PCGS The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry
PCGS Set Registry® 85,265 Registered Sets

Awards 2009

HALL OF FAME

2017 AWARDS

Expert Comments:
Each year the PCGS Set Registry participants keep raising the bar and this year is no exception. Every year we are amazed at the sets we see. And each year we’re convinced that it just can’t get any better. 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. We all started as collectors and most of us still collect. We know what it’s like to work on a set of coins and we know how much effort, time and of course money it takes to get the job done right. 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

Best Classic Sets (1792 to 1964) of 2009

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)
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. The quality and breadth of this collection is simply amazing.

Martin's Collection - U.S. Nickels Complete Set with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1866-present)
Martin's Collection includes more than 96% of the U.S. Nickel Five Cent pieces (plus major varieties) issued since the inception of the denomination in 1866. Martin's number one ranking in this category reflects both the completeness and the high quality of this massive set.

Sonoran Monsoon - U.S. Dollars Complete Set, Circulation Strikes (1794-present)
Silver Dollars are among the most popular of all U.S. coins, so competition in this category is tough. Only a few coins are missing from this set, but what is included are virtually all dates and mints, plus major varieties, or all silver and clad one dollar coins issued from 1794 to date. The sheer number of coins in this set represents a daunting challenge and the cost of many of the early dollars is prohibitive to most collectors. We applaud Sonoran Monsoon's commitment to this wonderful collection.

High Desert - Complete U.S. Type Set (1792-1964)
The High Desert collection continues its dominance of the type set category and receives its eighth 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 and they usually cost a bundle.

Flambeau - Dollar Type Set (1794-present)
The Flambeau Dollar Type Set contains superb quality examples of every one dollar type from 1794 to date. Most of the coins are Top Pop and those that are not come close. Any collection that contains not one, but two, MS-65 Draped Bust Silver Dollars gets our attention.

Flambeau - Gold Dollar Type Set (1849-1889)
Collections don't have to be large to be important. This three coin set includes the unbeatable MS-69 Type One Gold Dollar, an MS-67 Type Two Gold Dollar, and an MS-68 Type Three Gold Dollar. All three are amazing, Top Pop coins.

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 decades 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 these are his sixth consecutive awards for his amazing collection.

ESM - Half Cents, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents Basic Set, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents with Varieties, Proof (1831-1857)
This is the fourth straight year that the ESM Collection of Proof Half Cents has taken top honors. ESM achieved 100% completion 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 pedigrees included in this collection.

ESM - Large Cent Collection (1793-1857)
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)
(Note that all sub-sets in this collection are being awarded.)
In the copper world, the ESM collection is a true standout, containing superb examples of every date in the series plus virtually all of the Proof dates. The inclusion of coins from the recent sales of the Husak and Naftzger collections strengthened this already impressive set, solidifying its top ranking. Keep an eye on these sets...they're only going to get better.

Twin Leaf Collection - Large Cents, Proof (1817-1857)
This is a new entry in the category and one of two awards for this set. Early Large Cent Proofs are incredibly rare and popular, especially those dates prior to the 1840's. This set is over 90% complete and has a weighted GPA of almost 65, an incredible accomplishment. A quick perusal of the inventory listing show 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.

Stewart Blay - Indian Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1859-1909)
Stewart Blay's name is synonymous with top quality copper and we're pleased to award him top honors for the fourth time. Stewart's aggressive style of collecting has landed him some of the biggest trophies in the collecting world. His Lincoln Cent set is legendary, as should be this top-ranked Indian Cent Set. Numerous, unique Top Pop coins ensure the dominance of this incredible collection.

Tom Bender - Indian Cents Basic Set, Proof (1859-1909)
This set wins it's Best Classic Set award for the second year in a row. We spoke glowingly of this set last year and, because of some upgrades and improvements, we're just as impressed this year. Think of what it means to have a set of Proof Indian Cents with a weighted GPA of over 68!

The Thomas Irwin Collection - Lincoln Cent Collection (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents Basic Set, Proof (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents with Major Varieties, Proof (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents Complete Variety Set, Proof (1909-present)
(Note that all sub-sets in this collection are being awarded.)
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.

Just Having Fun - 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 this set is a Top Pop, including seven coins that are unique for the grade. That's quite an accomplishment in a series where there is a lot of enthusiasm and competition. This is the third Best Classic award for this outstanding set of Shield Nickels.

Mitch Green Variety Set - Shield Nickels with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1866-1883)
Mitch Green continues his domination of this category with a variety set of Shield Nickels that comes close to perfection (only two coins need to be upgraded to achieve all Top Pops). Keep up the good work Mitch!

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)
Buffalo Nickels Short Set, Circulation Strikes (1934-1938)
Gerald Forsythe has led this category since 2005 and this year he is again recognized for a set that averages 66.5. That is a singular achievement when one comes face-to-face with the poor quality and luster of some of the branch mint coins. Congratulations to Mr. Forsythe for continuing to dominate in an area of great interest and competition.

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)

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)
There's one thing that could have been said about the Law Collection of Capped Bust and Liberty Seated Half Dimes: thanks to the 1870-S Half Dime, it was unique. Now we can add another descriptor: SOLD. It was announced recently that this spectacular collection was sold recently to Legend Numismatics for a whopping $2.2 million, thence to a "Western States" collector. Congratulations to the past and present owners of this remarkable group of Half Dimes.

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 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.

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 fifth annual award for the Law Barber Dime Collection, the All-Time Finest set ever assembled. Mr. Law's philosophy of obtaining only the best quality is applied to all of his collections and is exemplified here by numerous Top Pops. We wonder if Mr. Law will be using the proceeds from the sale of his Half Dimes to purchase an 1894-S Dime??? (We love collecting vicariously through the members of the PCGS Set Registry.)

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 of Mercury Dimes ever assembled. We didn't notice any change in this set this year, but it's understandably hard to upgrade your set when the Weighted GPA is a whopping 69.37.

Driftwood - Twenty Cents, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
Twenty Cents, Circulation Strikes (1875-1876)
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 is one of the two finest examples graded thus far by PCGS. This is the fifth Best Classic award for this set.

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 seventh consecutive year the Just Having Fun collection of Standing Liberty Quarters has garnered top honors. The weighted GPA for this set increased a whopping one-hundredth of a percent over last year, illustrating the extreme difficulty of upgrading such a phenomenal set.

David Poole - Washington Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters Classic Set, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
This extraordinary collection of Washington Quarters has been admirably assembled and shepherded by Mr. Poole and has led its category for the fourth year in a row. The hallmarks of this set are superb quality, an occasional monster-toned coin, and a couple of unique Top Pops that will ensure the championship status of this set for years to come.

Dale Friend - Capped Bust Half Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1807-1839)
High grade and superb eye appeal are requisites for inclusion in Dale's set of Bust Half Dollars. The results are amazing. We've never seen such a remarkable assemblage of these early US coins and Dale can be justifiably proud of his efforts. We expect to see great things from this set in the future as Dale continues his pursuit for the "perfect" coin.

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)
Another win for this perennial favorite and 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 in amazement. Here's a side note: the Duckors have some competition in this category, but what impresses us is the camaraderie and cooperation displayed by everyone involved. Winning is nice, but half the enjoyment is in running the race.

Gerald Forsythe - Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Proof (1936-1942)
This stunning array of Walking Liberty Half Dollars receives its first 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 1929-D in PCGS MS67 and the equally impressive 1935 in PCGS MS68 make this a set for the ages. The overall GPA is over 66 and all of the 1921s are MS65.

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 is a collection. We had the pleasure of featuring Dr. Hesselgesser’s Silver Dollars in a display at a 2007 Long Beach show, where admirers lined up to view this impressive collection. In person, it's easy to detect Dr. Hesselgesser's enthusiasm for collecting - he is clearly excited about this project. He has assembled the finest and most complete collection of early silver dollar varieties ever assembled, including incredible rarities in the best possible condition. Building a collection such as this requires lots of money, a real understanding of the characteristics of individual dates and varieties, help from knowledgeable dealers, and a lot of being in the right place at the right time. We applaud Dr. Hesselgesser's efforts and success.

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 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, and continues to reign as the finest Morgan Dollar set of all time.

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)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike Only Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike Only with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
The Miller-Harrison set of Prooflike Morgans is the result of a collaborative effort of an eagle 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.

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 has been a mainstay of the PCGS Set Registry since its inception. This is the second consecutive Best Classic award for this remarkable set. The primary set has a weighted GPA of 67.76, indicating the exceptional level of quality of most of the coins. Filled with Cameos and Deep Cameos, and sprinkled with some unique Top Pops, this is a set that will continue to dominate.

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 this set is unmatched in numismatic history and is a perfect continuation of California I's spectacular set of Morgan Dollars.

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 wins its fifth consecutive Best Classics award. 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. Two thirds of the set consists of Top Pop coins.

The Great Lakes Collection - $3 Gold No 1870-S, Circulation Strikes (1854-1889)
The “Great Lakes Collection” of three dollar gold pieces is an amazing assemblage of top quality coins. It is the finest known by a full two grade points and blows away the Eliasberg, Bass, and Smithsonian collections! The vast majority of the coins in this collection are Top Pops, including many that are unique for the grade.

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 truly spectacular and has a Weighted GPA of over 65! There are enough Top Pops in this set (including some unique ones) to ensure its dominance for years to come. The unusual incuse design of these coins is a double-edged sword: it adds to the popularity of the coins, but the vulnerable flat fields mean that high-grade survivors are rare. To assemble a set such as this is a singular accomplishment.

EllenD - Liberty Head $10 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1838-1907)
Liberty Head $10 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1838-1907)
Liberty Head $10 Gold Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1838-1907)
Liberty Head $10 Gold with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1838-1907)
Liberty Head $10 Gold 20th Century Set, Circulation Strikes (1900-1907)
This is a mind-blowing set. Few collectors have ever attempted to collect Liberty Head $10s by date, nor have they been as successful as EllenD. This set is loaded with rarities, including the exceedingly rare 1875, and many of the coins simply don't exist in Mint State. In just a short time, this set has become one of the most important, high-quality sets in the PCGS Set Registry. Only two coins (1863 and 1864-S) are needed to complete this set. Knowing the owner, we expect those holes to be filled soon and we would not be surprised to see many upgrades in the coming year.

AWA Collection - Liberty Head $20 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
Liberty Head $20 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
Liberty Head $20 Gold Type 1 Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1850-1866)
Liberty Head $20 Gold Type 2 Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1866-1876)
Liberty Head $20 Gold Type 3 Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1877-1907)
Liberty Head $20 Gold Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
Liberty Head $20 Gold with Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
This phenomenal set has been decades in the making and ranks as the finest ever assembled. Last year, 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. For a real numismatic treat, check out the images that accompany each of the set composition listings.

Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - St. Gaudens $20 Gold Date Set, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
The Duckors have set the standard for high quality Barber Half Dollars and $20 Saint Gaudens. Their date set of "Saints" is virtually perfect and includes the unique, Top Pop 1927-S in MS67. The Duckors have a keen eye, an aggressive collecting mentality, plus they are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

WPE Collection - Silver Commemoratives 144 Piece Mintmark & Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
We love classic US commemorative coins and we love the set that WPE has assembled. It includes many coins of the highest possible grade, including an MS67 Lafayette dollar, the only Vancouver in MS68, the only MS68 Albany, plus loads of other condition rarities. This is a massive set and a grand undertaking in which WPE has succeeded admirably.

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 finest ever assembled. An amazing 9 of the 13 coins grade MS67 and both of the big $50 Pan-Pacs are MS64. This is a small set of big importance.

Best Modern Sets of 2009

High Voltage Collection - Modern Type Set (1950-Present)
The High Voltage Collection is extremely electrifying! The owner of this set has obtained some of the very nicest Type coins representing the 1950 to Date composition. Most of the coins in this astounding set consist of MS and PR70 coins with very little room for improvement.

The Corso Collection - Jefferson Nickels FS Complet