'Double joe' 12,800-real counterstamped $16 coin tops $100,000

Rare gold offered after Pogue IV at Stack’s Bowers Galleries May 25 sale
By , Coin World
Published : 06/07/16
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Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Sotheby’s hosted their Rarities Auction on May 25 in New York City after the Pogue IV auction the prior night. The second sale realized $1,893,688.75. It offered bidders a wide range of important issues including a key group of foreign gold coins counterstamped by New York goldsmiths Ephraim Brasher and John Burger that are popular with collectors seeking examples of gold coins that circulated in Colonial America.

The Coin:

Counterstamped Brazilian 1728 12,800-real coin, Very Fine Details, Repaired, $105,750

The Price:


The Story: 

Before the U.S. Mint began striking gold coins in 1795, U.S. merchants were dependent on foreign gold coins for high-value transactions. This 1728 12,800-real coin of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais was struck in Brazil and was called a “double joe” since a 6,400-real piece was called a “joe.”

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The large gold coin was regulated by two private merchants — Ephraim Brasher (of the famous Brasher doubloon) and John Burger — around 1784 and was counterstamped with their marks.

The piece was well-circulated before being stamped, so much so that it needed its weight raised with a plug to meet the then-current standard, and it would circulate as a $16 coin.

It likely survived because of its subsequent placement in jewelry, which “left an even matte finish and light yellow gold color.”

Graded Very Fine Details, Repaired, by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., it brought $105,750.

As Stack’s Bowers notes, the only other regulated 12,800-real coin recorded is a 1730-M example regulated by Joseph Richardson the Elder that realized $138,000 in 2010.

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

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