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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 49, December 6, 2009, Article 11

QUERY: COIN DEALER JAY PARRINO

Speaking of coin dealers, Alan V. Weinberg writes:

Jay Parrino happened upon the numismatic market from almost total obscurity perhaps 2+ decades ago and fast became the single biggest individual personality in commercial numismatics. To my knowledge, he had not been known in the hobby before his sudden appearance and yet within just a few years was buying major collections like the R.E. Naftzger early dates large cent collection from Eric Streiner for well over $5 million.

He bought and sold only the highest quality American coins at then seemingly outrageous prices. Rumors abounded about his background, his source of funds, his apparent excellent taste in numismatics. And then he suddenly disappeared from rare coins, almost overnight. And re-appeared a few years later then, so I've heard, occupying the same prominent market position in rare comics.

Can anyone expound in detail about this man who came a numismatic blazing meteor and then vanished, only to re-appear elsewhere just as prominently ? What's his background, why'd he suddenly leave numismatics, what's his connection with the mysterious, now deceased Southern Californian Iranian numismatic investor Iraj Sayah?

Interesting topic - I'm sure our readers will have some thoughts. Who can tell us about these gentlemen? Parrino has a connection to one of last week's E-Sylum articles - in 2000 he bought the display of 100 $10,000 bills that stood for almost 50 years at Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. One newspaper article about the purchase describes Parrino as " A former Fremont Street casino worker". -Editor

To read the complete article, see: Coin dealer buys Binion's display (www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-21-Fri-2000/news/12797214.html)

On a related note, Dave Lange writes:

One item from this week's issue caught my attention. It was stated that the million dollar display installed at the Horseshoe Club in 1954 included 100 gold certificates, but this could not have been possible. From 1934 to 1964 it was illegal for individuals to possess gold certificates. Numismatists campaigned for years to get this law overturned, but they were not successful until 1964.

The photo included in The E-Sylum appears to date from the late 1960s, judging by the young lady's hairstyle. When blown up it reveals Federal Reserve notes, with their distinctive bank seals at the left of each note.

Actually, a closer read of the article reveals the answer.

Brown, who had purchased the Horseshoe from Benny Binion in 1953, sold his $1 million display in 1959.

In 1964 Benny Binion, who had by then bought back the Horseshoe from Brown, re-created the attraction with another collection of $10,000 bills.



So .. the display pictures the recreation of the original display, which had earlier been sold and broken up. The recreated version, later sold to Parrino, was made up of Federal Reserve Notes. -Editor

Tom DeLorey also had a nit to pick with the newspaper article we quoted. Below is an excerpt. Tom points out that the date mentioned should be 1949, not 1969:

The Treasury Department stopped distributing $10,000 bills, which featured former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Salmon Chase, in 1969. By 2000 only 340 remained in circulation, making the display the most valuable currency collection in the world, according to experts.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: ARTICLE TRACES HISTORY OF LAS VEGAS' MILLION-DOLLAR MONEY DISPLAY (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n48a17.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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