2003 Registry Award Winners

Posted on 1/1/2004

We would like to thank all of the participants in the Registry and congratulate everyone on their individual accomplishments in each and every set. The number of outstanding collections in the NGC Registry is truly astonishing and we are thrilled to honor such great achievement.

Congratulations to our 2003 Registry Award Winners!

We would like to thank all of the participants in the Registry and congratulate everyone on their individual accomplishments in each and every set. The number of outstanding collections in the NGC Registry is truly astonishing and we are thrilled to honor such great achievement.

The mission was to choose five sets in three categories: Best Classic, Best Modern and Best Presented. Choosing just five sets in each category proved to be quite a challenge. Our team of experts—Rick Montgomery, Mark Salzberg and David Lange—reviewed all of the top sets across every category in the Registry and after much consideration, selected the following sets.

Congratulations to our winners!
Sets are listed in alphabetical order by set name.

Best Classic Sets

Bob Moreno's Buffalo Nickels 1913-1938 - Bob Moreno
We love Buffalo Nickels, but then who doesn't? Mr. Moreno has assembled a simply amazing set of this perennially popular series. Most of his coins grade MS-66 or higher, with his 1937 and 1938-D/S nickels grading no less than MS-68! The former is also an NGC star-designated coin, which just hints at how pretty it is. Among the standout rarities are 1915-S, 1918-S and 1925-S, all in MS-65, and an MS-66 graded 1921-S. His 1918 nickel in MS-67 is a fabulous condition rarity.

Mr. Moreno's set also features the popular varieties within the Buffalo series. His 1914/3 grades a respectable MS-62, while his very rare 1916 Doubled-Die obverse nickel is an impressive VF-20. The rare and extremely popular 1918/7-D is represented by a near-gem MS-64 example, while his three-legger is a whopping MS-66 beauty.

Everest Collection of Proof Morgan Dollars - First Strike Society
Arguably the most popular United States coin, the Morgan Silver Dollar is a mainstay of the coin hobby. But few collectors dare to undertake the formation of a complete proof run from 1878 through 1921. The Everest Collection is amazingly complete, including two subtypes of the 1878 proof and both varieties of the ultra rare 1921 proofs.

Just two coins in this set grade less than PF-67, and this is indicative of its overall superb quality. Highlights include the 1896, 1898 and 1900 proof dollars, all of which were graded PF-68 Ultra Cameo! Other coins bearing the NGC star for superior eye appeal include 1879 (PF-68 Cameo), the rare 1895 (PF-67 Ultra Cameo) and 1902 (PF-68). The Everest Collection features an ultra rare 1921 Chapman proof grading PF-67 and also a Zerbe proof grading PF-66. These are coins rarely seen at shows and auctions, and they are major highlights of this memorable collection.

The Gregg Bingham Silver Commemorative Type Set - Gregg Bingham
It should come as no surprise that Mr. Bingham's set of commems joins this illustrious group of classic sets. There's been plenty of buzz about it in our message forums over the past year, and it is indeed an amazing collection. In addition to condition rarities aplenty, it includes the very rare brilliant proof 1892 Columbian Exposition Half Dollar. While this coin is a non-competitive entry, it certainly adds spice to see Gregg's fabulous PF-68 Cameo specimen.

Some of the many highlights from this collection include several grading MS-68: Bay Bridge, 1936-D Columbia, Elgin, Iowa, Lynchburg, New Rochelle, 1937-D Oregon Trail, Roanoke, Stone Mountain and Wisconsin. Another MS-68 entry that is common in lesser grades but exceedingly rare at this level is Mr. Bingham's 1946-S B.T. Washington Half Dollar. Among the rarer issues are a 1925 Vancouver in MS-67 and a gorgeous Lafayette Dollar grading MS-67.

The Hugon Collection Proof Barber Quarters - John Hugon
Hugon is a name that's become synonymous with the very finest quality in proof Barber silver coins. While John Hugon's sets of proof Barber Dimes and Halves are equally impressive, it's his set of quarters that really stood out in 2003. No less than six of his quarters grade PF-69, and four of these also carry the NGC star designation for superior eye appeal. As so many of these coins are richly toned, there are just a few that have been certified as Cameo, but it's nice to see such originality in these vintage proofs.

Lisa's Proof Gold Type Set 1834-1915 - Dr. Robert Loewinger
Dr. Loewinger has assembled a magnificent proof gold type set. All of his coins are in high grades for their respective types, and all of the brilliant proofs are either Cameo or Ultra Cameo. Favorites of ours include his three-dollar piece, which not only grades PF-67 Cameo but also carries the NGC star designation for superior eye appeal. Another star holder is his matte proof Indian Head Half Eagle. His Type 2 gold dollar in PF-66 Ultra Cameo is an extremely rare coin in any grade, but this specimen is a visual delight.

You can see a number of these coins in Dr. Loewinger's terrific new book titled Proof Gold Coinage of the United States. NGC was pleased to provide many of the photos for this reference, which has already become a must-have item for the numismatist.

Best Modern Sets

C. Soto Jefferson Collection 1950-date Proofs - C Soto
Complete from 1950 to date, this terrific set of proof Jeffersons is rich in condition rarities. The rare debut entry from 1950 is a winner at PF-67 Cameo, while his 1951 grades PF-68 Cameo. The next two dates in succession grade no less than PF-69 Cameo, while Soto's 1954 nickel is an amazing PF-68 Ultra Cameo. Other really tough condition rarities include the 1966 and 1967 SMS nickels in PF-66 Ultra Cameo!

An excellent level of consistency has been achieved with the remaining dates from 1968 through 2003. These are about evenly divided between PF-69 UC and PF-70 UC coins. The scarce Type 2 varieties of 1979-S and 1981-S are both of the higher grade. Finally, both specimen strikings are represented in this collection with nice SP-69 examples.

Eric Pacheco Cameo Cent Collection Lincoln 1950-date Proofs - Eric Pacheco
Lincoln Cent proofs from 1950 to date include more than fifty coins, and many of these are surprisingly rare in the higher grades. Mr. Pacheco has overcome this obstacle to assemble an absolutely wonderful set of this long and very popular series. Nearly all are certified as Ultra Cameo, with the vast majority grading PF-67 and higher.

Memorable specimens include the first-year-of-issue 1950 grading PF-66 RD Ultra Cameo. An important condition rarity is his 1954 at PF-67 RD Ultra Cameo. 1957 is known as a tough date to find with strong contrast, and Mr. Pacheco's grades an astounding PF-68 RD Ultra Cameo. All three SMS coins are high-grade Cameo pieces, and these dates are almost unknown in Ultra. The final thirty years of proofs are nearly all PF-69 RD Ultra Cameo, with a few grading PF-70 RD Ultra Cameo.

Everest Collection of Proof Franklin Halves - First Strike Society
While it is a relatively short series, the Franklin Half Dollar proofs of 1950-63 include some very scarce coins for the condition conscious collector. The Everest Collection clearly was prepared with this thought in mind, as the average grade for this set is remarkably high, with a consistent level of quality.

The collection kicks off with a delightful 1950 half dollar grading PF-65 Ultra Cameo. Finding this level of frosting on a 1950 is nearly impossible, yet this specimen also received the NGC star designation for superior eye appeal. Other dates earning the NGC star include 1955 and 1958, both grading an impressive PF-68 Ultra Cameo. No less than four of the Everest Collection's proof Franklins grade a whopping PF-69 Ultra Cameo, as fine as these coins come. Dates that merited this lofty grade include 1956, 1960, 1962 and 1963.

The Houston Collection of Washington Quarters - Robert Fulton
No series has been more in the news during the past five years than the Washington Quarter. The 50-States quarters program has brought the original series a level of attention it never knew before. Perhaps the Houston Collection of 1932-64 quarters should be called the MS-67 Collection, as that is the predominate grade in this superb assemblage. Among the really scarce coins carrying that high grade are 1935-D, 1936-D, 1937-S and 1939-S. The low-mintage 1932-D and 1932-S issues are each graded MS-65, the former being especially rare and highly sought at this level.

Other highlights of this fine collection include 1934-D, MS-66; 1944-D, MS-67 and 1951-S, MS-68. Among the later issues, two real condition rarities include 1960-D and 1962-D, each grading MS-67. The very scarce 1950-D/S and 1950-S/D quarters are represented by amazing examples grading MS-65 and MS-66, respectively.

The Renard Collection of Modern Commems 1982-Date, Complete - Rick Renard
Complete for all types, denominations, dates and mint, and including both uncirculated and proof coins, the Renard Collection is overwhelming in the number of coins it contains. Aside from its completeness, however, it is remarkable for the amazingly high grade average maintained throughout. While only a few of the modern commems are scarce in overall numbers, selecting just the right example that will earn a top grade remains very challenging, and this collection is dominated by pieces grading 69 and 70, the proofs all being Ultra Cameo.

A standout condition rarity is the 1982-D Washington Half Dollar. Notorious as the rarest of the modern commems in high grades, the Renard specimen is certified at an amazing MS-69! Another early issue carrying a very high grade is the 1984-W Olympics Eagle, checking in at MS-70. The 1995-96 Olympics issues, notable for their low mintages, nearly all grade MS-70 or PF-70 Ultra Cameo. Also grading MS-70 is the very scarce, low-mintage Jackie Robinson Half Eagle from 1997.

Best Presented Sets

Barry's Peace Gems – The Lovvorn Collection
Providing a dash of history, technical specifications and photos for every coin in the set, The Lovvorn Collection of Peace Silver Dollars is a fine example of a well presented set.

Cardinal Collection (Early Silver Dollars 1794-1804 Variety set) – Cardinal

Offering wonderful photos and informative, detailed descriptions of each required coin in the set, the Cardinal Collection of Early Silver Dollars is complete in every way!

Hoot's Classic Jeffs '38-'64 – Hoot
There is one word that best describes the presentation of this Jefferson Nickel set – personality. With coin descriptions of a conversational style accompanied by solid photographs, one really gets a sense for this collector's passion for building sets. It is a wonderful example of what makes the Registry special.

The Jewell Collection – Three Dollar Gold Coins – RCJ Wexford Collection
This set boasts lovely photographs of each coin within the set that are sure to inspire the collector in each of us.

Sunnywood Cherrypicker Variety Shield 5c Set – Sunnywood
The presentation of this set is defined by the first rate coin descriptions that make for interesting reading whether you are a collector of this series or not. In addition, the photographs exhibit the varieties in close-up detail, making this an impressive set with an educational punch.

Winners in these three categories will receive a personalized plaque, an icon of recognition by his/her set listing in the registry and up to five Deluxe Photoproofs of NGC coins from his/her winning set.

Please click here to see the details of these fantastic sets and also to see our list of #1 sets in every Registry category.