It doesn’t necessarily require a fortune to buy a piece of numismatic history from Eric P. Newman’s nine decades of collecting.
While purchasing a counterstamped 1787 Brasher gold doubloon, should one become available, will likely take millions of dollars, a collector can acquire for far less money a coin in the Newman Collection that bears the familiar EB hallmark of noted New York goldsmith Ephraim Brasher.
Heritage Auctions will offer the fourth auction of the Eric P. Newman Collection in sessions scheduled for May 16 and 17 in New York City.
One of the 687 lots presented is a 1760 British gold half guinea bearing Brasher’s EB hallmark or counterstamp. The EB, within an oval cartouche, is punched into the portrait of King George II on the obverse.
The counterstamped coin is graded Very Fine 30 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.
As Brasher was arguably the most well-known and respected of the New York goldsmiths and silversmiths, the appearance of his counterstamp on foreign coins circulating in 18th century America assured the assay or quality of those coins, according to the Heritage auction cataloger.
The lower edge of the EB counterstamped half guinea offered is clipped, presumably contemporaneously, according to the cataloger, to reduce its weight to slightly below the New York standard of 5 pennyweight, 6 grains for one guinea, or 63 grains for a half guinea.
Brasher wasn’t the only New York goldsmith and silversmith counterstamping coins to attest to their meeting the standard of the day.
Goldsmith and silversmith John Burger punched his script JB monogram on coins meeting the coinage standards.