Coins Certified as of 1/20

Awards 2012

2002 Winners
2003 Winners
2004 Winners
2005 Winners
2006 Winners
2007 Winners
2008 Winners
2009 Winners
2010 Winners
2011 Winners
2013 Winners
2014 Winners
2015 Winners
2016 Winners
Expert Comments:
Over the years, the PCGS Set Registry has grown from a mere 1,700 sets registered at the end of 2001, to over 63,000 today. With that, the number of awards we issue has grown. It's crazy for us to only recognize a few great collections, when there are hundreds of outstanding sets registered. And so, this year, 157 sets and collections are receiving major awards and 2,503 sets are receiving a "Best of the Registry" nod. To all winners we say, “Congratulations!” And to all participants in the PCGS Set Registry we admire your passion and hope that you continue to enjoy your pursuit of numismatic excellence. Thanks for sharing your wonderful collections with us!

David Hall
Collectors Universe President, PCGS Founder

Best Classic Sets (1792 to 1964) of 2012

Simpson - Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes (1943-1944)
This is a phenomenal set of coins, put together by the super-collector "Simpson" (who also owns the finest set of U.S. Patterns, $10 Indians, Half Dimes, and so much more). Simpson's Off-Metal Lincoln Cent Set includes six coins that everyone dreams of owning: 1943 Bronze Cent, 1943-D Bronze Cent (UNIQUE!), 1943-S Bronze Cent, 1944 Steel Cent, 1944-D Steel Cent, and 1944-S Steel Cent. No one in numismatic history has ever completed this short, but very sweet, set.

High Desert - Complete U.S. Type Set (1792-1964)
The High Desert collection continues its dominance of the type set category and receives its eleventh consecutive award. This complete collection has superb quality coins, as its 65.09 average certainly attests. Trying to increase such a high quality set is extremely difficult; as coins that would improve this impressive set do not appear in the marketplace with frequency and they usually cost a bundle. Its induction into the Hall of Fame last year was most deserving for this incredible collecting accomplishment.

AlconCommemoratives Complete Set, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1892-present)
Alcon's complete commemorative set came onto the scene in 2008 ranked #5. Slowly and methodically the set has increased in size and ratings. This year, although not quite complete at 99.74%, the set is certainly worthy of its 2012 gold award, besting two other gold winners in January of this year. Congratulations! 
ESM  - U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties (1793-present)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
From Half Cents through Small Cents, from the first US coins to the present, the ESM Collection is replete with rarities and coins with special pedigrees, including Eliasberg, Pittman, Naftzger, etc. It is 99.5% complete from 1793 to date. Its weighted GPA of almost 61 is all the more impressive by virtue of it containing 46 eighteenth-century coins. Receiving his sixth consecutive award, and with a Set Rating gap of over 42 points over the second place set, the quality and breadth of this Hall of Fame collection is simply amazing.

Sonoran Monsoon – U.S. Dollars Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1794-Present)
U.S. Dollars Complete Set with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1794-present)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection that is ranked #1.)
The size and scope of a complete set of U.S. dollar coins including major varieties boggles the mind.  There are over 216 coins just in the Sacagawea and Presidential Dollars alone!  Not to mention the Bust, Seated, Morgan and Peace dollars.  With a total of 471 coins, this set is 99.36% complete, lacking only the 1794, 1851 and 1870-S.  Kudos for undertaking and having virtually completed such a monumental set.
Jim McGuigan - Half Cent Collection (1793-1857)
(Note that the award includes 2 sub-sets in this collection.)
Jim McGuigan has been a Half Cent collector for decades and has exhibited numerous examples of his superb collection at many coin shows over the years. As a dealer, he attends most major coin shows, which allows him the access to many high quality Half Cents. Jim received Hall of Fame recognition in 2004 and these are his ninth consecutive awards for his amazing collection. Starting with the finest-known 1793 Half Cent, and including the finest known 1794s and 1795 Lettered Edge (in MS-67), the second-finest known 1796 No Pole and a plethora of other superb examples, this collection clearly shows the results of time, patience and discrimination.
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection.)
This is the sixth straight year that the ESM Collection of Proof Half Cents has taken top honors, but this year he is also being awarded for this circulation strikes in this category. ESM is only missing one date in his Major Variety Proof set. Many of the coins in this collection are Top Pop for the date, numerous ones unique for the grade. A set rating of 65.24 sets a mark that will be difficult to eclipse. Last fall, the collector completed his circulation strike set with an equally impressive number of Top Pops. Norweb, Eliasberg, and Pittman are among the pedigrees included in this collection. While these coins are part of the ESM award-winning Half Cent & Cent Major Variety complete set, the Half Cents are impressive on their own.

Cardinal Collection - Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1814) 
Even though this is a basic set, and does not include varieties, that is more than made up for in the absolutely breathtaking quality of this assemblage.  What else can be said about a set that contains a Chain Cent in MS-65BN, a Wreath Cent in MS-69BN and a 1794 Liberty Cap cent in MS-67RB!  Truly a set for the connoisseur.

ESM - Large Cents with Major Varieties (With the four Ultra Rarities), Circulation Strikes and Proof (1793-1857)
While a complete collection of Large Cents in MS and Proof would be a major undertaking, when it includes the 1793 Strawberry Leaf Wreath Cent, the 1794 Starred Reverse, the 1795 Reeded Edge and both 1795 Jefferson Head Cents, all you can say is “wow.”  The few “missing” coins are Coronet Proofs, which turn up say…about two or three times per century.
Twin Leaf Collection - Large Cents, Proof (1817-1857)
This marks this collector's third major award. Early Large Cent Proofs are incredibly rare and popular, especially those dates prior to the 1840s. This set is over 91% complete and has a weighted GPA of almost 65, an incredible accomplishment. A quick perusal of the inventory listing shows more than a few, unique Top Pop coins, plus others that are very close. We enjoyed spending time looking at the wonderful photographs of the Twin Leaf coins. Over two thirds of the coins in the set are at the top of the population listing, with none higher.
While only a small set in quantity of coins, the quality here speaks for itself. MS67 Flying Eagle cents are virtually unknown (Only one Mint State and one Proof have been graded in over 25 years) so the set rating of 65.5 approaches perfection. A tenth consecutive win for this outstanding set.
The Castle Collection - Indian Cents, Circulation Strikes (1859-1909)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
How about starting off with a 100% complete set of Indian cents, with varieties, in an average grade of 67.48? If this is a start, where does it finish? Thirty-six coins in this set are already un-improvable. Kudos to “The Castle Collection.” A well deserved third award and an induction into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame this year!

Tom Bender - Indian Cents Basic Set, Proof (1859-1909)
Tom’s set of Proof Indians is virtually ALL cameo, and boasts a weighted GPA of 68.5.  Quality like this comes along VERY infrequently, and we are pleased to award him his third Gold Star award, and fifth award total for this most impressive set. 

ESM - Indian Cents with Major Varieties, Proof (1859-1909)
The ESM Proof Indian Cent set includes the extraordinarily tough 1864-L, which is enough to draw the respect of small cent collectors everywhere. It is of course, 100% complete, and with a set rating of 67.89, will be tough to improve on as 63% of the coins are already top pop examples. Shown on the set registry listing for this set are BOTH 1877 cents in PR67RD.  Congrats on winning the first of what will likely be numerous Gold Star awards.
The Thomas Irwin Collection - Lincoln Cent Collection (1909-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 15 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
The Thomas Irwin Collection is one of the finest collections of Lincoln Cents ever assembled. It contains every date in Mint State and Proof, virtually every major variety, and all in superb condition. In fact, the Weighted GPA for the set is 67.95 and it is just over 97% complete. The true measure of this set is the huge number of zeroes in the Pop Higher column! This collection was first listed in the Registry in 2009 and immediately received Hall of Fame recognition. This is his fourth consecutive Gold Star award, and is more than well-earned!

Wineguy - Shield Two Cents, Circulation Strikes (1864-1872)
Shield Two Cents Classic Set, Circulation Strikes (1864-1872)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
Wineguy was a new entrant last year winning his first Gold Star for Best New Set. Last year we thought a set rating of 67.17, with 6/10 of the coins at the top of the pop charts, would be tough to improve. We were wrong. This collector's set rating is now an impressive 67.33. Impressive!
This nearly un-improvable set includes both Large and Small Motto 1864s, both Plain and Fancy 5 1865s, (both in MS66RD!) and the 1867 Doubled Die Obverse. Every issue in the set has “0” pop higher, save for three. Quite possibly the finest Two Cent Piece set ever assembled. Another three-time winner for a most deserving effort.
David Poole - Three Cent Nickels, Proof (1865-1889)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
With an average grade of 67.94, it’s tough to imagine a better set. In fact, EVERY coin in the set except for two has a Pop Higher of “0”. An eighth consecutive award for an amazing accomplishment and induction into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame this year.
Simpson - Three Cent Silvers, Circulation Strikes (1851-1872)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
A new player two years ago, and we cannot recall a more auspicious entry! The Simpson Collections amaze. The very tough 3 Cent Silver Pieces are represented by an astonishing group that includes no fewer than 14 pieces in MS67 or higher with nearly 20 finest-knowns. Despite their small size, these coins are breathtaking jewels in this condition. A third Gold Star award for this collecting tour-de-force.
Laura Sperber (Legend Collection) - Three Cent Silvers, Proof (1854-1873)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This set was purchased intact last year, and now receives its fourth award. It is 100% complete and has a set rating of 66.7. At the threshold of perfection.
Mitch Green continues his domination of this category with a variety set of Shield Nickels that comes close to perfection (only two dates need to be upgraded to achieve all Top Pops) and his sixth consecutive Gold Star award. Keep up the good work Mitch!

Just Having Fun - Shield Nickel Collection (1866-1883)
Every single coin in the Mint State set (Set rating of 66.19) is a Top Pop, including two coins that are unique for the grade. Hence, at present, it is unimprovable. That's quite an accomplishment in a series where there is a lot of enthusiasm and competition. The proofs have only two coins graded higher (1870 & 71) making the owner of these two sets TWO coins away from having the finest set of Shield Nickels, both Mint State and Proof, that can be assembled. This is the sixth Best Classic award for these outstanding sets of Shield Nickels which is why the set is being inducted into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame.
With a jaw dropping set rating of 67.87, this set borders on perfection. Only five coins could be improved, and this marks his 10th year in the top spot in the category. We’re proud to award him his third Gold Star.
The Gately Collection - Buffalo Nickels with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1913-1938)
The Gately Collection of Buffalo Nickels is a most impressive accomplishment, featuring the finest known 1916 Doubled Die and the 1918/7-D.  More impressive, might even be the fact that 36 of the coins sit at the top of the population, which for a series such as Buffalo nickels, is no mean feat. Our congratulations on a second Gold Star, and fifth consecutive “win” in the category.  Needless to say, this set is 100% complete and boasts a set rating of 65.76.

Gerald Forsythe - Buffalo Nickel Collection (1913-1938)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Gerald Forsythe has long been the guy to beat in Buffalo Nickels and this year he is again recognized an eighth consecutive time for a set that averages 66.53. That is a singular achievement when one comes face-to-face with the poor quality and luster of some of the branch mint coins. Only a small handful could be improved! The Proofs are as fine a set as can be made, with all eight coins being either finest known or tied for that honor. The set rating of 68.2 says it all. A Hall of Fame set, and an unprecedented 11th consecutive win in the category. Congratulations to Mr. Forsythe for continuing to dominate in an area of great interest and competition.
Simpson - Capped Bust Half Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1829-1837)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
Yet another wonder-set, Simpson’s Capped Bust Half dimes are complete (naturally) and over half the set grades MS67 or higher. Words fail us in describing the quality of this three-time Gold Star award winning set. And how lucky we are that he has shared high-resolution photos of all his coins with us. Check them out if you haven’t already!
Simpson - Liberty Seated Half Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Simpson’s entry into the set registry two years ago made quite a splash, and with sets like this, it’s no surprise. A 100% complete set of Seated Half Dimes, with major varieties and the ultra rare 1870-S, with a rating of 65.21 including no fewer than fifty “top pops.” Tell me that’s not tough to do!
Gerry Fortin - Liberty Seated Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
(Note that the award includes the 5 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Gerry Fortin is an expert's expert and a deserving annual winner for this series. He has put together the finest collection of Liberty Seated Dimes ever assembled and is the foremost expert in die varieties for this lengthy series. He continually updates his collection and shares his knowledge of this series. His website at http://www.seateddimevarieties.com/ is the definitive reference work for this series. What can we add but his eighth consecutive Gold Star award?
Simpson - Barber Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
Mr. Simpson’s set of Barber Dimes is the Number One Finest Set of All Time, and with a set rating of 66.67, is unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon.  Adding to that assertion is the fact that 54 of the 76 coins show a “0” in the “Pop Higher” column.  A third Gold Star award for a tremendous collecting effort.
Gerald Forsythe – Mercury Dimes FB, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
(Note that the award includes the 4 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
After having conquered Buffalo Nickels, Gerald has moved on to Mercury Dimes, and what an effort!  Including varieties, the set is 100% complete and all sport Full Bands.  This yields an astounding set rating of 69.03.  If that’s not enough, look at it this way:  Of the 80 coins in the set, 58 have a pop higher of zero!  A finer set would be difficult to imagine, much less put together. A well deserved Gold Star award for this new set.

Driftwood - Twenty Cents with 76-CC, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
The addition of the Norweb 1876-CC 20 Cent piece turns this from a very nice set of four coins into a monster, five-piece set. Every coin is a Gem and the 1876-CC (MS66), from the Norweb collection, is one of the two finest examples graded thus far by PCGS. This is the seventh Best Classic award for this set.
Just Having Fun - Standing Liberty Quarters FH, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This is the tenth consecutive year the Just Having Fun collection of Standing Liberty Quarters has garnered top honors. Now a Hall of Fame winner as well, with a weighted GPA/Set Rating of 68.22 and 92.11% FH, improving this masterpiece of collecting is a challenge – not to mention that 76% of the coins have no examples graded higher.  An awesome accomplishment in one of the nation’s great coin designs and most popular series.
Mitchell J. Spivack (Wondercoin) - Washington Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1932-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 7 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
While a complete date and mintmark set of Washington Quarters in 67.18 is tough enough, when you add in the five Double Die Obverses and the two 1950 over-mintmarks, the task becomes immeasurably tougher. Replete with “finest knowns” Mitch’s effort is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Congratulations on a third Gold Star award and PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame induction!
Dale Friend - Early Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1794-1839)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
After dominating the Early Half Category for the past six years with a blue star award, we awarded the first of three Gold Stars two years ago. We think a 92% complete collection of halves from 1794 to 1839 with a weighted GPA of 58.67 is pretty neat. The pair of Draped Bust Small Eagle halves in AU50 are reason enough for admiration – and we’re not even mentioning the 1794 in Mint State!
Dr. and Mrs. Peter K. Shireman Collection - Barber Half Dollar Collection, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
At 100% complete and a set rating of 66.09, we congratulate Dr. Shireman on his second Gold Star award. Check out the photos for some gorgeously toned Barber Halves as well as some fascinating reading on the entire set, as well as each date and mint provided by Dr. Shireman. Collectors that generously share both their sets and knowledge, are to be admired and thanked by all.

Kevorkian Collection - Barber Half Dollars, Proof (1892-1915)
A complete Proof Barber Half collection with a set rating above MS68! What can we add, other than a gold star and our kudos. Four absolute finest knowns (pop 1, none higher) make this award a slam dunk for the second year in a row.
Gerald Forsythe - Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection (1916-1947)
(Note that the award includes the 4 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
It should be evident to all at this point that Gerald Forsythe is among the greatest collectors ever of early 20th century coinage.  This magnificent collection of Walking Liberty Half Dollars is back for its fourth Best Classic Award. There are so many wonderful coins in this set that it's hard to know where to start. Coins such as the unique Top Pop 1919-D in PCGS MS66, the 1921-D and 1921-S in MS66 and the equally impressive 1935 in PCGS MS68 make this a set for the ages. The overall GPA is over 66.5 and 47 of the 66 coins sit at the top of the population tables. The Proof set weighs in with a GPA of 68.11, and includes the ONLY proof Walker graded PR69 by PCGS as well as a PR68+! It cannot be improved, as no date has any coin graded higher.

tradedollarnut - Trade Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1873-1878)
Of all the sets in the registry, none so dominates its category as this.  Get this:  Of the 17 coins in the set, 15 have a pop of 1, with NONE HIGHER.  One other has a pop of 2, with none finer, and the last coin has a pop of 1, with 1 higher.  What can we add, other than a Hall of Fame award and a second Gold Star award for 2012.  We could go on and on, but we’d prefer you go to the Set Registry page for this incredible set, have a look at the photographs, and read about the coins in the collector’s own words. Doesn’t get any better.  Promise.
California I - Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
(Note that the award includes the 5 sub-sets in this collection that are ranked #1.)
The California Collection of Morgan Dollars is an incredible accomplishment because of the extreme difficulty in dominating an area of such intense interest and competition. Over the years, several collectors have built spectacular collections of Morgan Dollars, or have had individual coins of exceptional quality (the name Jack Lee and the Norweb family come to mind). However, the California Collection beats them all, (Set Rating 65.07 and lacking only the 1899-micro O) it continues to reign as the finest Morgan Dollar set of all time. A Hall of Fame set, and receiving its 11th annual award!
David T. Miller and C. Ash Harrison (DT Miller by Ashmore) - Morgan Dollars Prooflike, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Back for its fourth annual Best Classic Award, the Miller-Harrison set of Prooflike Morgans is the result of a collaborative effort of an eager collector and an aggressive dealer, which illustrates the importance of getting the right help when building your collection. The end product is the finest collection of Prooflike Morgan Dollars ever assembled. As great as this set is, the owner/dealer will take any opportunity to improve the set, so we expect this set to improve and become even more important in the future. The Prooflike Only with Major Varieties set currently 96.43% complete, with a Weighted GPA of 66.7 and with 87.04% of the Prooflikes DMPLs.

California I -
Peace Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1921-1935)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Like his Morgan Dollar set, the “California I” Peace Dollar set is also the finest ever assembled. Every coin but six is a Top Pop and the set features the only MS67 1923-S and the only MS66 1928-S. The quality of this set is unmatched in numismatic history and is a perfect continuation of California I's spectacular set of Morgan Dollars. To give you some idea of the incredible quality of this Hall of Fame set, the entire column of “Pop Higher” adds to only 7 pieces. While this can be done occasionally in smaller series, in a popular series such as Peace Dollars it is almost unheard of!  An unprecedented 11th annual award is being given this year. To no one’s surprise, a Hall of Fame set as well.
The Donald A. Kutz $2 1/2 Indian Collection - Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The Donald Kutz $2.5 Indian set wins its eighth consecutive Best Classic set award. All but three of the coins are the finest graded and the set includes the finest MS66+ example of the 1911-D (the Norweb-Bass specimen) the key date in the series and one of the most important gold coins of the 20th century. The set also has the only MS67 example of the key date 1914.  With a Set Rating just north of MS66, collectors of Indian Gold know how tough this accomplishment is.
The “Great Lakes Collection” of three dollar gold pieces is an amazing assemblage of top quality coins. It is the finest known by over full two grade points and blows away the Eliasberg, Bass, and Smithsonian collections! The majority of the coins in this collection (27/40) are Top Pops, including many that are unique for the grade. At 100% complete with a Set Rating of 64.89, this set is fully deserving of its seventh Best Classic Gold Star award.
Tom Bender - $3 Gold, Proof (1854-1889)
$3 Gold with Major Varieties and 1855-S, Proof (1854-1889)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection that is ranked #1.)
With the acquisition of the extraordinarily rare 1855-S Proof $3, Tom’s set now appears for the first time in this new category.  And what a set it is!  As rare as Proof $3’s are in any grade, what about a set that is 95% complete with a weighted GPA of 66.2!  Twenty-four of the thirty-nine coins sit at the top of the pop charts. With pedigrees that include Garrett, Bass and Trompeter, this set is a welcome addition to the Registry and fully deserving of its first Gold Star award.
Like Simpson’s other sets, this one is amazing as well. With fully one third of the coins absolute finest knowns, nearly two thirds “unimprovable” and a Set Rating of 66.36, it surpasses the former champions, Jim O’Neal and the Kutasi Collection. Exactly half of the coins grade MS67 or higher!  The current finest by a wide margin, and fully deserving of its place in the Hall of Fame and its third Gold Star award.
AWA Collection - Liberty Head $20 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
(Note that the award includes the 6 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
At almost 98% complete, this phenomenal set has been decades in the making and ranks as the finest ever assembled. In 2009, PCGS had the pleasure of examining and certifying this set, in preparation for inclusion in the PCGS Registry. To say it was one of the highlights of our numismatic careers was an understatement. There are so many "Finest Knowns" and Top Pops in this set that it defies description. Between the 1850-O and the 1855-S, there is a total of ONE coin PCGS has graded higher than the pieces shown in the set. For a real numismatic treat, check out the images that accompany each of the set composition listings. Its fourth Best Classic award, and more to come.
The addition of the Simpson sets was a major highlight of the Set Registry in 2010, and this Saint Gaudens set explains why. It is 100% complete, and boasts a Set Rating of 66.09 including a 27-D in MS66, a 20-S in MS65, a 30-S in MS66, a 31-P in MS66 and a 29-P in MS66+. We could go on, but you get the idea. Like his other sets, Simpson has generously shared photographs of his coins, and we encourage you to have a look for yourself at what a GEM set of Saint’s looks like.
Paul Denby - Gold Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1903-1926)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The Paul Denby gold commemorative collection is the finest ever assembled. An amazing 10 of the 13 coins grade MS67 and the $50 Pan-Pacs grade MS65 and MS64. This is a small set of big importance. This is his fifth consecutive Gold Star award.

Best Modern Sets of 2012

Goldminer's Collection - Silver, Gold & Platinum Eagle Complete Set, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1986-present)
(Note that the award includes the 4 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
What a fabulous set! Goldminer’s Collection has  an example of every single Mint State and Proof Silver, Gold and Platinum eagle in every possible denomination of $1, $5, $10, $25,  $50 and $100.  This set has definitely taken a lot of time and patience to complete, but in the end, it looks like it all paid off as this collector has one amazing set.

eyeappealing 1 - Lincoln Cents Complete Variety Set, Proof (1950-1958)
Eyeappealing 1 did a fabulous job of finding some great examples of Proof Lincoln cents from the 1950s. His set includes several of the finest coins of Proof Wheat Lincoln cents in existence. Some dates are very rare with Cameo or Deep Cameo surfaces including the 1953 Proof Lincoln cent.  Eyeappealing 1 managed to acquire a 1953 in PR65 with the rare Deep Cameo designation for this very tough issue.

Although not complete, this set demands attention. All but three of the required varieties are registered and considering that the complete variety sets are works in progress with varieties being added as they are recognized by PCGS, makes this accomplishment all the more meaningful. All but two of the varieties are Mint State. Eight of the coins in the set are the finest graded. Congratulations on a great job!

Reynolds - Lincoln Memorial Cents Complete Variety Set, Proof (1959-2008)
We really enjoyed reading Reynold's detailed comments about how he acquired most of his coins. It takes you back to the place where he bought the coin and makes you appreciate it much more. He has built a very fun set with many Proof Memorial cent varieties, some of which are very scarce with less than 5 known. Others are in very high grades and some are the finest grade for that variety. It is clear that it has taken this collector a long time to find every single variety and the effort shows.
The Corso Collection - Jefferson Nickels FS, Circulation Strikes (1938-present)
Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
The Corso Collection continues to dominate in this category, remaining in the top spot ten years in a row! The owner should take pride in orchestrating such a significant set of Jefferson Nickels. Almost every coin has been imaged and displayed very elegantly in his set. Many of the coins are the finest in existence for circulating Jefferson Nickels with Full Steps. We are thrilled to recognize this set for another year.
Now for the fourth year in a row, Steve has remained in the number one spot. He has assembled a high grade set with more than 30 different varieties. Some of the varieties have single digit populations with none finer. The owner of the set has showed a lot of dedication, as he has made several of the varieties and upgrades himself. Last year the set was missing only one elusive variety. This year, the set is complete.
Ray Overby - Jefferson Nickels FS, Circulation Strikes (1965-present)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Ray Overby’s set contains many single finest examples of post-1964 Circulation Strike Jefferson Nickels. 80 of the coins in the set are “Top Pops” and of these coins a number of them have a population of one and with none graded finer. This is a very impressive set of Jefferson Nickels with the Full Steps designation.
Now, for the second year in a row, this set has won a Best Modern Set award. With an improved Deep Cameo designation from 92.50% to 92.68%, the set continues to dominate in the category. Nearly every coin is a “Top Pop.” This set is uniformly beautiful.
ErasmusHall - Roosevelt Dimes FB Collection (1946-present)
Roosevelt Dimes FB with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1946-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 10 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Always improving and clearly dedicated, this collector has strived to reach the very pinnacle of this series. Nearly every coin is imaged and beautifully toned. Lacking only for the 1975 No S Dime in the proof set, the next closest set is points away. Congratulations!
GRFN - Franklin Half Dollars FBL, Circulation Strikes (1948-1963)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
What a monster of a set! The GRFN collection has a coin from every date of the Circulation Strike Franklin Half Dollars in superb condition. Almost every coin is the finest for the grade with the Full Bell Lines designation. Four of the coins have a population of one in MS67 FBL with none being finer. A truly impressive set. GRFN has won a major award for the past six years defeating even the Hall of Fame winning set, JFS some years ago. It appears that GRFN cannot be beaten.
EBL III Collection - Franklin Half Dollars, Proof (1950-1963)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
It doesn’t appear that this Hall of Fame set will ever slip in ranking. When you view this set you can see why it has won a major award every year since 2005. The EBL Collection III of Franklin Half Dollar Proofs is simply amazing. Coins from the 1950s are known to be very scarce with Cameo and even more so with the Deep Cameo designation. However, The EBL Collection has done a tremendous job by acquiring the nicest Franklin Proof examples that are available and placing them in this one set. Every coin is Deep Cameo except for the 1961 Doubled Die Reverse and that coin, graded MS67 Cameo, is the single finest graded. Wow!
The PD Shad’s Complete JFK Collection is another set that continues to dominate year after year. Winning a major award since 2006, one look at the set and you can see why the judges continue to recognize this collector’s achievement. This is an extremely challenging set yet this collector continues to improve it, increasing his set rating every year. Is there still room for improvement? Yes, but not much!
Caleb Clough (The Acadia Collection) - Kennedy Half Dollar Collection (1964-Present)
Kennedy Half Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1964-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 7 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This Young Numismatist has done a wonderful job at building an outstanding collection. Caleb has managed to secure some of the highest graded varieties in existence. Several coins have single digit populations with none being finer. We look forward to see where this collector goes in the future.
Nick Shelton - Kennedy Half Dollar Collection (1964-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 6 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Kennedy Half Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1964-Present)
Like his YN counterpart, Nick’s set, which matches the number one rating of Caleb’s set, is filled with many “Top Pops.” Hailing from the legendary Richard Green collection is Nick’s 1964-D Kennedy Half in MS68 condition with a population of one with none finer… a simply amazing coin.  It has been fun watching these two young and very amazing collectors, Caleb and Nick, compete in this horse race.

Sonoran Monsoon - Susan B. Anthony Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1979-1981, 1999)
Susan B. Anthony Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1979-1981, 1999)
(Note that the award includes the sub-sets in this collection which is ranked #1.)
Although the Susan B. Anthony Dollar is a short set compared to most other U.S. coin sets, this set cannot be taken lightly. The Sonoran Monsoon Set of Susan B. Anthony Dollars contains several of the finest Susan B. Anthony Dollars from circulation. This includes the first year of issue, the 1979-P in PCGS MS68 Pop 1 with none being finer. Imagine the first year the coins were struck. The public was excited about the new coins with tens of millions of them going into circulation. The finest first year issue in existence now resides in this set. Simply amazing to say the least! 
Ted Sierra - Sacagawea Dollar Collection (2000-present)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The Sacagawea Dollar varieties in this set range in grade from 67 to 69 and every single proof is PR70 Deep Cameo. While there are many others competing in this category, Ted’s set ranks well above the rest. Great job!

Sonoran Monsoon - Presidential Dollar Collection (2007-2016)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The Presidential Major variety set requires both Positions, A & B, for each President in circulation strike. In addition, all the proof issues are included. Sonoran Monsoon rose in ranks soon after this set composition was put online and has remained in the top spot with a GPA of 67.66. This collector has treated us with great images of nearly every coin.

James Elsmore (JE) - Presidential Dollars First Day of Issue, Circulation Strikes (2007-2016)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which is ranked #1.)
For the fifth year in a row, James has landed in the top spot. This set is very challenging because not only does it require all the varieties such as the Missing Edge Lettering varieties, but each coin must be First Day of Issue. To top it all, the set continues to expand, adding new issues every year. Is the JE set 100% through 2011? Yes, it is! No other collector in this category comes close. Great job!
J. Michael Halwig M.D. (The Halwig Collection) - Modern Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1982-present)
The Halwig Collection of Modern Commemoratives Circulation Strike Set is completely mesmerizing. For the seventh consecutive year, this collection has dominated. Only one coin in this set, the 2011-S Medal of Honor Congress $1, can be improved.
Another multi-year award winner, Sam’s Complete Modern Set is one fascinating set to say the least. He has every Modern Silver Commemorative coin in mint state and proof condition. Most coins are in perfect MS70 and PR70 Deep Cameo condition. This is a very fun set due to all the different designs. Take a peek. Many of the coins are imaged. Congratulations once again!

Steve & Raquel Garris (The Garris Collection) - Platinum Eagles Complete Set, Proof (1997-present)
The Garris Collection has built a perfect set Proof Platinum Eagles in all four different denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100 coins. There is absolutely no room for improvement in this set, as every single coin has been assigned the coveted PR70 Deep Cameo grade.  In recent years, the reverse design has changed every year which makes this a very fun set to collect. This is definitely a great set containing some of the finest examples in the Proof Platinum coin series.
The Twinight Collection - First Spouse $10 Gold Collection with First Strikes
First Spouse $10 Gold with First Strikes, Proof (2007-2016)
While there are a number of “Best of the Registry” winners all tying with perfect MS70 and PR70 complete sets, no one has completed these sets to include First Strikes. No one, that is, except the Twinight Collection. That means two of every First Spouse in mint state and proof. This collection deserves kudos for doing something no other collector has done.

Best Mint and Proof Sets of 2012

Hansin Collection – 1922 Mint Set with Gold
Under the terms of the Pittman Act, the mint was required to strike a large number of new silver dollars in 1922.  For that reason, no nickels, dimes, quarters or halves were struck that year.  Nor were any quarter eagles, half eagles or eagles made either.  That leaves cents, silver dollars and double eagles as the full compliment of U.S. coinage for the year.  The Hansin collection presents some very nice gem examples from that year, including one of only 7 known MS66 1922-S dollars. A second Gold Star award is made for 2012.

Lifetime – 1931 Mint Set with Gold
Due to the depression, coinage production in the early 1930s was sporadic at best, with many denominations skipping several years between 1930 and 1934.  The Lifetime 1931 Mint Set is notable as it contains both of the double eagles from that very tough year.  We’re pleased to award this set’s first Gold Star.

ErasmusHall - 1968-Present Mint Set
Erasmus Hall is no stranger in the world of coin collecting as he has continued to build some amazing sets over the years. This year is no different and his 1968-Present Mint Set showcases some of the great coins he has acquired. This set has an incredible array of different coins that are almost unknown to mankind. Take a look at his 1993-D Dime in MS67 Full Bands graded PCGS MS67 Pop 1 with none finer. This is just one example of several other coins in his set and that are some of the finest known.

Midsouthcoin - 1861 Proof Set
Back for its second Gold Star, midsouthcoin’s 1861 Proof set offers no fewer than three absolute finest known examples (pop 1, none finer). Two others show none graded higher. With a set rating of MS66, it’s a great registry set and one that will be tough to improve.
Palmetto Galleries - 1881 Proof Set with Gold
How about an 1881 Proof Set with Gold, in an average grade of 67.57? Palmetto Galleries has assembled just such a set, and every coin but one is at the top of the pop charts. Only the $3 can be improved, as the set has ONLY a PR66CA now. The lone PR67CA resides in Tom Bender’s Proof $3 set, also awarded this year. Congratulations on an outstanding set and a third Gold Star award.
Midsouthcoin - 1895 Proof Set
Midsouthcoin’s 1895 Proof Set sports a set rating of 68.4 (by virtue of cameo and deep cameo bonus points) and is easily one of the nicest extant. After three Blue Star awards, we awarded a Gold Star last year, and are pleased to repeat it again this year.
The MKJ Collection1936-Present Proof Set
The MKJ Collection’s 1936-Present Proof Set is one astonishing set. First, this set gives you a glimpse of some of the greatest known examples of the 1930s Proof coins like the 1936 Brilliant Proof cent in PR66 Cameo with none being finer. Then reviewing the coins from the 1940s you’ll find a 1940 Proof cent in 68 with none being finer. Moving to the 1950s there’s 1951 Proof cent in PR68 with none being finer. You’ll continue to be impressed with many other high-grade coins from the 1960s to date. This is definitely one outstanding set!
Elite Cameo - 1950-1964 Proof Set
We feel that this is one of the most important of all modern coin sets and the Elite Cameo set is the best in the Registry. Take a look at this impressive set and take some time to read the owners comments and explanations. We admire this collector's passion and we are very impressed with his results.

Best Colonials, Private Issues & Territorial Gold and Patterns Sets of 2012

Alamo Collection - Early American Coins and Tokens Basic Design Set (1616-1820)
The Alamo Collection contains high-grade examples of virtually every Colonial type.  The weighted GPA of 57.50 means that most of the coins are Mint State, which is quite an accomplishment any time Colonial coins are involved.

Alamo Collection -
Rosa Americana and Hibernia Coinage Basic Set (1722-1724)
This complete set of Rosa Americana types has been upgraded since the last award to a weighted GPA of 62.30.  9 out of the 13 coins in this set are Top Pops!
Russell Augustin of Augustin Capital Management (AUCM) - North Carolina Gold (Bechtler 1831-1850)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
For the fifth year in a row we recognize this impressive set. This is a very difficult set to assemble and this collection is super high grade. Achieving 70.97% completion is quite an accomplishment and we know the owner of this set is working hard to fill holes and upgrade existing coins.
Fall River Collection - Utah Gold (Mormon 1849-1860)
This small, but important, set contains some of the rarest, most interesting coins in American numismatics. Besides being complete, this set contains nice, high-grade Mormon Gold, including a Finest Known 1850 $5 and the uber-rare Mormon $20. This set is an example of what can be accomplished by a serious specialist.
Robert H. Lande - California Fractional Gold - Complete Collection, Period One
(Note that the award includes the 6 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Mr. Lande’s stated goal is “to collect as complete and high grade a set of Period 1 California Small Denomination Gold coins as possible.” Many of the Period One fractional gold coins actually circulated as money in the years following the discovery of gold in California. Thus, most are of extreme rarity and/or they are difficult to locate in high grade. This collection is nearly complete (88.55%, with a GPA of 61.14) and includes several pieces that are represented by only one or two surviving examples. A remarkable set that has won PCGS Set Registry awards every year since 2002…and deservedly so. 

Joe’s BinglesAlaska RRC Bingles (1935)
“Bingles” are interesting tokens used to promote settlement in Alaska.  They are all quite scarce and difficult to locate in high grades.  This set is complete, and five of the eight coins are Top Pops.
Just Having Fun - Philippines Collection (1903-1945)
(Note that the award includes the 16 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
The owner of this incredible collection of Philippines coins admits “this has been one of the hardest collections I have ever put together,” and he has had many award winning sets in the PCGS Set Registry. The rare 1906-S Peso prevents most people from completing this set, but here we have one in MS61. Besides being 100% complete and now including the proofs, this collection is riddled with coins that are unique, Top Pop condition rarities.
The Mark Hagen Collection (boiler78) - Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents - Short Set (1858)
In 1858, the U.S. Mint sold 12-piece sets of Small Cents that included 11 Flying Eagle and Indian Head patterns and a Proof regular issue "Flyer". Mr. Hagen’s is the finest of four complete sets listed in the PCGS Set Registry.

Best Low Ball Sets of 2012

Pocket Piece - Complete U.S. Type Set, Low Ball (1792-1964)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
While most collectors try to find the BEST coins, this collector seeks the WORST examples of each type. Since last year, the owner added a Gobrecht Dollar (a "shameful" Proof-6, now the highest graded coin in this set). If you know of a low grade 1792 Half Disme, you have a ready customer, as that is the one and only coin needed to complete this set. One of the biggest complaints we hear from collectors of Low-Ball sets is the difficulty in finding poor condition coins that are gradeable. To achieve a GPA of 2.03 is incredible.

Friends in Low Places - Liberty Nickels, Low Ball (1883-1912)
What a crappy set...and we mean that in a good way! Not only is this set 100% complete but it has an incredibly low GPA of 1.79, down from last year's 1.88. We like the owner's comment: "Imagine all the places these "Friends" have been and the happiness they gave when they were spent." Collecting is not just about coins, but the stories they tell.

Sourdough (End of the Trail) -
Morgan Dollars, Low Ball (1878-1921)
(Note that the award includes the 5 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Sourdough has definitely taken low ball collecting to a new level. His Morgan sets are not only the lowest grade ever assembled, they are the lowest grade by a large margin. Not only does Sourdough have the “best” low ball Morgan dollar complete basic set (again by a large margin), he also has the best Carson City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Francisco low ball sets. Morgan dollar low ball collecting is quite challenging and Sourdough has done a remarkable job of building his low ball sets.

Jimmy Austin's Best of the Worst - Peace Dollars, Low Ball (1921-1935)

Like the Morgan set, the Peace dollar set is very challenging when you get to the really low grades. This set has an average grade of 1.47 and no coins in the set are higher than FR02!

Not Mint To Be--Pocketpiece Commemoratives - Silver Commemoratives 50 Piece Type Set, Low Ball (1892-1954)
A nearly impossible set to complete in super low grade as many of the 1934-1938 issues were not circulated at the time of issue. The 50 piece silver commem type set is one of the “kings” of low ball collecting and this set is the “best” we’ve ever seen. Pocket piece continues to work on his set and downgrade wherever possible. This year, the GPA is a measly 12.49. If you want to see a truly "beautiful" coin, check out the Monroe in P01.

Best Everyman Sets of 2012

Mi¢hael Hassler, Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired Combat Air Crew Member & Vietnam Veteran - Everyman Indian Cents (1859-1909)
Everyman Sets are a relatively new category and include only circulated examples. A perfect score is a GPA of 58 (the highest grade assigned to circulated coins by PCGS). This set is 100% complete and 100% perfect. We know how difficult it is to complete sets like this...we've had customers tell us they would accept an AU58 grade on an otherwise Mint State coins (which, of course, we will not do). Sergeant Hassler has completed the very difficult mission of ferreting out the right coins. Congratulations.

Joseph M. Wojteczko (Beancounter I) - Everyman Barber Dimes (1892-1916) 
Barber coins are very difficult to find in nice AU condition. Seems like all survivors are in either Good or Mint State condition, with very few in-between. Beancounter has done a great job of building a complete set of AU Barber dimes.

This is a great set of high-grade circulated Standing Liberty Quarter Dollars, all of which (except one...can anyone help a collector out?) are AU58 and almost all of which are Full Head. This set is going to be hard to improve and almost impossible to beat.
Merrill Collection - Everyman Early Half Dollars 1794-1839
This is a really cool set of Half Dollars, including the elusive 1796 and 1797 dates. Though we call this an "Everyman" set, it's a pretty powerful one. This year, the GPA is an impressive 45.61 and every coin sports a legitimate PCGS grade (no Genuines). It takes a real collector to put together a set like this.

Brier Creek Collection - Everyman Barber Half Dollars (1892-1915)
A set of AU Barber half dollars is a very challenging set to put together. The Brier Creek Everyman Barber half dollar set is our “best” Everyman set and very well displayed. A truly beautiful set.

Ted Wydeven, Sr. (T&JW) - Everyman Walking Liberty Half Dollars (1916-1947) 
This set is 100% complete and every coin is a PCGS AU58. This is a consistent quality, totally complete set and a significant Everyman accomplishment.

The Hoosier Collection - Everyman Morgan Dollars (1878-1921)
Morgan dollars are of course one of the most important United States coins and the Hoosier Collection is an Everyman jewel.

Best Asian Sets of 2012

Yomibro's Collection - Republic of China Silver Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1912-1934)
Republic of China Silver Dollars (Yuan) Design Set, Circulation Strikes (1912-1934)
(Note that the award includes the sub-sets in this collection which is ranked #1.) 
Thanks to big improvements in the Chinese economy, collectors in China are eager to repatriate many of their coins. Because of their size, Silver Dollars are eagerly sought-after. Apart from a few issues that enjoyed large mintages, many of the types are very scarce to downright rare, especially in unmarred, choice condition. This combination of demand and rarity has created an explosion in prices and, frankly, finding worthy examples has become nearly impossible. The Yomibro's Collection is a standout. 

GDH - Panda Gold 10 & 50 Yuan (1/10oz), Circulation Strikes (1982-present)
This is a complete set of 1/10 ounce gold Chinese Pandas, and every single one of them is either MS69 or better.  Most of the coins were purchased out of the market, but this collector also “made” a few of his own.

Ted Wydeven, Sr. (T&JW) - Japanese Gold Denomination Set (1870-1932)
This is a complete denomination set of Japanese gold coins, ranging in denomination from the small 1 Yen to the larger 20 Yen. All of the coins are Gems and three are Top Pops. This is the seventh year this set has been honored. 100% complete with an upgraded GPA of 66.00.

Jerusalem Collection - Palestine Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1927-1946)
(Note that the award includes the 6 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
According to the owner, this set began almost 25 years ago, and the set is being improved at every available opportunity.  This year, the completion level increased to 98.31% and the GPA increased slightly to 63.33.  A beautiful set with every coin imaged by “Trueview Photography."

Best European Sets of 2012

Caranett - Belgium Gold 20 Francs Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1865-1882)
This is the third award for this impressive set. The Belgium 20 Franc has long been considered a bullion type coin, thus little attention was paid to collecting high grade examples. Every coin is a Top Pop except for the rare 1869, where only one coin is better.

Caranett - French 20 Francs Gold Angel, Circulation Strikes (1871-1898)
A wonderful set of 20 Francs from the last part of the 19th century. Many of these coins are difficult to locate in any grade, so achieving 100% completion is difficult and doing so with an overall GPA of 64.93 is an even greater feat. Congratulations!

Gray/Huber Dream Set - German States 3 Mark Type Set, Proof (1908-1918) 
This is a virtually complete set of 3 Marks from the German States, lacking only the ultra-rare Saxony ("Frederick the Wise"). The overall condition is simply amazing. Virtually every coin is either a Top Pop, an extreme rarity, or both. This is one of those sets that would be impossible to replicate, even with unlimited resources. As of this writing, the set is 97.22% complete and the overall GPA is 67.48.

The Sheffield Collection XII - German 1/2 Mark Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1905-1919)
This is a date set, where collectors submit the finest date/mintmark combination for a given year. Germany utilized a lot of different mints each year, so a complete collection of Half Marks is very difficult to accomplish (but Sheffield is trying that, as well). This set is 100% complete, with an overall GPA of 66.35.

Larry Gray - German 3 Reichsmark Commemoratives Date Set, Proof (1925-1932)
From the team who built the incredible German States 3 Mark Type Set honored earlier, Larry Gray has now attacked the 3 Mark Proofs from the Weimar Republic.  In typical fashion, he sought out the finest available examples of each type.  In this case, the set is 100% complete, every coin except for two is a Top Pop, and many are unique for the grade.  Each coin in this set has a different commemorative design, making it visually appealing.

Talmar12 - German 5 Reichsmark Potsdam Church without Date, Circulation Strikes (1934-1935)
This is a deceptively difficult set, not to complete, but to locate in high grade.  In this set, 7 of the 12 coins are Top Pops, including an AU58.  The 100% completion and the 62.65 GPA is going to be hard to beat.

Spencer Collection - British Gold Type Set, Elizabeth II (acc. 1952)
This is the fifth annual award for this remarkable collection of British gold coins bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth. Included are many Top Pop coins, plus the incredibly rare VIP sovereign of 1958.

Caranett - British George V Sovereign Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1911-1932)
Sovereigns are very popular coins issued by Great Britain for several countries under the British Empire (one of which was Australia).  This set contains one coin of every year from 1911 to 1932 inclusive.  The average grade is a whopping 64.98, a stunning accomplishment given that virtually every coin in this set is a Top Pop – and many are quite rare, to boot.

The Threadgold Collection - British Elizabeth II Sovereign Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1957-present)
This is a fairly large set that requires constant attention because of the new issue that comes out each year.  This set is 100% complete, with a GPA of 65.10.  Some of the coins are unique, Top Pops!

J. Preidis RN - British Elizabeth II Half-Sovereign Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1982-present)
This set has been on our radar for quite some time, having won awards every year from 2005 to date.  This year, the set gets a Gold Award for being 100% complete, with a GPA of 67.  The owner does a good job of adding to the set each year and/or upgrading when possible.

Sulo Collection - British Complete Third Farthing Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1827-1913)
These tiny copper coins were issued in the 1800s and early 1900s to circulate in Malta.  This set is not only 100% complete, but the GPA is 64.50, ranging in grade from MS62 to MS66.  A very impressive set.

Kristoffer Dorado Zorilla (KDZ) - British Elizabeth II 2 Pounds Silver Britannia Date Set, Proof (1997-present)
This set consists of some very lovely "takes" on Britannia, all in Deep Cameo Proof, and virtually all in Proof 70. Every coin is a Top Pop.

Caranett - Italian 20 Lire, Circulation Strikes (1880-1897)
Caranett has award winning sets in other World gold categories, so a great set like this is not unexpected. As with Caranett's French 20 Francs set, this one is hard to complete and difficult to find in top grades. Here again, Caranett has accomplished 100% completion at a GPA level of 63.87. Most impressive!

The Sheffield Collection XIX - Swiss 1/2 Silver Franc, Circulation Strikes (1850-1967)
This is a remarkable, 100% complete collection in super-high grade. Many of the coins are Top Pops and quite a few are unique for their grade. Assembling this collection was quite an accomplishment.  Last year, we predicted a higher GPA for this set, since the owner is still active and we were right.  The GPA went from  65.24 to 65.28.  Not much of a move, but it’s hard to upgrade the best of the best.

The Sheffield Collection XX - Swiss 1 Silver Franc, Circulation Strikes (1850-1967) 
This is a large, comprehensive set of Swiss 1 Francs, each coin the size of a US Quarter Dollar and often equated with the US Barber Quarter series.  The owner has done a great job of filling in most of the holes with high-grade examples.  As with Sheffield’s ½ Franc set, we expect this set to get better every year.

Bill Goode (WJG Swiss Shooting Talers) - Swiss Shooting Festival Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1842-1939)
An outstanding set of Swiss "Shooters" that is one coin shy of completion and which has an overall GPA of 64.62. This is a remarkably high level considering that most of the coins are from the 1800s! If you're not familiar with these coins, check them out. They are good-sized coins that all have interesting designs.

Rod Moore Schützenfest - Modern Thalers - Swiss Shooting Festival Commemoratives 50 Francs (1984-present)
This set of Swiss "Shooters" reprises a tradition that began in the mid-1800s of celebrating shooting competitions. These are beautiful coins of very low mintage, made for sale to collectors. This set is complete and includes numerous Top Pops and unique condition-rarities. Overall GPA: an amazing 68.82, an improvement over last year’s rating.

Tryzub - Ukraine Commemoratives Gold 2 Hryvni (2003-Present)
Ukraine, like many countries, has issued modern commemorative coins that are popular with collectors. This set is 100% complete and 100% Top Pop!

Caranett - Multi-Country British Commonwealth Sovereigns Complete Set Victoria (Jubilee Head ), Circulation Strikes (1887-1893)
Apart from being a complete set of Victorian sovereigns, this set deserves special recognition because of the difficulty in locating the Australian versions in Mint State. This year, the overall GPA increased slightly to 61.91.

Best North American Sets of 2012

Spencer Collection - Bermuda Hogge Set, Proof (1989-1990)
This modern set consists of eight gold coins, each with a mintage of only 500 pieces. This set caught our eye because the designs on the coin incorporate the rare Somers Island "Hogge" Money from Colonial times.

Northern Lights Collection - Canadian Complete Type Set, Circulation Strikes (1858-1967)
This is an impressive type set from a country with a very active collector market.  This one is 100% complete, but even more impressive because of the high, overall quality.  Many of the coins are Top Pops and unique for the grade.  They are not only best for the date, but best for the type, as well.

Lantern Collection - Canadian Coins Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1858-1952)
We’ve honored this set ten years in a row. A walk through this set is a journey through some of the most amazing Canadian coins ever assembled. Previous owners of some of the coins include Norweb, Pittman and Belzberg, all famous names in the Canadian market. The overall GPA is a remarkable 62.97, a slight improvement over last year’s rating.

Willamette Collection - Canadian Large Cents, Circulation Strikes (1858-1920) 
A phenomenal collection, 100% complete and replete with full Red Canadian Large Cents from 1858 to 1920.  This set is a huge accomplishment that took a lot of effort, stealth, and appreciation for numismatics to complete. Many of the coins are pedigreed to Norm Pullen and the Belzbergs, both familiar names to collectors of Canadian Large Cents.

Lantern Collection - Canadian Elizabeth II Silver Twenty-five Cents, Circulation Strikes (1953-1967)
This set illustrates the difficulty of locating otherwise common coins in high grade, which is one of the important factors in evaluating Registry Sets. The overall GPA is nearly 66 and the set includes numerous, unique Top Pops.

Southern Cross - NF Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1865-1947)
This set, now 100% complete, is a tribute to perseverance and determination. It's also proof that you don't need a million dollars to put together a meaningful collection of coins. This is a comprehensive set that should be even better next year (this year's overall GPA increased to 53.83 from 52.50).

Virginia Transplant- Cuban Peso, Circulation Strikes (1915-1953)
A nice set of the silver-dollar sized coins from this Caribbean island nation. Top grade examples are hard-to-find, but there are several exceptional coins in this set. At 100% complete, this set has an overall GPA of 63.64.

Virginia Transplant - Cuban Complete Gold Peso Set, Circulation Strikes (1915-1916)

This is a complete set of gold coins from Cuba, including all denomination from 1 Peso to the large 20 Pesos. More than half of the coins are Top Pops. An impressive accomplishment.

FABG - Dominican Republic Early Republic, Circulation Strikes (1844-1897)
This set gets an award for being 100% complete, and we’re hoping to see improvement in the coming years.  Many of the coins in this set appear to be common based on catalog values, but are surprisingly difficult to obtain in real life.  That’s the challenge of collecting.
Best Mexican Sets of 2011

mission4906 - Mexican "Caballito" Peso Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1910-1914)
The “Caballito” Peso is a large silver coin issued by Mexico from 1910 to 1914. This set is complete, including the ray varieties of 1911 and the 1913 overdate. 100% complete with a GPA of 61.44.

Eagle1 - Mexican 50 Gold Pesos, Circulation Strikes (1921-1947)
The large 50 Pesos Mexican gold coin has been a favorite with collectors of gold coins for many years, especially so now that the price of gold has reached record levels. This is a remarkable collection of high-end examples, including four that are unique Top Pops.  This year saw a slight improvement in the GPA, making the set even nicer than last year.

Best Oceania Sets of 2012

Caranett - Australian Edward VII Sovereigns, Circulation Strikes (1902-1910)
This set caught our eye because 1) it is complete, 2) the GPA is an impressive 63.52, 3) most of the coins are Top Pops, and 4) there are a lot of gold coins in this set (27 to be exact). We're very impressed for the third year in a row.

The-M - Australian Silver Type Set, Circulation Strikes (1910-1964)
A great set from the land down under, 100% complete and full of Top Pops and condition rarities.  This is a British Commonwealth set, so it has fans from both Australia and Great Britain, who appreciate the difficulty of locating many of the earlier types in Gem condition.  This set will be very difficult to improve or beat.

ggfenton - Australian Pennies Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1911-1964)
This is a big set that is very challenging because of the rarity of the earlier dates in top condition.  There are a few coins that can be improved in this set, but the large number of Top Pops indicate the owner’s determination to build a world-class set.

The-M - Australian Complete Proof Set (1955-1963)
In the past couple of years, Australian Proof coins of the 1955-1963 era have become some of the hottest items in numismatics, jumping dramatically in both demand and value. This set contains a complete set of all denominations and mints, and many of the coins are unique, Top Pops (this year, the overall GPA is 66.40). The significance of this set is that many of the Proof Australian coins on the market have been lacquered, making them essentially ungradable. This collection sets a new, high standard for this popular series.

lovemyfifties - Australian Federation Fifty Cents, Circulation Strikes (2001)
This modern set contains a number of interesting design types.  Here, those designs are represented in superb condition, with all of the coins except one appearing in MS67.

Abuesnell - New Zealand Florin Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1933-1965)
This is a surprisingly difficult set to complete, especially in high grades.  The owner has done a good job of assembling an example of each date in this set, many in Top Pop condition.  This appears to be a resurrection of the Mealin Collection (the source of many of the coins), and we expect further improvements in the future by this aggressive collector.

Best New Sets of 2012

Douglas M. Wright, Jr. - Small Cent Type Set, Circulation Strikes (1856-present)
While a type set of small cents may not appear particularly challenging at first glance, when you consider that aside from the 2009 Bicentennial issue, only 12 coins exist that could possibly upgrade this set, the accomplishment becomes considerably more impressive.  Congratulations to Douglas on an excellent opening entry in this category.

The Twinight Collection - Silver, Gold & Platinum Eagles Complete Set, Proof (1986-present) 
The collector has built a nearly perfect set only lacking a 1995-W $1 Eagle in PR70. Even the 2012 issues are filled. This keeps in line with his First Spouse $10 Gold with First Strikes collection. Nothing but the best for Twinight!

Douglas M. Wright, Jr. - Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1909-Present)
The Lincoln Cent set is perhaps the most widely collected set in the world – certainly in U.S. numismatics. When you consider that over 40% of the coins in this extensive 329 piece set sit at the top of their population charts, you have a most respectable inaugural appearance for this timeless set.  A weighted GPA of 68.50 doesn’t hurt either!

Magic Star Collection - Scarsdale Coin - Three Cent Silvers, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1851-1872)
Three Cent Silvers with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1851-1872)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection that is ranked #1.)
Scarsdale Coin’s opening volley comes in this gem set of trimes - 100% complete in both Proof and Business strikes, with a set rating of 65.18. While currently only a few of the coins sit at the top of the population charts, keep in mind this is a first appearance.  Lots of upgrade potential exists, and we expect to see more from this set in future years.

High Desert - Jefferson Nickels FS Classic Set, Circulation Strikes (1938-1964) 
High Desert has built a great set of circulation strike Jefferson Nickels from 1938 to 1964. Some of the highlights of the set are the 1939-D and 1942-D which are PCGS Secure Plus MS67+ with the Full Steps designation and none graded higher.  In fact, there are numerous MS67 and MS68 examples that have been assigned the single highest grade for the date. This is a great collection which contains some of the finest examples of Jefferson Nickels in existence and the owner should be very proud of such an achievement.

MidwestRareCoins - Liberty Head $10 Gold with Motto Set, Circulation Strikes (1866-1907)
Due to extensive use and melting, quite a few $10 Liberties are unknown in full mint state.  Consequently, the weighted GPA of 50.54 for this 96.58% complete set is pretty impressive!  Can it be improved?  Sure.  And we anxiously await what the future has in store for this new set.

Far East Eagle
- Indian Head $10 Gold Basic Set, Proof (1908-1915)
Proof Gold has long been the caviar of U.S. numismatics, and Far East’s set of Proof $10 Indians is a most auspicious debut in the Registry.  Complete, with a set rating of 65.47, it is already the current finest known set extant.

Bella Collection - St. Gaudens $20 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
St. Gaudens $20 Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection that is ranked #1.)
Containing coins pedigreed to the famous Duckor Saint Gaudens collections, this set is already off to a rather incredible start.  Already 98% complete (lacking only the 1927-D) it boasts a weighted GPA of 65.5 and only has a very few coins that could be upgraded without a major, time-consuming search.

Bruce Young (Bearlyoung) - Silver Commemoratives 144 Piece Mintmark & Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
Like the other new sets this year, here is a set that both debuts with an impressively high set rating (66.52) yet has quite a bit of “running room” to improve.  With only about 10% of the coins at the top of the population charts, this outstanding new set has the potential to become one of the all time great commemorative sets of all time.  And at that, it doesn’t have far to go now! It’s only about ½ grade point behind Bruce Scher’s incredible set.

PMH - Presidential Bronze Medals
The PMH Presidential Bronze Medal White House Collections has a number of Medals in the highest possible grades with 11 being the single finest examples graded. 100% of these bronze medals are red. Every U.S. president is represented which makes this is an interesting and fun set to collect. Medals are seeing a surge in popularity and PMH is at the top of the game.  He also owns all the varieties for this series which can be found in his Showcase set

SunDevilPanda - Panda Gold 5 & 20 Yuan (1/20 oz), Circulation Strikes (1983-present) 
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Chinese coins are now among the most popular of all world coins.  Collectors fight tooth and nail for the gold pandas that were once exported from China but which are now being repatriated.  This set is complete and virtually every coin is a Top Pop.

Mandate Mints! - Palestine Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1927-1946) 
This is a monster set of Palestinian coins that showed up suddenly on the PCGS Set Registry this year.  The statistics show this as being 94.92% complete, but the owner has all the required coins and is simply waiting for a few to cross.  This is a big set full of Top Pop coins, indicating a tremendous effort on the part of the owner.

Best Exhibited Sets of 2012

David Reimer - Trade Dollars Chop Mark Set, Circulation Strikes (1873-1878)
At 100% complete and having received a "Best of the Registry" nod every year since 2008, we felt it was time to acknowledge this collector's achievement in putting together a very difficult and interesting set. Chop Mark Trade dollars hold historic significance and are certainly hard to find in high grades. Every coin in the set is photographed with a complete description which highlights the collector's knowledge of the subject. Congratulations!

Kristoffer Dorado Zorilla (KDZ) - British Elizabeth II 2 Pounds Silver Britannia Date Set, Proof (1997-present)
For the second year in a row, KDZ in being awarded "Best British Set." And, in addition, this year we are also recognizing the effort this collector has taken to add high quality images and descriptions for every coin. Each year, the reverse design of the Britannia changes and KDZ brings those designs to life with his descriptions.

Eagle1 - Mexican Gold 50 Pesos, Circulation Strikes (1921-1947)
Not only does Eagle1 have a phenomenal set, having won gold for the past four years, he has also created a set that is extremely interesting to view online. His set description is a history lesson in itself, and then nearly every coin is displayed with PCGS Trueview images. Each coin's strike is detailed as well. This set is worthy of the two awards it is receiving in 2012.

Best Young Numismatists Sets of 2012

SBJewels - Eisenhower Dollars with Major Varieties, Proof (1971-1978)
The young collector is tied with a number of other adult collectors in 14th place with a set rating of 69. But we liked this YN's spunk and the fact that every coin is imaged. Good job!

Alexander Agrippa Collection - Presidential Dollars Signature Series, Proof (2007-2016)
Here the YN is tied for first place with every single coin grading PR70DC. We look forward to seeing his set with the 2012 additions!

Best of the Registry Winners of 2012

Collectors with the finest current set in each category with at a least 90% completion and in large set compositions those with 200 or more coins registered in one set, will receive a "Best of the Registry" icon by their set listings in the registry. Click here to view a list of those sets which were #1 and and at least 90% complete on 6/29/12 5:00pm EST.  

Ten Year Anniversary Recipients

To celebrate collectors who have won awards for being number one in their category for at least ten years in a row, we recognize their sets with the 10 Year Anniversary icon. To these collectors, you have our thanks for your loyalty and friendship. We appreciate all you do for the PCGS Set Registry. To view a list of these award winning sets, please click here.