1774-R Brazil Rio Mint Gold 6400 Reis Regulated by Brasher & Burger. NGC graded EF-45.
Very attractive bright yellow gold with generous traces of frosty mint luster remaining in the protected areas. The only "defect" is the obvious filing on the edge at the bottom of the obverse where the weight was adjusted to its present 13.972 grams. The required adjustments to regulate these coins could be in the form of a plug added to the coin or filing/clipping on the edge to remove metal. The adjustment to this coin required the removal of metal, and this was accomplished by filing on the edge at the bottom of the obverse. As a result the lower half of the date is gone but enough remains to easily read it. This piece received two stamps intended to certify it's weight and fineness. The larger and more strongly impressed of the two is an oval on the eye of King Joseph I (Josephus I of Portugal as Brazil was a Portuguese colony until 1822, and the king's name led these to be commonly called a "Joe" or "Half Joe"). That incuse oval contains a raised "JB" in ornate script. This stamp is for New York goldsmith John Burger, a well-respected coin regulator who worked out of an office at 207 Queen Street in New York City. His stamp almost certainly was the first of the two stamps since he regulated gold in New York from approximately 1784 to 1790. The smaller stamp is positioned on the throat. It is an incuse oval with raised "EB" for Ephraim Brasher (1744-1810), the famous goldsmith and silversmith from New York. He was a neighbor and friend of George Washington and was commissioned in 1792 by the federal government through Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, to perform assay services for the government and to "regulate" foreign gold and silver coins for use in American commerce (the US Mint did not strike silver coins until 1794 and gold coins until 1795). Records indicate Brasher did not get paid for this service until 1796, and the amount he received was $27. This coin was adjusted and certified by Brasher to a value of $8 (by the standards of New York at that time). Very few regulated gold coins have survived the melting pot, and this is an attractive example with two significant stamps. While it may not be as valuable as the famous Brasher doubloons, it is extremely rare and historically significant. See page 63 in the "Redbook." The weight, regulated value of $8, and both counterstamps are noted on the NGC label.
Estimated Value $40,000-UP.