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

Awards 2011

HALL OF FAME

2017 AWARDS

Expert Comments:
Once again we have the great pleasure of recognizing the spectacular accomplishments of the PCGS Set Registry participants. As life-long coin enthusiasts we understand the tremendous effort and time that goes into building world class coin collections. What this year’s winners have accomplished is definitely worthy of high praise. So to all winners we say, “Congratulations!” And to all participants in the PCGS Set Registry we say that 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 2011

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 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.

Driftwood - Barber Series Complete Set, Proof (1892-1915)
The Driftwood Barber Set is a new winner this year, and a perusal of the listing explains why. Of the 72 coins, the MINIMUM grade is PR65, and an astonishing 2/3 of the set is cameo or deep cameo. This beautifully matched set has lots of room to grow, as plenty of upgrade possibilities exist. We expect this set to only get better every year!

JB3 Collection - Commemoratives Complete Set, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1892-present)
The JB3 Collection is a nearly complete collection of ALL American commemorative coins, going way back to the Isabella Quarter in 1893, through the classic period, and all the way up to the present time, including gold. It lacks only the Pan Pac 50s and the most recent issues. This outstanding set is 98.39% complete and has an overall GPA of 66.78.

ESM - U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties (1793-present)
U.S. Cents Complete Set with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes and Proof (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 99.12% complete from 1793 to date. Receiving his fifth consecutive award, and with a Set Rating gap of over 40 points over the second place set, the quality and breadth of this Hall of Fame collection is simply amazing.

Jim McGuigan - Half Cent Collection (1793-1857)
Half Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1793-1857)
Half Cents with Major Varieties, Proof (1831-1857)
(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 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. Jim received Hall of Fame recognition in 2004 and these are his eighth consecutive awards for his amazing collection.

ESM - Half Cents, Proof (1831-1857)
Half Cents Basic Set, Proof (1831-1857)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection.)
This is the sixth 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. A set rating of 65.225 sets a mark that will be difficult to eclipse. 15 of the 23 coins in the set are finest knowns, or tied for that honor.

Twin Leaf Collection - Large Cents, Proof (1817-1857)
This is a recent 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. Over two thirds of the coins in the set are at the top of the population listing, with none higher.

The Best - Flying Eagle Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1856-1858)
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 ninth consecutive win for this outstanding set.

The Castle Collection - 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? Forty coins in this set are already un-improvable. Kudos to The Castle Collection. A well deserved second award!

The Thomas Irwin Collection - Lincoln Cent Collection (1909-Present)
Lincoln Cents Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes and Proof (1909-Present)
(Note that the award includes the 25 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 67.94 and it approaches 97% completion. 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.

Legal Two Cents - Shield Two Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1864-1872)
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 two. Quite possibly the finest Two Cent Piece set ever assembled. Another repeat winner for a most deserving effort.

David Poole - Three Cent Nickels, Proof (1865-1889)
Three Cent Nickels with Major Varieties, Proof (1865-1889)
(Note that the award includes the sub-sets in this collection which is ranked #1.)
With an average grade of 67.9, it’s tough to imagine a better set. In fact, EVERY coin in the set except for three has a Pop Higher of “0”. A seventh consecutive award for an amazing accomplishment.

Simpson - Three Cent Silvers, Circulation Strikes (1851-1872)
Three Cent Silvers with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1851-1872)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
A new player last year, 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.

Laura Sperber (Legend Collection) - Three Cent Silvers, Proof (1854-1873) Three Cent Silvers with Major Varieties, Proof (1854-1873)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.) This set was purchased intact this past year, and now receives its third award. It is 100% complete and has a set rating of 66.68. Incredibly, there is only ONE date in the entire set that PCGS has graded higher, and that with a population of one! At the threshold of perfection.

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 dates need to be upgraded to achieve all Top Pops) and his fifth consecutive gold star award. Keep up the good work Mitch!

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 the Mint State set 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 one coin graded higher (1870) making the owner of these two sets ONE coin away from having the finest set of Shield Nickels, both Mint State and Proof, that can be assembled. This is the fifth Best Classic award for these outstanding sets of Shield Nickels.

Richard Groman - Liberty Nickels Basic Set, Proof (1883-1912)
With a jaw dropping set rating of 67.72, this set borders on perfection. Only three coins could be improved, and this marks his 8th year in the top spot in the category. We’re proud to award him his second gold star.

Gerald Forsythe - Buffalo Nickel Collection (1913-1938)
Buffalo Nickels Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1913-1938)
Buffalo Nickels, Proof (1913-1937)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Gerald Forsythe has led this category since 2005 and this year he is again recognized a seventh consecutive time 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. Only two coins could be improved, and they are the 1935-P and 1936-P of all dates! The Proofs are as fine a set as can be made, with all eight coins being either finest known or tied for that honor. A set rating of 68.2 says it all. 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)
Capped Bust Half Dimes with Major Varieties, 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 Simpson’s coins. 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)
Liberty Seated Half Dimes with Major Varieties & 1870-S, 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 last year 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)
Liberty Seated Dimes with Major Varieties, 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 seventh consecutive gold star award?

Simpson - Barber Dime Collection (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1892-1916)
Barber Dimes, Proof (1892-1915)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
We run short of superlatives attempting to describe Simpson’s sets. A 100% complete set of Barber Dimes, both MS and Proof, with set ratings of 66.67 and 67.93 certainly speaks for itself. The addition of Simpson’s sets has enriched the Registry substantially and his second round of Gold Star awards should come as a surprise to no one.

Greenwich Collection - Liberty Seated Quarters, Proof (1858-1891)
While winning a blue star in 2009 for top of the category, we awarded the Greenwich Collection a gold star last year for achieving a Set Rating of 66.57 and 100% completion. This year, the set rating has inched up to 66.78 and we are proud to award his second consecutive gold star award. Sporting six absolute finest knowns (pop 1, 0 higher) it sets a high bar for competition in this series.

Just Having Fun - Standing Liberty Quarters FH, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
Standing Liberty FH Quarters with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1930)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This is the ninth 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 67.79 and 92.11% FH, improving this masterpiece of collecting is a challenge. 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)
Washington Quarters with Major Varieties, 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 67.07 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 the second gold star award!

David Poole - Washington Quarters, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
Washington Quarters Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1932-1964)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
This extraordinary collection of Washington Quarters has been admirably assembled and shepherded by Mr. Poole and has led its category for the sixth 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. What a set that could be assembled if Mitch Spivack and David Poole combined the best of their respective sets!

Dale Friend - Early Half Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1794-1839)
Early Half Dollars with Major Varieties, 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 a gold star last year. We think a 92% complete collection of halves from 1794 to 1839 with a weighted GPA of 58.6 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)
Barber Half Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1892-1915)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
In a mature venue such as the PCGS Set Registry, it’s rather rare now to have a new award-winning set on the scene. Dr. Shireman’s Barber Halves certainly qualify! At 100% complete and a set rating of 66.085, we congratulate Dr. Shireman on his first Gold Star award. Check out the photos for some gorgeously toned Barber Halves.

Gerald Forsythe - Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1916-1947)
Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Proof (1936-1942)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
This magnificent collection of Walking Liberty Half Dollars is back for its third 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 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 the other two 1921s are both MS65. The Proof set weighs in with a GPA of 68.06, and includes the ONLY proof Walker graded PR69 by PCGS!

Robert D. Hesselgesser M.D. - Early Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
Early Dollars with Bolender & Bowers/Borckardt Varieties with Silver Plugs, Circulation Strikes (1794-1803)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
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. The set contains 113 of 123 known varieties – keep in mind that in the 123 possible coins, no fewer than nine are Rarity 8s! An astonishing 61 coins in the variety set (almost 50% of the coins) are finest knowns, (pop 1, none higher) and we believe it’s safe to say a better set will not be coming along anytime soon. 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 and congratulate him on his fifth gold star award.

California I - Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars with Major Varieties, 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 65.06 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 tenth annual award!

David T. Miller and C. Ash Harrison (DT Miller by Ashmore) - Morgan Dollars Prooflike, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
Morgan Dollars Prooflike Only with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1878-1921)
(Note that the award includes the 2 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
Back for its third 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 Basic Set currently 96.43% complete, with a Weighted GPA of 66.69 and with 86.1% of the Prooflikes DMPLs.

Paul Taylor - Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Proof (1878-1904)
The Paul Taylor set of proof Morgans has been a mainstay of the PCGS Set Registry since its inception. This is the fourth consecutive Best Classic award for this remarkable set and his tenth award. The primary set has a weighted GPA of 67.78, indicating the superb level of quality of most of the coins. Filled with Cameos (48%) and Deep Cameos (33%), 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, Circulation Strikes (1921-1935)
(Note that the award includes the 3 sub-sets in this collection which are ranked #1.)
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. To give you some idea of the incredible quality of this Hall of Fame set, the entire column of “Pop Higher” adds to only 4 pieces. An unprecedented TENTH 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)
Indian Head $2-1/2 Gold Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1908-1929)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The “California” $2.5 Indian set wins its seventh consecutive Best Classic set award. Most 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 an MS67 example of the key date 1914. All but two pieces in the set are “Top Pop” coins. With a Set Rating just north of MS66, collectors of Indian Gold know how tough this accomplishment is.

The Great Lakes Collection -$3 Gold No 1870-S Basic Set, 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. At 100% complete with a Set Rating of 64.88, this set is fully deserving of its sixth Best Classic Gold Star award.

Tom Bender - $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. Well done Tom!

Simpson - Indian Head $10 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933)
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 66.35, it surpasses the former champions, Jim O’Neal and the Kutasi Collection. It is the current finest by a wide margin. Fulling deserving of its place in the Hall of Fame and its second Gold Star award.

AWA Collection - Liberty Head $20 Gold, Circulation Strikes (1850-1907)
Liberty Head $20 Gold with Major Varieties, 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 third Best Classic award, and more to come.

Simpson - St. Gaudens $20 Gold with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
The addition of the Simpson sets was a major highlight of the Set Registry last year, and this Saint Gaudens set explains why. It is 100% complete, and boasts a Set Rating of 65.81 including a 27-D in MS66, a 20-S in MS65, a 30-S in MS65, a 31-P in MS66 and a 29-P in MS66+. We could go on, but you get the idea. Even more amazing, is that some of the more common dates remain easy upgrades, which could push the set rating over MS66!

Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor - St. Gaudens $20 Gold with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1907-1932)
(Note that the award includes the sub-set in this collection which is ranked #1.)
The Duckors have set the standard for high quality Barber Half Dollars and $20 Saint Gaudens. Their set of "Saints" is unsurpassed in quality 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. Again, to measure the quality of this set, notice the number of zeroes in the “Pop Higher” column. A sixth award, and second Gold Star award for this set is no surprise. Combining the Simpson and Ducker Saint sets would produce the Saint set of a lifetime.

Bruce Scher - Silver Commemoratives 144 Piece Mintmark & Variety Set, Circulation Strikes (1892-1954)
Another new Gold Star Winner this year, and proof that superb sets can still be made, this incredible set of Commemoratives boasts a set rating over 67 and is 100% complete. Best of all, photographs of the set have been posted, allowing interest viewers to see just how beautiful a set of U.S. commems can be. Get this: of the 144 coins, 94 show a “0” in the “Pop Higher” column. Tell me that ain’t tough to do.

Paul Denby - Gold Commemoratives, Circulation Strikes (1903-1926)