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.
Counterstamped Brazilian 1728 12,800-real coin, Very Fine Details,
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
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.
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