One of the rarest coins in the world was made when a goldsmith and silversmith was denied a petition to mint his own coins.
A man named Ephraim Brasher wanted to mint his own copper coins, but ran into a roadblock: the State of New York did not want to mint copper coinage.
But Brasher already had skills applicable to creating his own coins, so he set out to making his own. At the time he was already well known for his skills and his hallmark (his initials ‘EB’), which was stamped on his own coins and any coins that he proofed. Brasher had already established his name, to the point that he was nationally recognized.
So, against the wishes of New York, Brasher made his own coins. Perhaps his high status in the numismatic industry made him a little too confident.
So why are Brasher doubloons the rarest in the world? Few were made, and very few survived, and the rarest of the doubloons are the few that were made in 22-carat gold. The coins made in copper were more common, so they don’t sell for as much.
What do these rare coins sell for? In 2005, Heritage Auction sold all three varieties of the doubloons, where the most valuable, the New York Style EB Punch on Wing, sold for $2,990,000. That wasn’t the highest price paid for a Brasher Doubloon, however. A Wall Street investment firm bought a Brasher Doubloon for the whopping price of almost $7.4 million. Now that’s a valuable coin!