We applaud everyone for their individual accomplishments in each and every set and thank all of the members who make the Collectors Society the vibrant community it is today.
Annually, NGC recognizes outstanding achievement in Registry set building. We would like to thank all of the participants in the NGC Registry and congratulate everyone on their individual accomplishments. The number of outstanding collections in the NGC Registry is remarkable and we are honored to have the opportunity to review them all.
Five winners were selected in each of four competitive categories: Best Classic, Best Modern, Best World and Best Presented. Additionally, we chose four winners for Custom Sets in the following categories: Best Overall, Best World, Most Creative and Most Informative. Finally, we are honoring three outstanding Collectors Journals authors.
Our team of experts reviewed all of the top sets across every category in the Registry. After much consideration, they selected the following sets. Congratulations to our winners!
Best Classic Sets
Simpson — Barber Quarters 1892–1915, Proofs
The series of proof Barber Quarters is a very challenging set to complete, with mintages ranging from a high of 1,245 in 1892 to just 380 in 1914. This collection is not only complete, but the average condition is superb. Its minimum grade is PF 67, with most examples grading much finer. Highlights include the consecutive issues of 1895 and 1896 each grading NGC PF 69 Cameo, a dazzling 1899 certified as PF 69 Ultra Cameo, and a simply amazing PF 69 specimen of the scarce 1912 edition. The very popular first-year-of-issue 1892 quarter is a real beauty at NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo.
TBA — Charlotte Mint Gold Complete
The mint at Charlotte, North Carolina issued only gold dollars, quarter eagles and half eagles, all of them ranging from scarce to extremely rare. This fabulous collection is just three coins shy of being complete for all issues, a simply amazing accomplishment. Standout pieces include a gorgeous 1851-C gold dollar grading NGC MS 66, a very choice MS 64 example of the 1842-C Large Date half eagle, and a rare MS 65 specimen of the 1855-C half eagle. The absolute highlight, however, is a very rare MS 65 gem of the 1849-C quarter eagle.
Golden — Riordan Collection Gold Dollars 1854–1889, Proofs
It takes a steady nerve to even commence a collection of proof gold dollars, so rare are many of the entries, and this handsome set is complete but for the two earliest issues. Nearly all are gems, most of them among the higher graded examples known. Some notable entries include the rare 1856 dollar grading NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo, a superb 1864 in PF 66 Ultra Cameo and a dazzling 1871 (NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo). With a mintage of only 20 proofs and 400 non-proofs, the collection’s star is certainly the very rare 1875 grading NGC PF 66 Ultra Cameo.
AB — Morgan Dollars, 1878–1921, GSA Soft Pack Holders
NGC’s innovative grading of GSA dollars in their original government packaging opened up a new world of collecting which seems to have reached its pinnacle in this very thorough collection. Nearly every date/mint issue of Morgans known to have been released in the soft pack is included. There is a broad range of grades reflecting the nature of soft pack dollars. Standouts include the rare 1879-CC (NGC VG 8), 1879-S (MS 67), 1890-S (MS 63) and 1903-O (MS 64). Top score in this fascinating collection is a tie between the 1880-CC Reverse of 78 the Reverse of 79 varieties.
Leonard Raines — Buffalo Nickels 1913–1937, Proof Issue
This charming collection proves that it doesn’t require a lot of coins to win top honors. Short and sweet, this set includes all of the Buffalo Nickel proofs 1913–16 and 1936–37. All are in very high grades, several carrying the NGC indicating outstanding eye appeal. Both 1913 nickels are included, grading NGC PF 67 and PF 67, respectively. PF 68 coins include the 1915 nickel and the very scarce final matte issue of 1916. The 1936 satin finish coin is a dazzling PF 68, and its brilliant companion grades NGC PF 67. This collection is truly the best of the best.
Best Modern Sets
Larry Dreher — Ailuropoda Melanoleuca Silver 10Y China Panda, Mint State (Incl. Varieties)
This impressive collection is complete from 1989 through 2011. As its owner notes in his introduction, there are numerous varieties for many years, such as Small Date and Large Date, and these reflect the production of several Chinese mints. All of these varieties are featured in this collection. The grades are likewise outstanding, with the coins about equally divided between NGC grades of MS 69 and MS 70. Some particularly desirable entries include the 1991 Small Date and 1992 Large Date varieties, each grading MS 70.
Nick Cascio (agent) — Arthur L. Gowman Collection 1 — Roosevelt Dimes 1946-Date, Circulation Issue
Coined continually for more than 65 years, the Roosevelt Dime series has grown quite large, and this impressive collection is absolutely complete for all currency and other non-proof issues. The grades are uniformly high, with numerous , and FT designations attesting to their excellent overall quality. There are too many great condition rarities to list them all, but some that jump out include 1946(P) graded NGC MS 68 FT, 1951(P) at MS 68 FT, 1953(P) certified as MS 68 FT and 1963(P) at MS 67 FT. Top honors among the long clad series goes to the 1996-D dime (NGC MS 69 FT).
David Rappaport — Kennedy Half Dollars, 1964-Date, Complete Set
The Kennedy Half Dollar debuted in 1964 to great public exposure, but it is known today almost solely to collectors. This rich collection spans nearly 50 years and is just a few pieces shy of completion. The condition of the coins is outstanding, with the proofs uniformly grading NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo from 1977 onward. Perhaps more rare are the currency strikes grading MS 66 to MS 67 for most dates, with a few dazzling MS 68 rarities. Easily the superstar of this gem collection is the 1965 Special Mint Set entry grading NGC MS 67 Ultra Cameo!
Jason Colinger — Dr. Colinger Collection Washington Clad Set
Washington Quarters 1965–1998
Largely ignored before being replaced by the 50-States program of 1999, the clad series of Washington Quarters truly gets its due in this superb collection. It includes all of the non-proofs from 1965 through 1998, with only a few coins grading less than MS 67. Condition rarities abound, including a gorgeous 1968(P) grading NGC MS 68, as well as similarly-graded gems of the scarce 1979(P) and 1985-P issues. Top-point honors go to an amazing 1989-P grading MS 67, and specialists will recognize this as one of the most difficult coins in the series to find nice.
Specialty One — Jefferson Nickels 1938–1964, Circulation Issue
The Jefferson Nickel series is another long-running issue, and this collector has opted to include only those pieces coined for circulation 1938–64. Only high-grade coins have been acquired, and the line-up of condition rarities is truly impressive, with many having the coveted 5 Full Steps and 6 Full Steps designations. Highlights include 1938-D and 1938-S (both NGC graded MS 67 5FS), 1939 Rev of 40 (MS 67), the popular overdate 1943/2-P (MS 66 5FS) and 1949-S (NGC MS 67 5FS). Strike rarities include 1956-D (MS 66 5FS) and 1964-D grading an awesome MS 67 5FS.
Best World Sets
Dan Hughes — Kookaburra Silver 1 Ounce, Including Varieties, Complete Set
Modern bullion coins have been among the most popular of collector issues in recent years, and this charming collection includes the complete series of Australia’s Kookaburra Silver Dollars 1990–2011. More than just a run of dates, this set features all MS, PF and SP issues, as well as all of the varieties. The condition of the coins is outstanding, the grades of 68–70 predominating. Each coin is illustrated, and the individual themes are described by the set’s owner.
TMS Coins — Cyprus Piastre Coinage, 1879–1949, Complete Circulation
Cyprus was one of the cradles of civilization. The owner of this set provides a good background history of both the island and its coinage as part of the British Empire. All issues of the piastre, including both its fractions and multiples, are included in this amazing collection. Each coin is illustrated, and a fact sheet is accompanied by the owner’s commentary on its rarity. Like all great NGC Registry Sets, this one serves as an encyclopedia of its subject.
EMO Collection — Cuba First Republic, 1915 Proof Set, Including Gold
The series of coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint for Cuba in 1915–16 has long enjoyed great popularity with American collectors. This handsome set includes all of the denominations struck as proofs during 1915, some thirteen coins in all, ranging from the lowly centavo through the impressive gold 20 pesos. These coins are in quite high grades, and their appeal is obvious. Though only a few are illustrated, and no commentary is provided, it is hoped that the owner will add these features at some point. The coins are certainly worthy of such enhancement.
Poldan — Danzig Free City, 1923–1939, Proof Issues, Complete
Now the port of Gdansk in Poland, Danzig was from 1919–39 a free city which issued its own coinage. Proofs were struck only sporadically, most of these coinciding with the first coinage issue of 1923. This collection brings together all of these rare coins, ranging from the bronze pfennig to the gold 25 gulden. All are choice to gem proofs. The addition of illustrations and commentary would be welcomed, but the coins by themselves are rare enough to make this an impressive collection.
Rudman Coleccion — Dominican Republic Commemorative Issues, 1955–2000, Complete
A winner in last year’s competition, Rudman has scored again with a different collection, this one featuring a complete series of Dominican Republic commemoratives 1955–2000. These coins include numerous issues in silver, gold and platinum, anchored by the Discovery of American series that ran from 1988 through 1992. The condition of the coins is superb, with the top point-earner being the gold 100 peso issue dated 1988. Though lacking illustrations and commentary, this collection represents a definitive series of the island nation’s commemorative heritage.
Best Presented Sets
Yeoldeone — Seated Liberty Dimes, 1837–1891, Circulation Issue
The series of Seated Liberty Dimes 1837–91 is a very extensive one with a great many coins needed to complete it. This wonderful collection is indeed complete for every issue save for the unique 1873-CC No Arrows, quite an accomplishment indeed. The quality of the coins is superb, with only the rarest pieces grading less than MS 65. There are too many condition rarities to list here, but what truly makes this Registry Set special is its excellent written and graphic presentation. Each coin is illustrated and described in detail, resulting in a virtual encyclopedia of the series.
JAA USA / Philippines Collection — USA/Philippines Type Set
Near the back of the Red Book readers will find the unique and historically important series of coins struck by the United States for use in the Philippine Islands from 1903–45. This collection presents a complete set of the various denominations and types produced, utilizing proofs as available, with the remainder being MS coins. Each issue is illustrated and accompanied by technical and historical commentary. An interesting introductory history of the series is also provided, making for quite an educational experience.
Panda Halves — Gold 1/2 Ounce Panda, Mint State and Proof
China’s series of Panda bullion coins is so extensive that this collector has opted to on all the gold half-ounce issues alone, including both proof and uncirculated issues. This complete collection from 1982 through 2011 is fully illustrated and includes an extensive introductory essay. The owner describes in some detail the appeal and rarity of the gold half-ounce series and provides a number of reasons why these coins make a worthy collection in and of themselves. This is an interesting and complete tutorial which epitomizes the mission of the NGC Registry to educate collectors and draw them into the collecting experience.
Kenneth Forsythe — Silver Statehood Quarters 1999–2008, Proofs
A chance encounter with a new Pennsylvania Quarter while serving in the Army and stationed in Kosovo led this collector to the ambitious pursuit of completing the 1999–2008 series of silver statehood quarters in NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo. With just a single upgrade now needed to fulfill this goal of perfection, the collection is awesome to behold. Making the most of his Registry participation, the owner has illustrated each coin, and it is also accompanied by a complete fact sheet listing the designer, release date, mintage and other information of interest to collectors.
Revenant — 1932 Mint Set
This collection is not so much a numismatic one as a personal tribute to the memory of the owner’s late grandmother, born in the year commemorated. Throughout it reflects a family’s journey to acquire each piece needed to bring the year set to completion, with only the rare and expensive double eagle now remaining. Any collector will relate to the ups and downs of searching for just the right coin and the satisfaction that comes with a winning bid. With most coinage suspended during 1932, the set is of limited size, but each entry is well illustrated and movingly described.
Best Overall Custom Set
Charles Stevens — Foreign Coins Struck at US Mints 1876–present
Borrowing his theme from a book of the same name, the owner of this historically important set has attempted to recreate that book’s contents in the form of the actual coins listed. The US Mint struck coins under contract to other countries 1876–1984, and the rich variety of these issues is displayed to good advantage in this set. While not yet complete, the set is handsomely crafted, with illustrations and commentary on each coin. The grades of the coins are generally high, reflecting the relative rarity of many issues. This is a very educational exhibit and quite an accomplishment for its owner.
Best World Custom Set
Ram-VT — Diversity in Numismatics
There are no rules when it comes to coin collecting, and this delightful set is ample proof. Years in the hobby convinced its owner that no one area is as appealing as a little of this and a little of that. This set is very large, and it includes a tremendous variety of coins, tokens and medals from ancient times to the modern world. Amazingly, each and every piece is illustrated, and the owner provides an interesting commentary that is both numismatically factual and charmingly personal at the same time.
Most Creative Custom Set
The BRG Collection — Horses
Thematic collecting is always popular, and this one makes the most of coins featuring horses. In addition to a great array of coins and tokens from around the world, from ancient times to modern, the individual entries are presented in an extremely attractive and entertaining manner. A template is used that presents the coins in “postcard” form, with an enlarged view of the side bearing the horse imagery. A second postcard includes other non-numismatic images which help to tell its story and place it in context. This is a truly fun set which will appeal even to the non-collector.
Most Informative Custom Set
BoneHead — BoneHead’s Collection of Errors
Error coins are ideal for a display, as each one is more or less unique. This certainly is the case with this appealing set, which includes a broad range of United States Mint error pieces. The owner explains in his introduction that any manufacturing facility will make errors and that the USM in no exception. Each entry is illustrated and accompanied by an explanation of the error type, making this Registry set yet another excellent tutorial.
The Collectors’ Journal awards are our chance to highlight the great entries by our members. This area of the site is all about collectors sharing their passion for the hobby with each other. We’re proud to give this award to the collectors who have done an outstanding job of journaling their collecting experience.
Iowa Silver Baron Bammer
Best in Category
And as always, we have given out the Best in Category awards for the year. A full review of the winners, including lists of the Best in Category winners can be found on our 2011 Awards Archive page.