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. There are now more than 68,000 collections in the NGC Registry. We are honored to have had the opportunity to review them.
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 judges 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
Yeoldeone — Seated Liberty Dimes, 1858-1891, Proof Issue
1858 is generally considered the year in which the US Mint began publicly offering its proofs for sale, and old coin albums for proofs began with this date. Assembling a complete run of this series through 1891 is an awesome undertaking, but this collection also maintains a minimum grade of PF 67, which is simply amazing. Some of the most memorable coins include 1858 (PF 67), 1859 (PF 68 Cameo) and 1873 Arrows (PF 67). Impressive condition rarities include PF 68 Cameo examples of 1882 and 1886. This is truly remarkable for a series whose highest single mintage was a mere 1,355 pieces.
Green Collection — Capped Bust Half Dimes 1829-1837, One-Per-Date
Half dime coinage resumed in 1829 after a suspension of nearly 25 years. The Capped Bust type of 1829-37 is obtainable in lower Mint State grades, but this stellar collection includes only pieces at or near the top of the NGC Census. In addition, the owner has included for each half dime both the Valentine and Logan-McCloskey die marriage numbers, as well as current rarity ratings and written descriptions. With no fewer than five of nine coins grading MS 67, this is an extremely impressive collection.
JAA USA/Philippines Collection — 1908 Proof Set
1908 was the final year in which the Philadelphia Mint offered proofs of its coins issued for the Philippine Islands under United States administration. The four silver pieces in this seven-coin set were of the new reduced standard and are thus unique to this year’s coinage. The owner has provided a wonderful educational platform, as both the series in general and each individual issue are thoroughly described and accompanied by insightful observations. While the grades range from PF 62 through 66, this information is priceless.
Ct coins — Lincoln Cents, 1934-1958, Circulation Issue
The familiar Lincoln Cent matured during this period, which represents the second half of the Wheat Reverse type’s issue. This collection is complete by date and mint, with every coin being an ultra high grade gem. Kicking off with a 1934(P) grading an amazing MS 68 RD, other standout coins include a similarly graded 1936 D and all three steel cents certified as MS 68. An unbroken run of MS 67 RD cents spans the years 1944-58, with a spike in the form of a MS 68 RD 1950 S beauty. The rare and highly sought 1955 Doubled Die Obverse variety grades a splendid MS 65 BN.
Mayer — Hawthorne Set of Seated Liberty Half Dimes 1858-1873, Proofs
NGC is pleased to recognize a second complete set of Seated Liberty proofs, this one encompassing the half dime series. With just three exceptions, mintages for these scarce coins did not exceed the hundreds, and the superb gems in this collection are all very rare. Knockout specimens include 1858 (PF 67), 1859 (PF 68), 1864 (PF 68 Cameo) and a fabulous 1871 grading PF 69! This is a truly memorable collection of proof half dimes.
Best Modern Sets
Terry A. Hammes — Presidential Dollars, 2007-2010, SMS
From 2005-10 the US Mint issued its Uncirculated Set coins with a satin finish that has been designated SMS by NGC. This impressive collection features all of the Presidential Dollars having this finish. Beginning with the first coin in 2007, all of these pieces are certified as either MS 68 or 69 by NGC and make for an outstanding achievement. Viewing this collection makes one wish that the Mint had continued its satin finish through the end of the Presidential series.
asdfy — Statehood Quarters 1999-2008, First Day of Mintage
The statehood quarter program was a landmark event at its launch in 1999 and propelled modern coins in general into the forefront of the American coin market. Those pieces certified as being from the first day of mintage are limited in number, with figures ranging from nearly 100 coins at the beginning of the program down to just 18 pieces for the Alaska and Hawaii issues! Diminished enthusiasm for the program as it aged thus resulted in some remarkable rarities, and each and every issue is included in this absolutely complete collection, which would be exceedingly difficult to assemble today.
Dan Hughes — Lunar Coins, Silver Dollars, Series One and Two (With Gilt and Colorized)
Australia’s popular series of Lunar Silver Dollars began in 1999 and continues today. This impressive collection includes each piece in the series, both regular issues and those having gilt surfaces and various colorizations. With but a single exception, each coin has been graded by NGC as MS 70 and is thus unimprovable. Highlights include the 2005 Year of the Rooster coin gilt and colorized, the 2009P Ox issue gilt and the 2013P Snake issue gilt.
RHF — Top 50 Most Popular Modern Coins
The great popularity of modern United States coins prompted the recent publication of a book identifying the most desired issues, and this splendid collection is complete for all 50 pieces. All of the MS coins have been certified by NGC as MS 70, while all of the proofs grade PF 70, the frosted proofs all being Ultra Cameo. The sole exception to this grade perfection is the scarce 2007 Washington Dollar lacking edge lettering, as this mint error was made for general circulation. It is nevertheless an impressive MS 67, the highest grade known for this issue.
Coininvestor1943 — Gold ½ Ounce Panda, 1982-Date, Mint State and Proof
For 30 years China’s series of half-ounce gold Panda coins has delighted collectors and investors. This complete collection is of uniformly high grade, with nothing certified as less than MS or PF 69. There are many standout coins in this set, but some of the highlights include the first-year-of-issue 1982 grading MS 69, the scarce 1994 50 Yuan pieces grading MS 70 and PF 69 Ultra Cameo, respectively, the 1995 50Y in MS 69 and the MS 69 1998 50Y.
Best World Sets
Rudman coleccion — Philip V, Mexico 8 Escudos, 1732-1747, Circulation Issue
The milled coinage of Mexico commenced in 1732, and this amazing collection is nearly complete for the massive gold 8 escudos issues of King Philip V by date, mint and variety. Starting out with the rare pieces dated 1732 Mo and 1732 Mo F, these are represented with attractive examples graded XF 45 by NGC. Also a rarity is the 1733 Mo F issue, and this coin is a splendid AU 55 specimen. Other highlights include 1734 Mo MF/F (AU 58) and 1745 Mo MF (MS 62).
tig — Tig’s Swiss 20 Franc Gold Coins
The series of gold 20 Francs pieces issued by Switzerland from 1897 through 1949 are regarded as simply bullion coins in lower grades, but this charming collection features all choice and gem Mint State examples — the cream of the crop. Complete for all dates, including the scarce 1926B grading MS 67, this set is a noteworthy achievement. Other highlights include 1897B and 1898B certified by NGC as MS 66 and examples of 1927B, 1935LB and 1949B grading MS 67.
TMS Coins — Half Sovereign Type Set, George III - Elizabeth II, Circulation Issue
The presentation of this handsome collection begins with a detailed history of both the monarchs depicted on the half sovereign and details of the coins themselves. This whets one’s appetite for the listing of coins to follow, and these pieces do not disappoint. All fourteen types coined from 1817 to the present are included, each one a lovely Mint State specimen. Important pieces include 1821 grading NGC MS 64, 1835 (MS 62), 1852 (MS 65) and 2001 (MS 69).
ROBBAKE12157 — Bakewell South Africa 3 Pence Proof Collection 1923-1960
Coinage for the Union of South Africa commenced in 1923 and lasted until establishment of the Republic in 1960. This important collection includes an example of each three-pence coin struck in proof finish during that period. Mintages ranged from a low of just 12 pieces in 1932 to as high as 16,000 in 1952. Standout coins include 1926 (PF 64), 1931 (PF 64), and 1932 through 1934, all three graded PF 65 by NGC. The 1944 and 1960 issues each grade a pleasing PF 65 Cameo.
sbu33 — British North Borneo, 1882-1941, Complete
Now known as Sabah, the former Protectorate of British North Borneo had its own coinage struck at the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England (H mintmark). This lasted until interrupted by World War II, and this delightful collection includes nearly every issue produced during those 60 years. All are scarce to rare in Mint State, and the star of this set is the 1907H half cent graded MS 65 BN by NGC. Other highlights include cents dated 1884H (MS 65 RB) and 1907H (MS 63 BN) and the 1920H 2-1/2 cent piece certified as MS 63.
Best Presented Sets
Heartland Collection — Link’s Capped Bust Half Dollar Date Set
This is indeed a complete date set of Capped Bust — Lettered Edge Half Dollars 1807-36. The condition of the coins is uniformly excellent, with grades ranging from MS 64 through MS 67. Nearly every coin is illustrated, and the owner has provided detailed text revealing facts about the coins’ varieties and pedigrees. Standout pieces include the scarce 1815 NGC graded MS 66, 1820 (MS 66), 1823 (MS 67) and 1827 (MS 67).
coin928 — USPI-1C
The one-centavo series of coins for the Philippines 1903-44 was produced by the United States Mints at Philadelphia, San Francisco and Manila. Each piece also carries the legend United States of America. This complete collection is comprised entirely of high grade coins, and each specimen includes a detailed historical presentation and photos. An informative introduction to the series is also provided. Among the noteworthy condition rarities are 1915 S (NGC MS 62 BN) and 1918 S Large S (AU-58 BN).
moondoggy — Moondoggy’s Franklin Proofs Set 1
This is a complete collection of Franklin Half Dollar proofs 1950-63, including both reverse types of 1956. All are very high grade for their respective issues, and each coin is accompanied by descriptive text and photos. The owner notes that he completed this set from raw purchases that he then submitted to NGC, rather than buying the coins already certified. Outstanding condition rarities include 1951 (NGC PF 68), 1957 (PF 69 Cameo) and 1961 (PF 69).
Nemo656 — Newfy Nuts Victoria 20-25¢
Newfoundland remained independent of Canada until 1949 and had its own coinage, most of which is very scarce in better grades. This handsome collection includes the series of 20¢ pieces 1865-1912 and the subsequent 25¢ pieces dated 1917C and 1919C. It is lacking just a few coins at the present time. Each entry is illustrated, and the owner has included useful observations about that issue and his own specimen of it. Highlights include the 1872H and 1899 Large 99 20¢ pieces, both NGC graded XF 45.
Jim Berline — Jim’s Jefferson Set
The first quarter century of the long-running Jefferson Nickel series is celebrated in this very high grade collection which is nearly complete for all pieces 1938-64. Also included are both reverse types for the three 1939 issues, as well as the very popular 1943/2 P overdate. The owner’s enthusiasm for his coins is plainly evident from his personal observations of each specimen and is quite infectious. All the coins are illustrated in their NGC holders. Some of the stars of this set are 1939 Rev of 40 grading NGC MS 67, 1939 S Rev of 38 (MS 67) and 1955 D (MS 65).
Most Creative Custom Set
Alan Lastufka — The Symphony Set
The theme of this collection is coins, medals and tokens relating to music in any way. The owner was drawn to this theme from a life-long love of the music and his career as the owner of an independent recording label. Right now there are just six entries, and he describes the set as a work in progress. None of these are USA issues as yet (suggestion — the 2002 Tennessee quarter with its three musical instruments and sheet music), but there are splendid, high grade pieces to enjoy. Each is accompanied by excellent photos and informative text.
Most Informative Custom Set
RAM-VT — The Wonderful World of Ancient Coin Collecting
The owner of this set confesses to knowing nothing about ancient coins, but he has nevertheless assembled a broad and handsome collection of ancient Greek, Roman, Judean, Byzantine and Celtic coins that many an advanced numismatist would envy. His extensive introduction reveals the challenges of collecting ancients with limited expertise and funds, something to which many hobbyists can relate. Each coin is well illustrated and accompanied by useful text describing both that specimen and the subject matter it depicts.
Best World Custom Set
HiHoAudio — Swiss Shooting Medals (Beautiful Women) Set
This is a remarkable collection that celebrates the beauty of both Swiss Shooting Festival medals and the idealized women who appear on them. Presently consisting of 35 pieces spanning the years 1895-1931, the collection features some very appealing specimens. Nearly all are Mint State, with some highlights including the 1902 Neuchatel issue certified by NGC as MS 67, the 1903 Bern medal (MS 64), the 1905 Solothurn issue grading MS 65 and the 1911 Aargau-Lenzburg medal also graded MS 65 by NGC.
Best Overall Custom Set
Don “Smitty” Smith — Heraldic Art Medals
This huge collection of medals is a tribute to the art of sculptor Robert McNamara, whose series of Heraldic Art Medals were struck in his garage between 1959 and 1978. Themes included events, battles and figures of American history depicted in several metals and varieties. These are the sort of themes commonly found on U. S. postage stamps but rarely committed to medallic art. The owner has dedicated this unique collection to the memory of both his father, who began the collection, and to the late Robert McNamara himself. All are high grade pieces, typically NGC MS 68 or 69.
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.
JAA USA/Philippines Collection
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 2012 Awards Archive page.