Historic gold coin gets US$4.6 mil. at auction


WASHINGTON–Two antique American gold coins sold for more than US$7.8 million when they went under the hammer in Florida, auction organizers confirmed Friday. The first gold coin ever made for the United States — a “Brasher Doubloon” struck in 1787 by a neighbor of George Washington — fetched US$4,582,500, Heritage Auctions said. A nickel made at the Philadelphia Mint in 1913 that was once featured in an episode of the 1970s television show “Hawaii Five-O” raised US$3.3 million. The coins were sold as part of a sale that has generated more than US$55 million so far, Heritage Auctions said. “The legendary Brasher Doubloon is one of the most important coins in American history because it’s the first gold coin struck for the young United States and it’s one of only a handful that exist,” said Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions. The doubloon has been off the market since it was bought by a Chicago resident in 1979 for US$430,000. The coin was also featured in Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe 1942 crime novel “The High Window,” later adapted into a film noir released as “The Brasher Doubloon.”

The 1913 Liberty Head nickel was one of only five known to exist.

Their existence was only revealed in 1920, when they were offered for sale by a former employee of the Philadelphia Mint.