Dean Parr

Fellow numismatists:

As I write this we are well into the spring run of Iowa coin shows.  I have attended several shows and plan to make it to several more before summer starts.  Be sure to say hello if you see me.

I took my own advice from my last message and gave my oldest grandson a Lincoln Cent Whitman Album.  Wow, was I surprised at his enthusiasm.  I gave him a couple rolls of wheat cents to start with.  I figured that would get him started and he could look through change for the newer coins.  I talked to him a couple weeks later and he was so excited to tell me that had found a couple of his birth year.  I had told him that since he was born in 2009 he had four different designs to find.  His father had given him a 20th century type set folder and a couple of Washington Quarter pages.  He really wanted to start collecting quarters.  His birthday is coming up so I picked a state quarter album for him.  I also have a Jefferson Nickel album ready to go.  I found an 1817 large cent at the Muscatine show that I will give him as well.  That should give him something to do this summer.

Numismatics is all about learning.  When I go to a coin show I am always looking for something interesting that makes me want to know more about it.  Several years ago I bought a Mexican Revolutionary banknote from Brian Fanton.  It wasn't uncirculated, but it had a red over stamp on the back that made me want to know more.  The over stamp reads:

This is a Genuine "Villa" Dollar
Send 50 cents for a complete set of
1, 5, 10, and 20 Peso Notes of Mexico
Revolutionist Currency.
E. W. Harr, Nora Springs, Iowa
"Largest Numismatist Dealer in the West"

Now I really wanted to know who Mr. Harr was.  I searched the internet and found nothing at the time.  However, in January I was giving a presentation on Mexican money to the Cedar Rapids Club and ran across the note again.  So I did another search.  An article popped up from the June 1916 "Northwest Druggist" titled "Pharmacist-Numismatist".  That made my day!

In closing, I look forward to seeing many of you at various shows and meetings in the coming months.

Dean Parr

President, Iowa Numismatic Association