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Collector Spotlight: John Good Celebrates History’s Greatest Women


John Good has been collecting coins since his youth and has built several sensational sets on the PCGS Set Registry. Courtesy of John Good. Click image to enlarge.

Collector John Good remembers when coins first caught his attention. He was seven years old, and his maternal grandfather gave him a collection of Flying Eagle, Indian, and Lincoln Cents housed across two green coin folders. “He had assembled three such collections, one for each of his children,” Good explains. “My mother had asked him to save hers and later to give it to me. They lived in the New Jersey area, so many Denver and San Francisco coins from the early years were missing, as were the middle years of the Indian Head Cents.”

Good also recalled several silver and gold dollar coins his mom received from her aunt, with these pieces also now passed on down to him. These coins formed the nucleus of his numismatic ambitions from a young age.

Lincoln Cents have been a mainstay for Good over the years, but it was his passion for Indian Cents that really grabbed him in the late 1990s. Before long, he had joined the PCGS Set Registry and completed an impressive set of Indian Cents with Major Varieties. This led him to build other fantastic PCGS Registry Sets, including Mercury Dimes FB With Major Varieties – Circulation Strikes (1916-1945), Buffalo Nickel Proof Set (1913-1937), Gold Type Set 12-Piece – Circulation Strikes (1839-1933), and Basic U.S. Coin Design Set (1792-present), among others. Some of these sets are now retired, while others are active and ranking well among their peers.

This coin from John Good’s 100 Greatest Women on Coins set represents Persephone. “It is interesting because this coin also satisfies the set criteria for Leda and the Swans as well as Venus de Milo,” Good says. “All three are shown, looking like the statues they are, on the reverse of this unusual coin.” Courtesy of PCGS. Click image to enlarge.

But one of the most intriguing sets Good is currently embarking on was inspired by two commemorative sets he built and 100 Greatest Women on Coins, a popular book by Ron Guth. “I created this set in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, looking for something new to do,” explains Good. The set entails a wide-ranging variety of coins spanning centuries and representing famous women from the canon of world history. “I hadn’t been considering a world coin set of this broad scope but gave it a closer look. I noticed that I already had coins in my existing collection that met the criterion in this set. I had in fact 10 coins already.”

He set out to build the finest set possible, considering different avenues for completing such a collection. It was upon landing a coin profiling one of the required individuals, Saint Helena of Constantinople, that he knew building such a set would become his new goal. He bought a 500 lei from Romania depicting the Christian saint and submitted it to PCGS. “It came back PR70DCAM,” he added. “From that point on, I was hooked.”

He admits building the 100 Greatest Women on Coins set hasn’t been all that easy. Coins featuring the designer of the first American flag, Betsy Ross, and Spain’s Queen Isabella II were tough to locate. Pandemic-era shipping issues created hiccups in receiving a coin with the likeness of Empress Elizabeth of Australia. Other coins required exercises in patience to land pieces of just the right quality.

He advises others in the process of completing top sets to build a solid network of friends who collect similar material. “Reach out to others in the registry, introduce yourself, and ask for advice regarding any problems you are having. I have traded, sold, and bought coins from several other collectors in the PCGS Set Registry.” He says the global element of his 100 Greatest Women on Coins set enhances the importance of having international contacts. “It helps to know where you can find coins from around the world. That’s where networking with veteran registry collectors can be a big help, to find out where these sources are.”

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