PCGS The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry
PCGS Set Registry® 85,268 Registered Sets

Awards 2008

HALL OF FAME

2017 AWARDS

Expert Comments:

Totally and completely mind-boggling!!!!!!!!!!! Every year we are amazed at the sets we see. And each year we’re convinced that it just can’t get any better. But this year we were blown away by the sets that the Set Registry participants have assembled. We are all long term coin dealers with decades of experience. We’ve seen it all, so we’re not easily impressed. But what you have done not only got our attention, you have earned our deepest respect. The sets are so good and there are so many of them that we will be expanding the categories to recognize as many of your great accomplishments as possible in the years to come. It was fun to see what you’ve done, and we spent many hours reviewing all of your sets. Our congratulations not just to this year’s winners, but to all the PCGS Set Registry participants.

David Hall
Collectors Universe President, PCGS Founder

Forty Best Classic Sets (1792 to 1964) of 2008

ESM - U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties (1793-present)
U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1793-present)
U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties, Proof (1817-present)
U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1793-present)
ESM complete cent collection again garners honors might become an annual ritual, similar to other perennial winners in other series. When this 537-coin set was begun in 2006, it was only a short period before it became the finest registered. This year it inched closer to completion with 99.26% versus 92.63% complete. From Half Cents through small cents, it is replete with rarities and coins with special pedigrees, including Eliasberg.

High Desert - Complete U.S. Type Set (1792-1964)
The High Desert collection continues its dominance of the type set category and receives its seventh consecutive award. This 100% complete collection has superb quality coins, as its near 64 average certainly attests. Trying to increase such a high quality set is difficult, as coins that would improve this impressive set do not appear in the marketplace with frequency.

Jim McGuigan - Half Cent Collection (1793-1857)
Half Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Half Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Half Cents Basic Set, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents with Varieties, Proof (1831-1857)
Jim McGuigan has been a Half Cent collector for eons and has exhibited numerous examples of his superb set 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. He received Hall of Fame recognition in 2004 and has won numerous awards.

ESM - Half Cents, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents Basic Set, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents with Varieties, Proof (1831-1857)
This is the third straight year that the ESM Collection of Proof Half Cents has taken top honors. It was completed in 2007 and many of the coins in this collection are Top Pop for the date, numerous ones unique for the grade. Norweb, Eliasberg, and Pittman are among the pedigreed examples included and those who follow auctions know that the old-type collectors loved Proofs and often bought superb examples.

ESM - Large Cent Collection (1793-1857)
Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1814)
Large Cents Basic Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1814)
Large Cents Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1814)
Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1816-1839)
Large Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1816-1839)
Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1839-1857)
Large Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1839-1857)
Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Large Cents Basic Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Large Cents Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Large Cents, Proof (1817-1857)
ESM wins its first Large Cent award in 2008, but it’s complete Cent collection is well known to those who follow the Set Registry. The Large Cent collection is complete, including the major varieties and is part of the larger ESM collection of Complete Cents that has won top honors three years running. Those who have completed the Large Cent collection with varieties know how difficult some of the issues can be, as Large Cent aficionados are among the most rabid in numismatics!

Stewart Blay - Indian Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1859-1909)
Stewart Blay has pursued many Top Pop coins in his quest for superb copper. His Lincoln Cent set is legendary and this is his second year taking top honors for the Indian Cent category – his set of circulation strike Indian Cents is incredible with many finest knowns.

Tom Bender - Indian Cents Basic Set, Proof (1859-1909)
Tom Bender Proof Indian Cent collection is a newly added set this year. It not only won the Best New Set for 2008, but also hauled off the top prize – Best Classic set. This 100% complete set has an average grade of 68.38. Finding superb examples of Proof Indians is a difficult task, as those who have attempted this set understand. Mr. Bender has accumulated one of this finest sets of all time.

Stewart Blay - Lincoln Cent Collection (1909-1958)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1909-1958)
Lincoln Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1909-1958)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Matte Proof (1909-1916)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Proof (1936-1942)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Proof (1950-1958)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Proof (1909-1958)
2008 makes seven straight years that Stewart has attained the top position in one of the most hotly contested categories, as many collectors begin with Lincoln cents. His set is simply outstanding in quality, rarity, and color; it has entered the Hall of Fame and is one of the most spectacular sets ever assembled. High quality coins have always attracted collectors and Stewart was an early participant in the PCGS Set Registry program, acquiring many finest known examples early on, but he continues to upgrade and improve his set whenever possible.

JHTwist Collection - Shield Two Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1864-1872)
JHTwist is a winner again in this category with a dominant collection of the unusual Shield Two Cent coinage. The set is 100% complete, including varieties, and is dominated by Red examples, like the MS-64 Red Small Motto, three Top Pop coins, and only three coins less than MS-65. With an average of 66.24, there are no close competitors, as the next set is over 7 points below this superb collection.

JEU - Shield Two Cents, Proof 1864-1873
Shield Two Cents Basic Set, Proof (1864-1873)
Shield Two Cents with Varieties, Proof (1864-1873)
100% complete with an average grade of 67.33, the JEU Shield Two Cent collection is a new winner for 2008. With one of the lowest active set numbers (104), this fabulous set is a tough one to complete, as buyers of Two Cent coinage will attest. A short series, it contains several coins that are very difficult to locate in any condition, much less high-grade Red examples. The JEU set is a truly worthy recipient for this award.

The Law Collection - Three Cent Nickels, Circulation Strikes (1865-1889)
Although this is the third consecutive annual award for the Law collection of Three-Cents (Nickel), this set has been registered since 2002. The average grade of 66.55 is unbelievable for a series with several “stoppers,” including the 1883-5 issues. There are Top Pop coins and others tied for finest known. Anyone who has collected this series knows that its fairly easy to put together a Proof run of this unique denomination, but the Mint State examples of some dates are almost never seen. This Hall of Fame and All-Time Finest set has led the category since 2002 and seems like it will continue in that position for the foreseeable future.

Just Having Fun - Shield Nickel Collection (1866-1883)
Shield Nickels Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1866-1883)
Shield Nickels, Proof (1866-1883)
With an average grade of 66.19 and 100% complete, Just Having Fun’s Shield nickel set is a deserving winner for 2008. There are several stoppers in this series, too, with the elusive 1880 garnering most of the attention. Those who collect nickel coinage know how difficult it is to locate well-struck, problem-free examples. Getting them all in superb condition is quite a feat.

Mitch Green Variety Set - Shield Nickels with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1866-1883)
Trying to upgrade a variety set that averages 65.74 is difficult. There are many Top Pop examples in this All-Time Finest set of Shield Nickels with varieties. Mitch still needs only two upgrades to achieve complete perfection in this category, but nickel collectors are dedicated and his wait time for these coins might be substantial. Hope springs eternal.

Gerald Forsythe - Buffalo Nickel Collection (1913-1938)
Buffalo Nickels Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1913-1938)
Buffalo Nickels Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1913-1938)
Buffalo Nickels, Proof (1913-1937)
Gerald Forsythe has led this category since 2005 and this year he is again recognized for set that averages 66.5, nearly a half point better than the second place set – a fine set, too. Strike and luster are a problem for many of the Denver and San Francisco issues although the Forsythe set has examples of the tough issues that are remarkable. This is a difficult set to complete, but it is a herculean task to obtain them in such lofty grades. The auction scene is dynamic when a Top Pop Buffalo nickel appears and competition for this series is intense. This set has been displayed on occasion with dealers and collectors alike in their praise for this magnificent collection.

The Law Collection - Capped Bust Half Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1829-1837)
Capped Bust Half Dimes Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1829-1837)
Capped Bust Half Dimes with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1829-1837)
With four MS-68 Half Dimes from the 1830's, plus four MS-67's, this short set is quite impressive. There are five coins that are unique Top Pop coins. The owner's comments for this set last year are still appropriate: "And like the other Law sets, this set will be complete only when PCGS stops grading and all of the finest coins are included in the Law Collections!" Only 9 coins are needed to complete this set, but it still is a tough task when attempting to obtain finest known examples.

The Law Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
Liberty Seated Half Dimes Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
Liberty Seated Half Dimes Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
Liberty Seated Half Dimes with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
Liberty Seated Half Dimes with Varieties & 1870-S, Circulation Strikes (1837-1873)
This set is a new addition to the Set Registry this year. It is already 100% complete with an average grade of 65.03, so its selection as a Best New Set is not surprising. To garner a Best Classic Set in its first year of competition indicates how impressive this collection is in numismatics. The Half Dime series has languished in the background of numismatics, but the Set Registry is changing attitudes. There are many tough issues for this series and the Law collection is exceptional.

Gerry Fortin - Liberty Seated Dimes, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
Liberty Seated Dimes Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
Liberty Seated Dimes Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
Liberty Seated Dimes with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
Liberty Seated Dimes with Varieties and 1873-CC No Arrows, Circulation Strikes (1837-1891)
Gerry Fortin is an annual winner for this series, his specialty. He has put together the finest collection of Liberty Seated Dimes 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 set on-line is quite impressive and there is much useful information included.

The Law Collection - Barber Dime Collection (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes, Proof (1892-1915)
This is the forth annual award for the Law Barber Dime Collection. It is the All-Time Finest set ever assembled and with a majority of the Top Pop examples included, one cannot improve this set unless new examples are unearthed. Mr. Law considers 1911 in MS-68 as the finest Mint State Barber Dime in existence.

Joshua II Collection - Mercury Dimes FB, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB Late Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1934-1945)
Mercury Dimes FB Short Set, Circulation Strikes (1940-1945)
Since 2002, this set of Mercury Dimes has won top honors in its category. A very deserving member of the Hall of Fame, it is the All-Time Finest Set. The Weighted GPA of this set up to 69.37, an amazing feat for this hotly contested category.

Driftwood - Twenty Cents, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
Twenty Cents, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
Twenty Cents with 76-CC, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
100% and a GPA of 65.46 for set with the 1876-CC, this is one of the shortest sets in American numismatics. However, the 1876-CC is a real stopper, so completing this set is not a simple task. In superb condition is even more difficult. This odd denomination is quite popular with collectors and competition undoubtedly will continue to fierce.

The Sunnywood Collection - Barber Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Quarters Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
The GPA of 66.02 is impressive for this 100% complete collection. This is an impressive series and many collectors finish the set minus the three key San Francisco issues (1896-S, 1901-S, and 1913-S). However, experienced numismatists know that there are many sleeper dates in this series. This trio of San Francisco issues have their low mintages as their drawing card, but there are many other branch Mint coins that are very difficult to locate in prime condition.

Just Having Fun - Standing Liberty Quarters FH, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
Standing Liberty FH Quarters Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
Standing Liberty FH Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
Standing Liberty FH Quarters with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
This is the sixth straight year the Just Having Fun collection of Standing Liberty Quarters has garnered top honors. This set is so advanced that upgrades are infrequent, but some have been made raising the already impressive GPA of the Basic Set to an even loftier 68.01. This All-Time Finest and Hall of Fame set is one of the most spectacular looking collections, as Standing Liberty Quarters are quite attractive and extremely popular.

David Poole - Washington Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
As noted when this set won this category last year, “This is an incredible collection of Washington Quarters, assembled from various sources, with a lot of help from a former category leader. Mr. Poole has done a wonderful job of presenting his set, with full color images and pedigrees for each coin.” It is hard to improve on the Basic Set, but the Major Varieties Set has been improved. David credits his success to the knowledge and generosity of other collectors he has met.

Dale Friend - Capped Bust Half Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1807-1839)
Lots of collectors have completed this popular series (they have their own club devoted to this in-demand series), but the Dale Friend 100% complete collection has a GPA of 64.29 is quite impressive. Finding eye appeal Bust Half dollars is not difficult for many dates, but there are quite a few tough issues within the 30 plus years they were struck. Competition is intense, so when better coins are available, Mr. Friend will have to best other rabid Bust Half collectors to add issues to upgrade this impressive set.

Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - Barber Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
Barber Half Dollars Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
Barber Half Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
Barber Half Dollars with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
This sounds like a broken record, but the Duckor set of Barber Half Dollars has been a consistent award winner since 2002 and is also a Hall of Fame collection. PCGS has had the honor of displaying the Duckors' Half Dollars at several conventions and everyone who has seen this fabulous collection walks away knowing that hard work and diligence are necessary to assemble a World-class set.

Driftwood - Barber Half Dollars, Proof (1892-1915)
A 66.47 GPA for this set is impressive. These large coins were easily hairlined and finding superb specimens takes a keen eye and patience. This is the first year this set has been honored, but undoubtedly will not be the last. In the “old days” of collecting, Proofs were considered the pinnacle of coinage and oldtimers would have nothing else for their collections. A renaissance in collecting Proofs has developed over the last few years and competition will likely increase for these delightful coins.

The Cajun Collection - Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1916-1947)
With its sixth consecutive win and a 66.19 GPA, one would think that this collection is destined to be top dog for years to come. However, the Gerald Forsythe collection is nearly its equal. With a nice array of full color images on the PCGS Set Registry website, you can see some really great images of incredible Mint State Walkers. The two top sets have not been improved lately, so perhaps there is an opportunity for some other collector, although it would be a difficult task, as these two sets are among the finest ever assembled.

Robert D. Hesselgesser M.D. - Early Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
Early Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
Early Dollars with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
Early Dollars with Bolender & Bowers/Borckardt Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
Early Dollars with Bolender & Bowers/Borckardt Varieties with Silver Plugs, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
This well known collector in other areas turned his focus to early Silver Dollars. Adding die varieties is difficult in such a diverse series, as there is a complete collection out there, but it includes several unique varieties! Dr. Hesselgesser’s display at a 2007 Long Beach show was a highlight, as collectors and dealers were impressed not only with the quality, but the superb eye appeal of each coin. The attention not only to grade, but the all-important eye appeal is evident in this superb collection. Many who viewed this set walked away shaking their heads, as only old time collections had such an impressive representation of our largest silver coin. Most of these old-time collections have been sold (Eliasberg, Norweb, Garrett, etc.) and many of these coins have found their way into this collection.

California I - Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
The “California I” Morgan dollar collection is the best Morgan dollar collection ever assembled. The quality and breadth of the set(s) are unsurpassed in the history of dollar collecting. The ”with varieties” set is the finest of all-time. The “basic set” is second only to the Jack Lee set. But the California I collection also has extensive sets of VAM varieties and they are all the finest of all-time. This is a monumental numismatic accomplishment and a truly Hall of Fame set.

David T. Miller and C. Ash Harrison (DT Miller by Ashmore) - Morgan Dollars Prooflike, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
The Miller-Harrison set of Prooflike Morgans is spectacular in it’s quality and depth. Most of the coins are Deep Mirror Prooflikes, save for a few of the “impossible” dates. And the set does include a few of the Prooflike “impossibles,” such as the 1901 in DM. Both the “basic set” and the “with varieties set” are the finest of all-time. And the set is very well presented.

Paul Taylor - Morgan Dollars, Proof (1878-1904)
Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Proof (1878-1904)
Morgan Dollars with Varieties, Proof (1878-1921)
The Paul Taylor set of proof Morgans is truly magnificent. There are cameos and deep cameos galore and most of the coins are in unimprovable quality. The set also features the very rare 1921 Zerbe special strike and the 1921 Chapman proof. An incredible set of proof Morgans that has garnered the top spot in the PCGS Set Registry year after year.

California I - Peace Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1921-1935)
Peace Dollars Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1921-1935)
Peace Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1921-1935)
The “California I” Peace dollar set is the finest ever assembled. Every coin but three is a Top Pop and the set features the only MS67 1923-S and the only MS66 1928-S. The quality of the set is unmatched in numismatic history.

Don Kutz (The California Collection) - Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
The “California” $2.5 Indian set is one of the finest ever assembled. Most of the coins are the finest graded and the set includes one of only three MS66 examples of the 1911-D, the key date in the series and one of the most important gold coins of the 20th century. The set also has an MS66 example of the key date 1914.

The Great Lakes Collection - $3 Gold No 1870-S, Circulation Strikes (1854-1889)
The “Great Lakes Collection” of three dollar gold pieces is by far the finest ever assembled. It is the finest known by a full two grade points and blows away the Eliasberg, Bass. And Smithsonian collections!!!!!!! Check out the coins in the incredible set!

Superior Galleries - $4 Gold, Proof (1879-1880)
“Only” four coins, but what coins they are! A complete set of $4 Stellas, all in fantastic cameo condition. A magnificent set of four of the most important United States gold coins.

The Jim O'Neal - Indian Head $5 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
Indian Head $5 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
Indian Head $5 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
The O’Neal $5 Indian set is the finest ever assembled. Most of the coins are the highest possible grade. Amazingly, this is a relatively new set…but it has the feel of a set that took over a decade to put together.

The Jim O'Neal - $10 Indians Indian Head $10 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933)
Indian Head $10 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933)
Indian Head $10 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933)
The O’Neal $10 Indian set is truly spectacular and is the finest ever assembled. The power issues are extremely high quality…the 1920-S is MS66, the 1933 is MS65, and both the 1907 rolled and wire edges issues are MS66. The set also features two mind boogling $10 Indians in MS68 condition, the 1907 no motto and the 1908-S.

Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - St. Gaudens $20 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
Dr. Duckor is at it again! As a collector for three decades, he owned most of the finest known $20 St. Gaudens. He sold some, bought some back, sold some others, and now he’s putting together another incredible set of Saints. His “date set” is virtually perfect and includes spectacular examples of the two killer dates…he has a 1920-S in MS66 and a 1921 in MS65.

WPE Collection - Silver Commemoratives 144 Piece Mintmark & Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
The WPE set of silver commemoratives is one of the finest ever assembled. It includes many coins of the highest possible grade, including an MS67 Lafayette dollar, one of only five known in that grade. The quality of these 144 coins is spectacular.

Paul Denby - Gold Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1903-1926)
Gold Commemoratives 11 Piece Set, Circulation Strikes (1903-1926)
Gold Commemoratives 13 Piece Set, Circulation Strikes (1903-1926)
The Paul Denby gold commemorative collection is the fine