U.S. & World Coin News and Articles

PCGS Plans 'Worst of the Worst' Morgan Dollars And Superb, Historic Assay Medals Displays At ANA

Two extremely difficult to assemble numismatic collections that are the finest of their kinds in the PCGS Set Registry® will be displayed for the first time in public by Professional Coin Grading Service (www.pcgs.com) at the upcoming American Numismatic Association 2014 Chicago World's Fair of Money, August 5 - 9.

1878 8T $1 PCGS PO-1
Click to enlarge

The superb quality "Numismatic Americana Reference Collection" of Medals of the United States Assay Commission and the "End of the Trail VIII Collection" of Morgan dollars with the lowest grade point average in the "Low Ball" registry will be exhibited at the PCGS booth (#701) at the ANA convention.

The all-time finest registry set of historic U.S. Assay Commission medals of 1860 to 1977 is owned by PCGS Authorized Dealer Bill Shamhart of Numismatic Americana, Inc. in New Jersey. The set has a Mint State weighted grade point average of 62.345.

The Assay Commission was established in 1792 to supervise the annual testing of gold and silver coinage produced by the United States Mint to ensure that the metal content met specifications. The commission members appointed each year were private citizens including numismatists.

Medals were produced for commission members every year from 1860 through 1977, except during the Civil War era, 1862 -1866, and in 1954.

"Most U.S. Assay medals are rare because they were only issued in very limited quantities, usually from about 50 to 200 of each. They were struck in various sizes ranging from 33 millimeters in diameter, a little larger than a modern half dollar, to 76 millimeters, about twice the size of a Double Eagle. There's also a vast array of interesting and beautiful designs in the series. PCGS recently began authenticating and grading these important medals," explained PCGS President Don Willis

PCGS has produced a brochure about U.S. Assay Commission medals in the Numismatic Americana Reference Collection featuring illustrations of Shamhart's ten favorite medals. Copies of the brochure will be available free while supplies last at the PCGS booth at the ANA convention.

1860 Assay medal PCGS SP64BN
Click to enlarge

The entire collection can be viewed online at www.pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=118273.

PCGS also will display at the 2014 ANA World's Fair of Money the lowest graded basic set of Morgan Dollars.

"The appropriately named 'End of the Trail' Morgan dollar collection has a Poor weighted grade point average of only 1.130. It is the all-time finest, or in this case, the worst-of-the-worst basic Morgan dollar set in the Low Ball category. While collectors have a lot of fun with the Low Ball sets, remember that it often is just as difficult and exciting to build a low grade set as it is to assemble a high grade collection," said Willis.

Free, educational brochures about this collection will be available at the show while supplies. The brochure includes illustrations of the top ten favorite low-grade Morgan dollar coins of the set's owner, collector Mike Hoyman of Alaska.

Hoyman's number one favorite is an 1878 eight tail feathers variety that is missing more than 99 percent of the obverse but has enough reverse design remaining to distinguish the eight feathers. It is graded PCGS PO-1.

PCGS authenticators were unable to determine the specific VAM variety for that coin and some others in the collection because the grades are so low. Of the 97 coins in the set, 87 of them are graded Poor (PCGS PO-1) and the other 10 are graded Fair (PCGS FR-2).

The entire End of the Trail VIII Collection can be viewed online at www.pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=82663.

"PCGS launched the Low Ball registry category in 2007 as a fun and challenging way for collectors to compete to see who has the lowest graded coins. It's much harder than you would think, but there are now 825 registered Low Ball sets of U.S. coins," said BJ Searls, Collectors Universe Set Registry & Special Projects Director.

The PCGS Set Registry was established in 2001 and now hosts over 70,000 U.S. and world coins sets. For additional information about PCGS and its services, visit www.PCGS.com or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

PCGS Library