Staff of Numismatists

Scott D. Sparks, Owner, President, Scott is known throughout the industry for his extensive knowledge of the wholesale market's ebbs and flows. He gathers this information as he travels extensively to coin shows throughout the country. His friendly "lets do business manner" helps create a flurry of activity at shows. Scott is a life member of the American Numismatic Association. Scott's diverse businesses have allowed him to obtain valuable management skills which he has incorporated at J. J. Teaparty. Scott's knowledge and experience, together with our team of professional numismatists, offer a bright future for the company.

Dr. Gene Gress, Chief of Operations Officer, Numismatist - Dr. Gress has been an avid coin collector since the age of 6. His collecting interests developed from time spent with his uncle. Gene has a passion for the Morgan dollar series and has discovered scores of new Vam varieties which have subsequently been published. At one time he had one of the finest and most extensive VAM collections in the country. Although Gene's career path took him in a direction other than numismatics, he is a dentist by trade, the skills he acquired on the job were applicable to numismatics as well. He found the skill of paying attention to the smallest detail became especially helpful when looking for minute differences between die varieties. In the past, quite often, Gene was seen helping coin dealers on weekends at local and national shows. He found a way to squeeze in the fun of the rare coin business with his practice of dentistry. Numismatics has always been one of Gene great passions. His enthusiasm over seeing a neat colonial or an important Seated half dollar or a tiny California Fractional, is contagious. He loves them all! Additionally, he is a skilled marksman, sports enthusiast and has been known to own and drive a fast car or two! Gene has also served our great country as an officer in the United States Air Force. We are pleased to welcome Gene to our staff. His extensive knowledge of die varieties, coupled with a keen eye for grading and great work ethic, make him a terrific asset to our staff.

Lance E. Hipps, Senior Numismatist, Lance E. Hipps brings more than 20 years of professional experience and a Legendary DNA to the J.J. Teaparty company. Lance is the son of iconic numismatist, the late Ed Hipps, who was known for his discerning eye and encyclopedic knowledge of U.S. silver type coins, with a specialty in proof and mint state nickel coinage. Lance started his numismatic career as a teenager attending coin shows and auctions with his father. The Dallas, Texas native, always eager to better his numismatic skills, has spent time as a grader with PCGS in Irvine, California. Here, he honed his skills as an expert grader rising to Senior Grader status in a short period of time. In addition to his time with PCGS, Lance worked 10 plus years at Carter Numismatics, a Tulsa based company, achieving a position as Senior Numismatist. Lance has assisted his clients build world-class collections, with a focus on long-term portfolio growth. Lance, at 35 years old, has one of the brightest minds in the numismatic industry today. He has extensive expertise in early U.S. coins, seated and bust coinage, as well as 20th century material. We do not believe there is a series that Lance does not get enthusiastic about. The digital native has an appreciation for the history of the coin industry and brings an innovative eye towards navigating the dynamic numismatic landscape.

Melissa L. Sparks, Comptroller, Melissa has been involved with the record management of several companies. For the past 20 years, she has been handling different aspects of the accounting division of J. J. Teaparty under the tutelage of veteran numismatist, Mike Berton. When Mike retired in June of 2018, Melissa stepped into the comptroller position. Of course, she is pleased to again have Mike as the Senior Advisor!! Since that time, she has been assisting with the transition to the new database and compiling records to ensure future customer accounting is accurate. Melissa is seen occasionally at coin conventions making sure the business transactions are smooth for our wonderful clients.

Gail Watson, Interim Director of Sales and Marketing
Mike Berton, Retired 2020
Miles Coggan, Retired 2012
Edwin Leventhal, 1930-2020, The founder and entrepreneur of J. J. Teaparty, Inc., who established the company in 1957.