eCollector - July 15, 2003 | Vol. 4 Number 14 


Market Report

ANA Online Catalog, PCGS Set Registry Awards Create Another Heat Wave
The PCGS Set Registry awards recognize 17 major winners and two new Hall-of-Fame members. Lincolns, dollars, Walking Liberty half dollars among the market leaders. Expensive coins still selling fast and furious. ANA auction catalog from B&M is now online. Click here to read more.

Set Registry Spotlight

Driftwood - The Number One Finest Set Twenty Cent with Branch Mint, Proof (1875-1878)
The Driftwood collection of Twenty Cents (both Circulation Strikes and Proofs) was a Set Registry Award winner this year for Best New Set. There is a reason for that... his collection is not only high grade, but also contains the ultra-rare 1876-CC! Click here to view the Proof set.

Congratulations to this year's 2003 Set Registry Awards winners and Hall of Fame inductees. This year's list of best sets is impressive to say the least. Our judges, numismatists Bruce Amspacher, John Dannreuther, and David Hall, had nothing but praise for all the fantastic sets they reviewed. Here's what Bruce Amspacher had to say about his experience:

When B.J. Searls sent me the ballot for the 2003 PCGS Set Registry awards she mentioned that she was "blown away" by the whole thing. I have to agree. While I check on the sets from time to time to see what's new, it was overwhelming to have all 7,000 sets to consider at one time, especially since there were so many new blockbuster collections.

The Classic Sets sent me for a loop. There were five slots to fill and 21 sets that I felt absolutely had to make it. In addition to that, I had already moved the Standing Liberty quarter set with varieties and the Twenty Cent piece set with 1876-CC from the Classic list to the New Sets list to make more "room."

Paring the Classic Sets list to five meant leaving out some of the greatest sets of all time. The rules allow for a set to win in consecutive years, of course, but there were other sets that seemed equally worthy. Should Tom McCarroll's magnificent Buffalo nickel set be a repeat winner or should the nod go to Dr. S.D. and his equally magnificent Barber half dollar set? If the Barber half dollar set wins then doesn't the Law Barber dime set have to win as well? The Legend Trade dollar set is one of the greatest sets of all time. How does anyone leave it out, even though it won last year? Stewart Blay's Lincoln set is legendary. It absolutely HAS TO win, but if it does the set of Barber half dollar Proofs from the Pinnacle Customer might go unrecognized.

On and on the dilemma escalated. Joshua II's Mercury dime set, Mike Gilley's Carson City dollar set, California's four (FOUR!) Morgan dollar sets, everything entered by High Desert, Paul Taylor's Proof Morgan dollars, William Walser's Indian cent Proofs... which of these sets could be eliminated?

I was reassured by one thing and that was what happened last year. Even though we had to make numerous razor-thin decisions about the ultimate winners there was no grousing. Everyone seemed to have a great attitude about it all and congratulated the winners with enthusiasm. It's impossible to ask for or expect more than that.

For the second straight year everyone was the ultimate winner. Congratulations to B.J. Searls and her staff for that, but mostly congratulations to the hundreds of collectors who participated.

Just wait until next year!

As a valued member of the PCGS Set Registry program you and a guest are invited to attend a Set Registry Luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

David Hall, PCGS President, will give a brief discussion on future plans for the Set Registry. A special recognition will be made to the winners in attendance of the 2003 PCGS Set Registry Awards. Meet other registrants and members of the PCGS staff.

Date: Friday, August 1, 2003
Time: 12-2 p.m.

Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
Harborview II Ballroom
300 South Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21201

Please RSVP BJ Searls, Set Registry Manager,
by July 16th: [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

Three Awesome Coins from the HIGH DESERT Type Set on Display!
Visit the PCGS booth at the ANA in Baltimore for a very special treat. The owner of the High Desert Type Set, the number one Complete U.S. Type Coin Set (1792-1964) in the Registry, picked three of his favorite coins for display... and these coins are nothing short of spectacular. Stop by the booth to view the finest PCGS graded 1818 Bust Quarter (MS67), an 1859 Seated Half Dollar in Proof 67 (1 of 3 graded), and the only 1900 Barber Half Dollar graded PCGS Proof 68 Deep Cameo. To see these coins out of the bank vault is worth the trip to Baltimore!

The weights for the Circulation Strikes and Proof Liberty Seated Half Dimes are currently being previewed. If you are a collector of these coins, please take a moment to review the proposed weights on the Set Registry News page. Visit the Set Registry News page for frequent updates.

Fun, educational, and sometimes controversial, the PCGS Set Registry Messageboard remains the number one informative coin forum on the Internet. Get involved with other collectors who are currently participating in the Set Registry program or are just beginning. Click here to chat on the Set Registry Messageboard.

The PCGS Set RegistryTM is a work in progress. If you have any suggestions or comments please e-mail [email protected].

Building a Twenty Cents set? Go to the Authorized Dealer link on PCGS and click on 19th Century Silver Coins in Specialties. Looking for dealers with Internet sites? Click on the Internet sites link in services. Search for more than 1,000 dealers in the PCGS Authorized Dealer listings.

Expert's Corner

How to Make Money in Rare Coins
Numerous books have been written on the subject of rare coin investment. But, in truth, by grasping just a few basic rules, collectors can greatly increase their chance to profit. This article, which appears courtesy of Pinnacle Rarities, outlines some of these key practices. Understanding these four facts is a big step towards successful investing and will hopefully allow you to steer clear of the most common mistakes. Click here to read more.

Collector's Survey

What is (or was) the greatest coin market of all time?

  1. The early 1960s! Interest in coins was spurred on by the incredible demand for the 1964 Proof set and other modern issues, and fortunes were made.
  2. 1973-74! This great era saw classic rarities come into their own for the first time and it was a highly "numismatic" market.
  3. 1979-80! With $50 silver and $850 gold this was the greatest opportunity of all time. The market was crazy!
  4. 1989-90! The great boom in MS65 dollars, quality generic coins and type.
  5. Today! The ultimate "collector-driven" market buoyed by certified grading, the Internet, the PCGS Set Registry and more.

Click here to answer. Results will be posted in the next eCollector.

Results from last survey: 45% would most like to own a 1964 Peace dollar, if an MS65 specimen turned up. Click here for a complete breakdown.

What are adjustment marks? Find out in Lingo, the PCGS dictionary of numismatic definitions. Click here for Lingo.

Subscribe to the online PCGS Population ReportSM for as little as $4.95 a month! Updated weekly, get the latest census data on all coins graded by PCGS. Click here to get a free peek at the population statistics for Twenty Cents.

Our Readers Ask

Question: Do you think the present bull market in coins is tied to:

  • The economy not doing so well? Like eBay saying they have record earnings because people are using their services more since the economy is so bad (counter-cyclical).
  • The fact that the precious metals market is starting to heat up? And, some feel it could really boom in the next couple years.

Answer: Good question. This is my fifth major bull market, having been around in 1961-64, 1971-74, 1977-1980, and 1983-89. This bull market is driven internally by two factors...

  1. The cyclical ripeness of the coin market. Coins were the only major collectible that didn't do well in the 1990s. It's our turn!!!
  2. The tremendous coin collecting renaissance that's going on. The Statehood quarter program and other factors have brought tons of new buyers to the market.

The market is being driven externally by...

  1. The end of the stock major mother of all bull markets. An over 10-year run that pulled coin buyer money away from the coin market.
  2. The improving gold bullion prices.

This market has a lot of momentum and the fundamentals are excellent. I think we could continue to smoke for at least another two to three years.

-- David Hall, Professional Coin Grading Service

Do you have a question you would like to ask our experts? Click here.
Or, visit the PCGS messageboards, the most active coin forums online.

Join the PCGS Collectors Club ...Enjoy the Benefits!
If you love collecting coins, the PCGS Collectors Club is for you. Members enjoy direct access to all PCGS grading services, complimentary PCGS gradings and a wealth of essential information. All PCGS Collectors Club Members enjoy access to all Collectors Universe auctions, eShops and messageboards and the eZines of their choice. Joining is quick and easy. Just click here or call PCGS Customer Service at 800-447-8848. Do it today!


Quarterly Collectors Club Grading Special
The bird is the word! For this quarter (July 1-September 30, 2003) PCGS Collectors Club members may submit one 1856 Flying Eagle cent for free certification (authentication and grading). Regardless of whether it's a circulation strike or a Proof, your only cost will be the postage. Your 1856 "flying bird" will be graded through the Regular Service, which takes 15 days.

Bid Online in Bowers and Merena Galleries' ANA Auction!

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) World's Fair of Money® this year promises to be a spectacular event on a scale we have not seen in recent memory (or maybe ever!). The buzz about the event that will unfold July 30 through August 2 in Baltimore has electrified the coin collecting world with eager anticipation. Besides the extraordinary array of prized numismatics that will be offered, this event will be charged with history-making, once-in-a-lifetime attractions for the coin collectors of America and the world who are wise enough and lucky enough to attend. The 4,000+ lots to be featured in the official ANA auction conducted by Bowers and Merena are now online for viewing and bidding. Click here to view the online catalog!

Important Show Updates!

The 31st Annual Maryland State Numismatic Assoc. Convention and Coin Show (Pre ANA)

Ramada Hotel
Exhibition Center
8500 Annapolis Rd.
New Carrollton, MD
July 26-July 28

For more information on PCGS' list of services contact customer service at 800-447-8848.

PCGS will be offering on-site grading. Representatives will be available to answer questions and accept submissions for all levels of service through Sunday.

Fees for on-site (same day/next day) service are:
  • $65 per coin (5 coins minimum per order) for coins valued $1500 or less
  • $100 per coin for coins valued over $1500

Cut-off time for same day/next day service is 12 noon on Sunday.

Show Schedule:
Sat. 7/26 - 10am - 6pm
Sun. 7/27 - 10am - 6pm
Mon. 7/28 - 10am - 4pm
(PCGS will not attend on Monday)

The ANA World's Fair of Money

Baltimore Convention Center
1 West Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD
July 30 - August 3

Show Info:
For more information on the ANA World's Fair of Money, visit

For more information on PCGS's list of services please contact customer service at 800-447-8847.

PCGS will be offering on-site grading. Representatives will be available to answer questions and accept submissions for all levels of service through Sunday.

Fees for on-site (same day/next day) service are:
  • $65 per coin (5 coins minimum per order) for coins valued $1500 or less.
  • $100 per coin for coins valued over $1500.

Cut-off time for same day/next day service is 12 noon on Saturday.

Show Schedule:
Wed. 7/30 - 10am - 7pm
Thu. 7/31 - 10am - 7pm
Fri. 8/01 - 10am - 7pm
Sat. 8/02 - 10am - 7pm
Sun. 8/03 - 10am - 3pm

Upcoming Shows

Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Exposition
Long Beach Convention Center
100 South Pine Ave
Long Beach, CA
September 17 - September 21

For more information regarding the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo please visit

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