2002 Award Winners
2003 Award Winners
2004 Award Winners
2005 Award Winners
2006 Award Winners
2007 Award Winners
2008 Award Winners
2009 Award Winners
2010 Award Winners
2011 Award Winners
2012 Award Winners
2013 Award Winners
2014 Award Winners
The criteria for entry into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame includes set popularity, difficulty, grade average, completion percentage, domination, and degree of competition within the set category.
Complete U.S. Coin Collections
George H. Clapp
George Hubbard Clapp was born in 1858 and died in 1940. In numismatic circles, he is most famous for his reference books on U.S. Large Cents and the massive variety collection of U.S. Large Cents he donated to the American Numismatic Society (promised in 1937 and finally delivered in 1946). Outside of numismatics, Clapp is best-known as one of the founders of ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America). George Clapp has been listed incorrectly as John M. Clapp’s younger son, but George has no direct connection to the remarkable coin collection formed by John M. Clapp, later willed to his son, John H. Clapp, which later formed the core of Louis Eliasberg, Sr,’s collection. George obtained many of his Large Cents from his younger brother, Charles E. Clapp, who obtained them by private treaty from the Col. James W. Ellsworth collection in 1923. A year later, because of financial difficulties, Charles E. sold his Large Cents to his older brother, George, who built on and expanded the collection. Clapp’s collection was complete by the collectible varieties later defined by Dr. William H. Sheldon and his name appears consistently among the owners of many of the very best Large Cents.
Specialized Coin Collections
Dan Holmes – Large Cent Collection
Among the great names for contemporary collectors of early copper is Daniel Holmes, who from 1974 through the early 2000s, assembled one of the finest collections of Large Cents ever. A major variety set for early Cents must surely be one of the greatest challenges in numismatics, as it contains no fewer than four great rarities; the Strawberry Leaf Wreath Cent, the 1794 Starred Reverse, the 1795 Reeded Edge and the two 1795 Jefferson heads. Dan was able to complete the 1793-1814 Variety set in fine fashion, achieving a set rating of 45.95. While that may not sound extremely high, it is! A number of the coins do not exist in mint state (or even a high circulated grade) so one must dismiss the idea that ratings in the high 50s or 60s are even possible for this set. Of the 67 coins in this set, 40 of Dan's coins were at the top of the population. Many of his coins were pedigreed to some of the finest collections of the late 19th and 20th centuries, including Joseph Mickley, W. Elliot Woodward, Thomas Elder, David Proskey, Henry Hines, William Sheldon, Col. E.H.R. Green, Dr. George French and Howard Newcomb. Holmes' interest in Large Cents extended well beyond the early dates, and his collection included both the middle dates (1816-1839) as well as late dates (1840-1857). Due to health issues, Dan sold his magnificent collection in several sales by the Goldbergs, held between 2009 to 2011.
Dr. Charles Link – Capped Bust Half Dollars
Capped Bust Half Dollars by Overton All Varieties and Die States, Circulation Strikes (1807-1836)
(Note that the award includes the 5 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This set receives our highest honor this year with its induction into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame. With a daunting 610 coins needed for completion this set this set achieves an incredible 97.05% completeness with an amazing grade average of 58.95! The set includes both die states of the very rare 1817/4 including the finest known example. The commitment needed to assemble a set of this magnitude is very impressive and serves as an example of one of the most difficult challenges in U.S. Coin collections. Chuck is a true CBH nut! His passion and commitment are amazing. As great as his collection is he isn't done yet and has more surprises in store for us!
Complete U.S. Coin Collections
William Cutler Atwater (2003)
Can you even imagine a 1793 Wreath cent in PCGS MS68RD? This is but one of the coins that highlighted the marvelous collection of William Cutler Atwater. B. Max Mehl sold his collection in 1946 and the catalog still makes great reading today, even though the prices realized will make you yearn for a time machine. Both the 1884 and 1885 Trade dollars from the Eliasberg collection traced their pedigrees to Mr. Atwater's collection, as do many of the other most significant coins of today.
F.C.C. Boyd (2002)
His holdings were billed as the "World's Greatest Collection" when they were sold in 1945-46. If you see the pedigree WGC it refers to this magnificent collection. It took five different auctions to disperse the coins and that was after hundreds of significant pieces were sold by private treaty. Today the Eliasberg collection is considered the world's greatest, but Boyd's is still high on the list.
Virgil Brand (2002)
The Brand collection was one of the finest of all time. Money was not a problem for this beer magnate, so he bought everything that he wanted. Some historians regard his holdings as more of a "hoard" than a collection; regardless, the Brand hoard/collection was filled with treasures. The sale of the collection began in 1928 and continued for many decades. Q. David Bowers wrote a superb book on Brand and his family: Virgil Brand: The Man and his Era. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
Clapp Family Collection (2012)
The Clapp Family Collection is one of the classic, legacy collections of United States coins, built first by J.M. Clapp from the 1880s through his death in 1906, and then his son John H. Clapp from 1906 on. Like the Waldo Newcomer collection, the Clapp collection is largely unknown except through pedigree citations, because the collection never came to auction. Rather, the Clapp collection was sold intact to Louis Eliasberg, Sr. in 1942 via Stack’s, for a reported $100,000. This purchase, the largest ever made by Eliasberg, convinced him that he might achieve his goal of owning one of every U.S. coin. The Clapp Collection was not only nearly complete (Sol Taylor called it 99% complete), it contained coins of extraordinary quality, including spectacular quality coins that J.M. Clapp had acquired directly from each of the Mints in the year of issue from 1892 to 1906. The Clapp collection contained thousands of world gold coins, many of which came from Newcomer’s collection, and which also went to Eliasberg. The Clapps were among the first collectors who focused on quality above quantity. Note: the Clapp Family Collection is completely unrelated to the George H. Clapp Collection housed in the American Numismatic Society.
William Dunham (2002)
When the famed financier J. P. Morgan found out that William Dunham had an 1822 $5 gold piece, he dispatched his agent to buy it. The offer was $35,000, which in those pre-income-tax days was a tremendous fortune. Dunham turned down the offer. When asked why, Dunham answered, "My coins are my life." The B. Max Mehl catalog of the Dunham collection is over 60 years old but it's still a numismatic classic. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
Louis Eliasberg, Sr. (2002)
This man is to coins what Babe Ruth is to baseball. Louis Eliasberg built a complete collection of United States coins. Every denomination, every date and every mintmark. He was featured in an article in LIFE magazine and he took select coins from his collection on educational tours around the country. The gold portion of his unparalleled collection was auctioned in 1982 and the copper, nickel and silver issues were sold about 15 years later through Bowers & Merena Galleries. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
King Farouk (2010)
King Farouk was more of “volume” collector, to say the least. Only Virgil Brand had more coins, and Colonel Green may have had as many. Farouk actually bought the Colonel Green gold coin collection (or the nicest part of it), a virtually complete set on U.S. gold coins. He also had silver and copper. And he had an amazing number of patterns, including Judd 1776, the unique $20 Indian gold pattern, and a 1933 $20. After he was deposed in 1952, the Egyptian Government sold his collection in Cairo in 1954, and it was one of the monumental sales of all-time. Famous collector John J. Pittman actually took a second mortgage out on his house in order to buy coins in the Farouk sale.
Garrett Family (2002)
The headline in Coin World said: "Garrett bidders pull no punches" while the subhead read "Simply no superlatives adequate." That was certainly the case when Bowers & Ruddy Galleries auctioned the Garrett family collection in four dynamic and diverse parts (1979-81). T. Harrison Garrett and his sons John Work Garrett and Robert Garrett formed this outstanding collection. It was given to Johns Hopkins University in 1942 and sold nearly four decades later. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
Colonel Edward H. R. Green (2004)
Colonel Green was the son of Hetty Green, the infamous and miserly "Witch of Wall Street." After his mother died, he spent her money as passionately as she had hoarded it. He had an incredible collection of both coins and stamps and was known to buy entire dealer inventories of both. He had many of the greatest rarites such as the 1804 dollar and 1838-O half dollar and at one time he all five 1913 Liberty nickels. He was as much a hoarder as a collector. He had over 200 1796 quarters. His fantastic collection was valued at over $1.2 million in 1939, a staggering figure for the time.
Waldo Newcomer (2004)
Waldo Newcomer is (was) a very underrated collector. This is probably due to the fact that his collection was not auctioned as a collection, but was purchased intact by B. Max Mehl and sold by Mehl at various auctions over the ten year period of 1932 to 1941. The Newcomer collection intact was about as great as any collection ever. He virtually had all of the greatest rarities including the 1804 dollar, 1873-CC no arrows dime, 1838-O half, 1894-S dime, 1885 Trade dollar, 1854-S $5 and on and on. He had two Brasher Doubloons. He had early gold coins by the die variety. He had one of the best territorial gold collections ever assembled. This is definitely one of the greatest coin collections of all-time.
Norweb Family (2002)
The Norweb family gave their 1913 Liberty nickel to the National Collection (Smithsonian) and their Brasher Doubloon and many other rarities to the American Numismatic Society (ANS). Even so, there were plenty of top-quality treasures still available when Bowers & Merena Galleries auctioned a large segment of the collection in 1987-88. This collection was an amazing assemblage of extremely rare coins in remarkable condition. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
Lorin G. Parmelee (2003)
What do the following coins have in common? The 1792 Pattern cent from the Norweb collection. The 1783 Nova Constellatio Patterns from the Garrett collection. The 1804 silver dollar from the Byron Reed collection. The 1802 half dime from the Dunham and Pittman collections. The 1844-O $10 gold piece in PCGS Branch Mint Proof 64. They all trace their pedigree to the fabulous collection of Lorin G. Parmelee! Mr. Parmelee's holdings were sold in 1890 but the catalog is still a classic today-a wish list of numismatic dreams that this visionary collector made into a 19th-century reality.
John Jay Pittman (2005)
John Jay Pittman specialized in Proof United States coinage and esoteric rarities in the Canadian series. Although Mr. Pittman was not wealthy by any standard, he carefully and slowly assembled one of the most valuable collections of all time. After his death, his coins were auctioned off in three sales by David Akers, realizing more than $30 million for the entire collection. His early Proof gold coins were stunning, his world coins were spectacular, and his eye for quality was way ahead of its time. In fact, he was so shrewd in his collecting that he realized a greater return on his investment than any collector in the history of numismatics. To view the All-Time Finest sets listed in the Registry, click here.
Specialized Area Collections
Harry W. Bass (2002) - Gold Coins
It all started with a roll of 1955-D quarters. Harry Bass obtained a roll from his bank at face value in 1955 at the request of a friend. When the friend sold the roll for ten times face in 1965, Mr. Bass was hooked. He bought his first coin (an 1803 $10 gold piece) the same year and in the next 33 years he formed the most comprehensive gold collection in the history of numismatics. He collected by date, mintmark, die variety and die state! He was instrumental in the use of the Sheldon Scale for non-copper coins and it was at his suggestion that Abe Kosoff used the Scale when grading all of the coins in the 1968 Shuford sale. Mr. Bass became president of the American Numismatic Society in 1978 and later formed the Harry W. Bass, Jr., Foundation for numismatic research. Bowers & Merena Galleries sold many of his coins in four landmark sales, but the "core collection" remains intact.
Clifford-Kagin (2006) - Collection of Territorial Gold Coins
Henry Clifford collected Territorial Gold coins for 30 years. He put together a fabulous collection featuring 121 pieces which included many great rarities. In 1974, at the Summer ANA convention, Clifford sold his collection intact to Art and Don Kagin. Art and Don held the collection for many years. In 1980, at the auction sale of the Garrett collection, Don and Art added about a dozen additional rarities to the Clifford collection. The result was hands down the greatest Territorial Gold coin collection ever assembled. The collection remained intact until the early 1990s when it was sold piece by piece.
Louis Eliasberg (2005) - Ten Most Famous United States Ultra Rarities
The measure of a great collection is the number of Ultra-Rarities it contains. These are generally the most difficult coins to obtain because of their high value and immense rarity. However, just having the money to purchase them is not enough. Timing is important, as is having great connections within the coin industry. So, in late 2004, we developed a list of what many consider to be the Ten Most Famous Coins, then went out to see who did the best job of acquiring them. The clear winner was Louis Eliasberg, the only collector in history to own all ten coins. Be sure to check out the other participants in this category, including old-time collections and current collectors who (unbelievably and admirably) are actually attempting to complete this set!
ESM (2010) - Half Cents and Cents Collection
An absolutely incredible collection and a monumental task…every U.S. half cent, large cent, and small cent, 1793 to 2010. Wow! This set is only missing two coins. It has the very tough varieties and big dates. It has both 1796 half cents, both Jefferson Head cents, the 1794 starred reverse cent, all three Chain cent varieties and on and on. The pedigrees for many of the coins are a who’s who of numismatics: Eliasberg, Naftzger, Norweb, Garrett, Parmelee. A monumental set!
John J. Ford (2008)
John Ford was one of the most knowledgeable numismatists of all time. He was a dealer, collector, and numismatic researcher extraordinaire. His collection consisted of Territorials, Colonial coinage, early Federal patterns and speculative issues, Colonial paper money, Confederate issues (at one point, Ford owned 7 of the 12 Confederate cents), Hard Times Tokens, obsolete paper money, and numerous other obscure numismatic areas. His Western related material is likely the most complete ever assembled. His numismatic library was one of the finest ever assembled. His Colonial Currency collection was possibly the best ever assembled. And his Colonial coins were also one of the best collections of all-time. For these impressive numismatic groups, the John J. Ford collection of “numismatic exotica” is a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee.
Jimmy Hayes (2003) - U.S. Type Set
Putting together a Gem type set of U.S. coins is a big challenge. Between 1962 and when his collection was sold by Stack's in 1985, Jimmy Hayes did every type collector even one better...he put together a complete set of Gem Mint State type coins (including gold) in which every coin was the first year of issue for the type. This is one of the greatest specialized collecting feats in numismatic history and the Hayes type set was arguably the finest ever assembled.
Jim McGuigan (2004) - Half Cent Collection
The Jim McGuigan set of half cents is one of the great specialized collections of all-time. The circulation strikes are extraordinary quality and very complete, both the basic and with varieties sets. The proofs are off-the-chart in terms of quality. Spend some time looking at this great collection. This is how it's supposed to be done.
Ted Naftzger (2002) - Large Cents
The Naftzger collection is considered to be the greatest collection of Large Cents ever assembled. The focus was on the coins of 1793 through 1814. One of the great Large Cent sales in history was the Naftzger sale by New Netherlands Coin Company in 1973-and that was just the "extras" of his collection! There were also two major Large Cent sales in the 1950s that were composed of Mr. Naftzger's extras. The nucleus of this greatest-of-the-great collection was sold in 1992 and included the famed 1793 Chain Cent known as "The Coin!" Other treasures included the Atwater 1793 Wreath Cent that PCGS certified as MS68RD. Mr. Naftzger also assembled a major gold collection that included Judd-1776, the most famous and most valuable of all of the gold Patterns. Mr. Naftzger has avidly collected coins since the 1930s and still does so today.
Eric P. Newman (2013)
Eric Newman’s fame in the coin industry is well-established and spans decades. As a writer, researcher, and collector, Newman has contributed much to the body of numismatic knowledge. With Ken Bressett, Newman finally cracked the mystery of the 1804 Silver Dollars and told us the true story of when, how, and why they were made. His book on U.S. Colonial Paper Money is the standard reference for the series. His involvement with the 1913 Liberty Nickels and the Col. E.H.R. Green Estate is the stuff of legends. Recently, Newman achieved the landmark age of 102 and has begun selling coins from the numismatic foundation he established. Quite a few of his coins have already set price records.
James Bennett Pryor (2003) - Half Dollars
James Bennett Pryor specialized in half dollars...and he succeeded in putting together a virtually complete, spectacular quality set of United States half dollars. He even had not one, but three, of the ultra rare 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar patterns. His coins were sold by Bowers and Merena in 1996 in perhaps one of the few large auctions to ever feature only one denomination of coins.
Jay Roe (2010) - Small Denomination Gold Collection
One of the greatest Cal Gold sets of all-time. It is virtually complete and included Period One, Two, and Three coins. Jay Roe was also monumental in researching this classic series. He was one of the most knowledgeable Cal Gold experts of all-time. His collection was sold by Bowers and Merena in 2005, and the catalog is now one of the standard references in the field.
Ed Trompeter (2002) - Proof Gold
After a career in the US Navy, Ed Trompeter purchased a small electronics plant and set out to build the world's greatest collection of Proof gold coins. In addition to the spectacular quality of the coins Mr. Trompeter also focused on completeness. Gold Patterns were also included in the holdings, highlighted by the 1872 Amazonian set, a 1907 $20 St. Gaudens with Arabic date (yes, in Proof!) and many other coins of incredible quality and rarity.
Dr. John Wilkison (2002) - Gold Patterns
If it's a great gold Pattern, it probably came from the Wilkison collection. It's a major numismatic accomplishment to own just one unique coin in a lifetime, but Mr. Wilkison owned many of them. Included in the collection was the famed Judd-1776, a $20 gold Pattern by Augustus St. Gaudens. In a recent survey by PCGS, collectors chose this as the greatest coin of all time, beating out the 1933 $20, the Childs 1804 silver dollar and other timeless classics. Pedigrees of the Wilkison collection included Charles Barber, Newcomer, F. C. C. Boyd, E. H. Adams, Ted Naftzger and King Farouk, to name but a few.
David Poole (2012) - Three Cent Nickels, Proof (1865-1889)
Three Cent Nickels with Major Varieties, 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.
Bruce Scher (2004) - Three Cent Nickel Collection (1865-1889)
The Bruce Scher sets of Three Cent Nickels are virtually unimprovable. This collection features the best of the best...coin after coin. There are many, many pop Tops, and many unique-for-the-grade coins in this collection. Some Three Cent Nickels are easier to get in super grades, some are not so easy, and some are really rare. The Bruce Scher collection has them all!
Bruce Scher (2005) - Barber Series Complete Set, Proof (1892-1915)
Although this set has been retired, it clearly deserves Hall of Fame status. Bruce achieved 100% completion of this 72 coin set and came tantalizingly close to reaching a perfect score. Loaded with Cameos, Deep Cameos, Proof 67's and Proof 68's, this is a set for the ages.
Bruce Scher (2012) - Silver Commemoratives 144 Piece Mintmark Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
The Bruce Scher complete144 piece silver commemorative set is quite simply the finest ever assembled. The quality is uniformly spectacular. Many of the coins are the highest ever graded, and quite a few are unique for their grade. This is one of the most avidly collected series in U.S. numismatics and Set Registry competition is fierce. The Scher set stands above all others as the finest silver commemorative set of all-time.
James Sego JMS Coins (2005) - Eisenhower Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1971-1978)
Ike Dollars are James Sego's passion, but he goes way beyond the requirements for participation in the PCGS Set Registry competition by including coins that we don't even list. How about a 1974-D struck on a 40% silver planchet! Already cited for a "Best Modern Set of 2005" Award, his sets are inducted into the Hall of Fame in recognition for their superb quality and the evident enjoyment that they bring to their owner.
Simpson (2011) - 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.
Simpson (2010) - Indian Head $10 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933)
There have been many great sets of $10 Indians built over the years and the Simpson set is quite simply the best of all-time, and not by a small margin. This set surpasses, Kruthoffer, Duckor, O’Neil, Kutasi, and Price, great sets all. The Simpson set has many “Pop one none higher” coins, including the 1907 Rolled Edge in MS67+, the 1908-S in MS68+, the biggie of biggies 1933 in MS65+. It also has two of the most monumental coins in the series, the 1915-S in MS67 and the amazing 1920-S in MS67+. Though put together in a relatively short time, the Simpson $10 Indian set places the bar for this incredibly popular 20th Century gold series at the historically highest level ever.
Mitchell J. Spivack (Wondercoin) (2012) - Washington Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1932-Present)
Washington Quarters with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1932-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 8 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!
Atherton Family Collection (2010) - Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
The Atherton Family collection, sold by Heritage in their March, 2010 Signature Sale, was the finest set of $2.5 Indians ever assembled. Every coin graded MS66 or better except the 1914-D, which PCGS to this day has not graded higher than MS65. The set includes the Norweb-Bass MS66 1911-D and the incredible MS67 1914.
Tom Bender (2011) - $3 Gold Basic Set, Proof (1854-1889)
Another new set, taking away both a Gold Star award as well as a Hall of Fame win in its first year! And no wonder…. With a Set Rating of 66.27 and a completion rate of 100%, it’s a mind boggling assemblage of some of the rarest U.S. coins. Containing pieces from such collections as Bass, Garrett, and Trompeter and with no fewer than fifteen absolute finest knowns (pop 1, none higher) this set leaves even the most experienced numismatists speechless. In 2011, Tom added an 1855-S to his Major Variety Set, and so that set is included as a HOFer. Well done Tom!
Stewart Blay (2003) - Lincoln Cent Collection 1909-1958
The Stewart Blay 1909-1958 Lincoln set is one of the great accomplishments in the realm of 20th Century coin collecting. Circulation strikes, proofs, and varieties...the finest of the finest. And the ultimate Lincoln cent collection is not done yet, as Stewart is still very actively pursuing pieces to improve his already all-time great collection.
Jeff Browning (2002) - Liberty Head $20 Liberties, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
The Jeff Browning collection of circulation strikes was the finest ever assembled. It even ranks higher than both the Eliasberg and Smithsonian collections. Jeff Browning loved the series and his passion translated into a monumental set.
California I (2006) - Morgan and Peace Dollar Collection, Circulation Strikes (1878-1935)
The California I Collection of Morgan and Peace dollars is amazing both in condition and completeness. The Morgans are the #2 Basic set of all-time, the #1 “with varieties” set of all-time, and #1 of all-time for all of the various VAM sets. The Peace dollar basic set is #1 of all-time. This collector has a passion for silver dollars that is as strong as any we’ve ever seen for any series. His achievement of being number one in one of the most avidly collected coin series of all-time is a true Hall of Fame accomplishment.
Richard DiCicco (2002) - Standing Liberty FH Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
The Richard DiCicco Standing Liberty quarter set was the finest of all-time at the time of induction into the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame. While the set has since been sold, it remains one of the greatest of all-time. All of the coins coins were spectacular and vitually all were Pop Tops. Two of the power dates, the 1920-D in MS68FH and the 1924-D in MS67FH were unique for the grade.
The Castle Collection (2012) - Indian Cents, Circulation Strikes (1859-1909)
Indian Cents with Major Varieties, 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!
DRG (2007) - Susan B. Anthony Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1979-1981, 1999)
Total and complete perfection is the only way to describe the DRG set of circulation strike Susan B. Anthony dollars. There are seven MS67s and five MS68s, and all twelve coins are the finest graded by PCGS. Two of the coins, the 1979-P and 1981-S are unique for the grade. SBA dollars are plentiful in average condition but many of the issues are quite rare in the highest grade. DRG started his collection in 1994 and searched through literally hundreds of thousands of coins to find the Gems in his collection. This collection is the result of a lot of work and a lot of passion.
Dr. Steven L. Duckor (2003) - Barber Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
Dr. Steven Duckor's Barber half dollar set has been decades in the making. The coins are literally the cream of all the great sets and singles that have come on to the market in the past 20 years. The Duckor Barber half dollar set is finer than the monumental Dr. Thaine Price set and even finer than the Eliasberg/Clapp set. Most of the coins are in unimprovable quality.
EBL III (2002) - Franklin Half Dollars with Varieties, Proof (1950-1963)
A set of virtual perfection. Fifteen of the sixteen coins are unimprovable Pop Tops and all sixteen coins are Deep Cameos. This is a truly spectacular set.
Gerald Forsythe (2005) - Buffalo Nickel Collection (1913-1938)
Certain levels of achievement deserve special recognition, and Gerald Forsythe has definitely reached that level. His set of Buffalo Nickels is simply amazing. Without repeating our comments under Gerald's "Best Classic Set of 2005" award, suffice it to say that this world-class collection will be remembered for a long, long time.
The G B W Collection (2007) - Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1916-1947)
The complete Walker set is not only one of the most important sets of the 20th Century, it is one of the most important sets in United States numismatics. This is one of the “biggies” and the GBW Collection is hands down the finest set ever assembled, surpassing even the famous Jack Lee collection. All but 9 coins are the highest graded by PCGS. Seven coins are not only the highest graded, they are unique for the grade, including the 1917-S Obverse in MS67, 1918-S in MS67, 1923-S in MS67, and the two monster rarities for the series, the 1921-S in MS66, and the 1919-D in MS66. This is truly a 20th Century numismatic masterpiece.
Richard Green Collection (2004) - Kennedy Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1964 to present)
The Richard Green set of Kennedy half dollars is a masterpiece of modern coin collecting. The quality of every coin is outstanding and the overall quality is simply incredible. These coins are very difficult to locate this nice and Mr. Green certainly must have turned over every possible stone to find them.
The Heller Collection (2002) - Silver Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
At the time of induction the Heller Collection was the finest 50 piece set and finest 144 piece set of all-time. The vast majority of the coins were Pop Tops and all were spectacular quality. This was a totally spectacular collection of silver commemoratives.
High Desert (2011) - Complete U.S. Type Set (1792-1964)
The High Desert collection continues its dominance of the type set category and receives its tenth consecutive award. This complete collection has superb quality coins, as its 64.6 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 is most deserving for this incredible collecting accomplishment.
JFS (2002) - Franklin Half Dollars FBL, Circulation Strikes (1948-1963)
The finest set of all-time. Vitually every coin is a Pop Top. And the "King" of Franklin FBLs, the 1953-S, is a MS65FBL. This set is spectacular in every way and one of the great accomplishments of modern U.S. coin collecting.
The Thomas Irwin Collection (2009) - Lincoln Cent Collection (1909-Present)
The Thomas Irwin Collection is one of the finest collections of Lincoln Cents ever assembled. Every date in Mint State and Proof, virtually every major variety, and all in superb condition. The true measure of this set is the huge number of zeroes in the Pop Higher column! Seldom does a set of coins burst onto the scene (in this case the PCGS Set Registry) and immediately receive a Hall of Fame recognition.
Joshua II (2002) - Mercury Dimes FB with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
This is the finest set of Mercury dimes ever assembled. Virtually every coin is a Pop Top. The late dates feature MS68FBs galore and the early power dates are spectacular. This is one of the most important 20th Century series and the Joshua II collection is the ultimate representative.
Just Having Fun! (2004) - Standing Liberty Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
The Standing Liberty quarter is one of the most beautiful coins of the 20th or any Century. But this is a short-lived set and the coins are much rarer as a group than their contemporary brother and sister denominations. There have been several incredible sets built and registered over the past few years. The Just having Fun! set is the best of all-time. Take some time to browse thru the coin listing of this fantastic set. This set is truly amazing.
Just Having Fun (2012) - Shield Nickel Collection (1866-1883)
Shield Nickels Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1866-1883)
Shield Nickels with Major Varieties, Proof (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.
Jack Lee (2002) - Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
This is the undisputed all-time greatest set of Morgan dollars. In fact, it is one of the finest individual sets of United States coins ever assembled. It contains more than the 97 required coins; in fact, there are 175 coins in the set, not counting the proofs. Of those 175 coins (mint state and proof-like and deep mirror proof-like) there are 172 that qualify as the finest graded or tied for the finest graded. An incredible accomplishment combining unprecedented patience, dedication, and resources. Highlights of the Jack Lee Collection are an 1884-S graded MS68, the famous Wayne Miller 1886-O graded MS67DMPL, the Eliasberg 1889-CC graded MS68, the Norweb 1893-S graded MS67, an 1896-O graded MS66, an 1896-S graded an unbelievable MS69, and literally every other coin in the collection.
The Law Collection (2007) - Three Cent Nickels, Circulation Strikes (1865-1889)
This incredible set is in virtually perfect condition. There are 22 of the 23 coins that are the highest graded by PCGS. There are six coins that are not only the highest graded by PCGS, they are unique for the grade. There are an additional four coins that are not only the highest graded by PCGS, they are one of only two examples of the grade. Talk about un-improvable quality! This is a very challenging set that features several very low mintage dates that are extremely difficult to locate in any circulation strike grade. The Law Collection of circulation strike Three Cent Nickels is a true numismatic masterpiece and a numismatic achievement for the ages.
Legend Collection (2002) - Trade Dollar Collection (1873-1885)
The circulation strikes are the finest of all-time (by a billion miles), the proofs, which have since been sold, were the finest set of all-time, and the Chop mark set is the finest of all-time. Not only is every coin in the circulation strike set a Pop Top, they are almost all unique for the grade. And the proofs include the Eliasberg examples of the ultra rare 1884 and 1885. This collection is a major numismatic accomplishment and the definitive representation of everything this important series means to U.S. coin collecting.
Legend Collection (2004) - Liberty Seated Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1840-1873)
This set is so nice and the coins are so rare in the condition they are in that it is almost impossible to imagine the existence of this set. This is the only all Mint State set of Liberty Seated dollars ever assembled. All Liberty Seated dollars are rare in Choice condition and many are rare in any condition. This is what the Hall of Fame is about...a set so fantastic that looking at the coin produces a sense of awe. You have to look at one of these Hall of Fame sets to understand. It's just a miracle that many of these coins exist.
The Missouri Cabinet (2013) - Half Cents with Major Varieties (1793-1857)
Half Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1793-1857)
(Note that the award includes the 7 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This complete collection of Half Cents with varieties in both MS and Proof is one that won’t be matched for some time. New this year to the Registry, it carries a rating of 62.27 and to lend some idea of how high that really is, in the entire set, there are only 8 coins in existence that could improve it. That’s all dates, all grades. 89 of the 93 coins show a “pop higher” figure of 0. Need we say more?
Tom McCarroll (2002) - Buffalo Nickels Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1913-1938)
The Tom McCarroll Buffalo Nickel collection is the finest of all-time. We have never seen nor heard of anything that comes close. Nearly all of his coins are Pop Tops. Numerous important coins are not only the finest graded, they are unique in their grade. Both the biggies and the common dates are ultra high quality. This is one of the great accomplishments of 20th Century coin collecting.
Sid and Alicia Belzberg (2003) - Collection of Canadian Coinage
The Belzberg collection of Canadian coins is one of the finest and most complete ever assembled. The set includes superb quality examples of both circulation strikes and specimens. The Belzberg collection also featured the great rarities of Canadian coin collecting.
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