gets refer to this coin; there are a couple from Latin sites in which it's used for New York State ("Syracusae urbs in Nova Eboraca est"). My guess is that the feminine form is used for the state because the Latin words for 'state' (civitas, respublica) are feminine.... yes, footnote 44 here quotes a medieval phrase monasterium in Eboraca civitate. So that explains that.

Very nice post!
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on November 13, 2005

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