In June 2011, Glenn Holsonbake acquired a complete set of halves assembled by another collector, and offered me the opportunity to combine our two sets using the best of the best. We spent several hours with the two collections laid side by side trying to determine which coin had the best look, both individually and as part of the entire set. In a couple of cases the lesser grade coin was selected, in all cases the most original coin is the one that was retained. At that time I thought for sure the set was complete, but there were still two additional changes to be made.
Through one of my regular searches I was lucky enough to locate the 1892 Micro O half. It is a problem coin housed in a genuine holder, but it is exceptional in its overall appearance. The Micro O has a total PCGS population of forty-eight coins, and only two in the targeted grade range of this collection. The coin was impossible to pass on, and is the primary reason for posting the set in a registry with the likes of Duckor, Shireman, Friend, Price, and Eliasberg collections. These top five sets have a rating in excess of 65.
The most recent upgrade opportunity was following the ANA Colorado Springs summer seminar in June 2012. A great friend and Barber collector, Mike Hayes gave me the opportunity to once again lay two collections side by side and select the best. The result was five additional upgrades. There was not a significant change to the set rating, but the uniformity throughout the set is truly special.
Please enjoy the set; it has been a great experience putting it together, and a wonderful opportunity to meet so many fun and knowledgeable collectors, both in person and through the internet.