5 Dollar, Parsons & Co., United States, 1860

5 Dollar, Parsons & Co., United States, 1860

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The other pioneer mint in Colorado was the brainchild of an Indiana metallurgist, Dr. John D. Parsons. He appeared in Denver in the summer of 1858, and soon headed for Oro City with his assaying tools. He set up a business at Tarryall Mines, midway between Tarryall and Hamilton.
John Parsons's chosen trade was now that of coiner. He struck quarter and half eagles, whose obverses depicted a stamping mill, that essential piece of equipment for separating gold from its quartz matrix. A somewhat crude rendition of the American eagle held sway on the reverses of his coins. Parsons's products look primitive compared with Clark, Gruber's wares, and they may have been struck by hand.
However they were created, very few have survived. Six of John Parsons's quarter eagles are known, and only five of his halves.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
John Parsons & Co.
place made
United States: Colorado
place of issue
United States: Colorado
Physical Description
gold (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: 22.2 mm; x 7/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Estate of Josiah K. Lilly
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Josiah K. Lilly Jr. Collection
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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