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Coin Dealer Earl Albert Parker and his coins

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2, 2023 9:36PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I'm fascinated by the biographies of people in numismatics and Earl Parker (1908-1964) is one of the interesting figures that comes across in coins and exonumia. Earl Parker was based in SF and a coin dealer of some fame.

Some items of note:

He seems most well known for acquiring two 1894-S dimes in 1949.

@BestGerman said on CoinFacts.com:
In 1972, coin journalist James Johnson, attempted a complete accounting of the 1894-S story. After the article ran in Coin World Collector's Clearinghouse (9/13/72), he received a letter from Guy Chapman of California. Chapman wrote that he had been shown two of the dimes in 1954 by California dealer Earl Parker, just after Parker had acquired them from Hallie Daggett, daughter of the San Francisco Mint superintendent John Daggett. Ms. Daggett told Parker that her father had minted 24 S-mint 1894 dimes as a special request for some visiting bankers. According to her account, Daggett struck the 24 pieces and presented three coins each to seven people. The remaining three, he gave to Hallie, telling her to "put them away until she was as old as he was, at which time she would be able to sell them for a good price." (Breen) As the story goes, Hallie immediately proceeded to spend one of the dimes on ice cream, but kept the other two until she sold them to Parker.

Ref: http://images.goldbergauctions.com/php/lot_auc.php?site=1&sale=69&lot=1863&lang=1

Here's more info from the Redwood Empire Coin Club (RECC):

Walt Ostromecki, NLG said in The California Numismatist:
The story of how this actually happened at RECC goes like this. In 1954, San Francisco coin dealer Earl Parker (RECC member #10), purchased the remaining two Hallie family specimens. He then priced the dimes at $2,000 dollars each. A very young Q. David Bowers was interested. They met, but Bowers turned him down! However, in 1957, Bowers created a media sensation when he purchased another 1894-S dime for the then-unheard of price of $4,750 dollars. So, one night shortly thereafter, Parker drove up to attend an RECC meeting to see if he could sell the two specimens. But, no one at the meeting was able to come up with the $2,000 each price tag. But, for one glorious night two beautiful 1894-S dimes were at the meeting! That’s 1/12 of the entire mintage, folks!

Ref: https://mail.calnumismatist.com/assets/tcn200901.pdf

Here's the higher graded Parker-Simpson specimen, graded PCGS PR66BM:

Here's the Parker-Buss specimen, graded PCGS PR64+BM, which happens to have 2 TrueViews with different looks.


In recent years, he's also getting more well known for his Kellogg and Humbert fascimiles. Here's a unique copper specimen I have:

He was also Chairman of the PCNS in 1955:

Ref: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/516364?page=15

Comments

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 11:46PM

    Here's are amazing looking Hawaiian quarter and half dollar patterns struck in proof copper:

    These were in the Forsythe collection and the ealier provenance is available from Ira and Larry Goldberg, which includes noted So-Called Dollar collector Al Ostheimer.

    Larry and Ira Goldberg said:
    The Forsythe Collection. Ex: John Daggett (Superintendent, San Francisco Mint 1893-97) as part of a complete 4-piece copper Pattern set; Hallie Daggett (John Daggett's daughter); Earl Parker; sold to Gordon Medcalf, 1961; Sold to Al Ostheimer; Superior Auction Feb 1975 Lot 1540;Ronald Russell;; Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers 9/2009.

    Some general info is available on CoinFacts:

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1883-p25c-hawaii-rb/509652

    @BestGerman said:
    In 1883, the Philadelphia Mint struck copper patterns for a Hawaiian coinage. Charles Barber designed the coins and, from his dies, Mint employees produced eighteen sets of proof copper versions of the 1/8th Dollar (Hapawalu), the Quarter Dollar, the Half Dollar, and the Dollar. The Dime was excluded because it had not yet been considered as a denomination, but was included, later, in the regular silver Proof sets.

    Today, all of these copper Patterns are extremely rare and highly prized.

    And the copper half dala, also Daggett-Parker-Forsythe:

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It would be a thrill just to hold that 1794 Flowing Hair dollar .... Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 1:26PM

    Here's a mention of Earl Parker who had a store on 8th and Market.

    Ref: https://www.outsidelands.org/cgi-bin/mboard/stories2/thread.cgi?304,0

    Dave Lange said on September 17, 2004:
    Long-gone coin shops
    How many of you got hooked on collecting old coins from pocket change during the 1960s and earlier? It was quite a fad until silver was removed from our coins in 1965, and the old pieces soon disappeared from everyday change.

    I was a SF-area kid at the time and totally crazy about filling my coin folders from my parents' change, rolls from the bank, etc. I'm now a professional numismatist (coin expert) living in Florida, but I still remember the many dusty coin shops that thrived back when SF real estate wasn't so expensive.

    For the beginning collector, both the Emporium and Woolworth's had coin and stamp departments. Their items were usually overpriced, but they provided a level of service that the novice required. I fondly remember how the Market Street Woolworth location had its old coins arranged within swinging glass panels of the kind used by libraries and museums to display photographs and documents. Later this was simplified to a conventional display counter.

    More experienced collectors had a wide selection of shops. The grand old man of SF dealers was Earl Parker at 8th & Market, and his place is taken today by Phelps Dean Witter, who still operates out of the Hobart Building. Other favorite shops were located on Gough near Eddy (Eureka Coins?), Bill's Coins at 16th near Valencia (Bill was William Hall, who later moved downtown to an office, while his brother Joe took over the Mission shop), ABC Coins on 9th near Judah, Don's Village Coins in Lakeside Village (still there under different ownership) and another one on 15th Avenue whose name I can't remember. Robert R. Johnson was a high-end dealer downtown, but kids were not particularly welcome there, or so it seemed to me at the time.

    Aside from the two, still-operating locations mentioned above, the only other current shop known to me is Trader Sam's in the Mission. While it's an interesting place, 20 years ago I got mugged nearby just after leaving the shop, and I haven't been back. I understand the neighborhood has improved since then!

    I know there were other shops I must be forgetting. I'd love to hear any recollections of these dealers and any that I missed.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 6:35PM

    Just noticed that the Calcoin article mentions Charles Vaughan Kappen, director of CSNA, who co-authored So-Called Dollars with Harold Hibler and a professor at San Jose State University. Some information on Kappen is available here:

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1062460/charles-vaughan-kappen-1910-1999-auto-biography

  • ColonelKlinckColonelKlinck Posts: 371 ✭✭✭

    I'm fascinated by the biographies of people in numismatics and so Earl Parker is one of the figures that comes across in exonumia, coins and a few other areas. Earl Parker (1930-1964) was a SF coin dealer with some fame.

    Earl Parker passed at the age of 34?!? Is this correct?

  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,518 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Earl Parker (1930-1964)

    Was that his time as a dealer or his lifespan? If the latter, only 34…how did he die?

    Also, what’s the grade designation BM?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 6:57PM

    @ColonelKlinck said:
    I'm fascinated by the biographies of people in numismatics and so Earl Parker is one of the figures that comes across in exonumia, coins and a few other areas. Earl Parker (1930-1964) was a SF coin dealer with some fame.

    Earl Parker passed at the age of 34?!? Is this correct?

    Let's verify.

    He died in 1964 according to The Coin Collector on Feb 20, 1964 posted on E-Sylum. He was based in San Francisco and he died in in Reno, so I wonder if something unexpected happened on a trip?

    https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n23a14.html

    This is on the lower right here:

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MidLifeCrisis said:
    Also, what’s the grade designation BM?

    BM means Branch Mint, and is a designation used by PCGS.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 7:01PM

    Here's some interesting info indicating Ronald J. Gillio purchased an 1894-S dime from Earl Parker around 1983 for $120,000.

    CoinFacts indicates the Gillio coin is the Newcomer specimen and doesn't indicate Earl Parker ever handled this, so there's some interesting info here.

    https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/09/25/Dime-expected-to-fetch-stratospheric-price/8217528004800/

    Here's an excerpt of the first few paragraphs. Click through for the entire article.

    UPI said on September 25, 1986:
    Dime expected to fetch stratospheric price

    SAN FRANCISCO -- An extremely rare 1894-S Barber Head dime, one only 12 known to exist, was expected to fetch more than $100,000 at auction Thursday.

    Ronald J. Gillio, a Santa Barbara, Calif., coin gallery owner, offered the dime for sale before the National Numismatic Conference, with hopes it would garner one of the highest prices ever paid for a single U.S. coin.

    'It's probably the most expensive dime that's ever been sold,' Gillio said. 'I always wanted to own it but I can't afford to keep it. My name is on the pedigree and now I'd like to use the money for other things in the business.'

    Gillio paid $120,000 for it about three years ago after aquiring it from Earl Parker, Oakland, Calif., for another private collector. He said he hoped to get at least $100,000 for the plastic-encased coin, which has the Liberty head on one side and the depiction of a wreath on the other.

    Here's a list of provenances on CoinFacts:

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1894-s-10c-bm/4805/66

  • MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,518 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gillio purchased an 1894-S dime from Earl Parker around 1983

    You just showed us that Parker died in 1964. There must be a mistake in the article.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 7:14PM

    @MidLifeCrisis said:
    Gillio purchased an 1894-S dime from Earl Parker around 1983

    You just showed us that Parker died in 1964. There must be a mistake in the article.

    The interesting thing is Gillio purchased the Newcomer coin (Lawrence 1) from an Earl Parker in Oakland, but Earl Parker isn't listed in the CoinFacts provenance for that coin, but is listed for Lawrence 4 and 5, which seem to be the coins purchased from Daggett in 1954.

    Seems like an interesting mystery to figure out.

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gillio paid $120,000 for it about three years ago after aquiring it from Earl Parker, Oakland, Calif., for another private collector.“

    I read this as saying that Gillio bought it from Earl for another collector, and then later purchased it for himself.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    James G. Johnson of Coin World’s Collectors Clearinghouse department did a lot of research on 1894-S Dimes because he owned one of the circulated pieces. I knew him for a few years before he retired and I started working for Clearinghouse. He sold it before I got there, however.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 11:40PM

    It turns out "(1930-1964)" date range is for the time he was married to Irene Helen Laramee.

    Earl Albert Parker was actually born in on July 9, 1908 and died on February 7, 1964.

    Here's Earl's gravestone and FindAGrave.com page, showing him to be part of the Greatest Generation.

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3618375/earl-albert-parker

    Thanks for pointing this out @ColonelKlinck and @MidLifeCrisis!

    It's great to correct this information and get his middle name!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 11:38PM

    @scubafuel said:
    Gillio paid $120,000 for it about three years ago after aquiring it from Earl Parker, Oakland, Calif., for another private collector.“

    I read this as saying that Gillio bought it from Earl for another collector, and then later purchased it for himself.

    If Ron Gillio purchased it directly from Earl, it seems he may have done it early in his career given that Earl Parker passed in 1964. Ron's biography says he set up his own shop in 1971 and has been in numismatics for 45 years.

    https://gillio.com/about-ronald-j-gillio/

    Ronald J. Gillio said:
    About Gillio Rare Coins

    Gillio Coins, Serving Santa Barbara County since 1971. We are the areas oldest gold buyer and will pay top dollar for your unwanted gold, silver, and platinum. We are also Santa Barbara’s oldest precious metal dealer, specializing in gold, silver and platinum Bullion. Due to years of wholesaler relationships, we are able to offer very competitive pricing for all precious metals.

    Ronald J. Gillio is an internationally renowned rare coin dealer, auctioneer, author and researcher who has been active and influential in numismatics for more than 45 years.

    At the same time, it's curious neither the CoinFacts nor Heritage provenance chains show Gillio and Parker owning the same specimens. So if Gillio owned the Newcomer specimen as listed in both chains, should Parker be in that provenance chain as well, or did Gillio end up with either of the Parker-Simpson or Parker-Buss specimens?

  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,677 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    It turns out "(1930-1964)" date range is for the time he was married to Irene Helen Laramee.

    Earl Albert Parker was actually born in on July 9, 1908 and died on February 7, 1964.

    Here's Earl's gravestone and FindAGrave.com page:

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3618375/earl-albert-parker

    You found him! His death certificate lists his occupation as a Numismatist and his business as Coin Gallery.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,859 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 11:45PM

    @DisneyFan said:

    @Zoins said:
    It turns out "(1930-1964)" date range is for the time he was married to Irene Helen Laramee.

    Earl Albert Parker was actually born in on July 9, 1908 and died on February 7, 1964.

    Here's Earl's gravestone and FindAGrave.com page:

    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3618375/earl-albert-parker

    You found him! His death certificate lists his occupation as a Numismatist and his business as Coin Gallery.

    Yes. It's amazing to have all these records! It's great that it says Numismatist for his occupation.

    The death certificate also shows that he died of a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, to answer the "how did he die?" question above.

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