We applaud everyone on 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. Each year the awards program becomes more and more competitive and 2009 was no exception with well over 50,000 registered sets.
For many collectors, set building is a personal journey and we thank every participant for sharing their sets and experiences through the NGC Registry and the Collectors Society. It is our pleasure to review and consider so many amazing sets.
As in past years, winners were selected in Competitive and Signature set categories and journal writing. However, for the first time, we selected one grand prize winner from the winners in the Competitive and Signature set categories. Our grand prize winner will be awarded a unique experience that includes travel to the NGC facilities in Sarasota, FL for a personal registry set consultation with an NGC numismatist.
Our team of experts, Rick Montgomery, Scott Schechter, Jay Turner 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!
Chappell – Chappell Collection Morgan Silver Dollars 1878-1921 Proofs
This collection is a remarkable series of proof Morgan Dollars, lacking just a single entry to be complete. The quality of these proofs is uniformly superb, with only the rare Zerbe and Chapman 1921 proofs being less than PF-67. Some highlights include 1894 (PF-69 Cameo), 1898 (PF-68 Ultra Cameo) and 1899 (PF-69 Cameo). Also included are two of the three reverse types of 1878, both grading PF-67 Cameo. This participant will not only receive his award for this outstanding classic set but he is also our choice for Grand Prize Winner!
Z Willie – J & L Commemoratives
This collection is complete for all classic commemoratives 1892-1954, but the real story here is the outstanding condition of the entire set. The lowest grade for any piece is MS-66, with the majority of coins grading MS-67 or MS-68. There are numerous star-designated halves and three entries grading MS-69! This collection was assembled with only top quality in mind, and a number of the coins also have illustrious pedigrees that read like a Who's Who of commemorative specialists.
Summer97 – Coronet Half Eagles, With Motto, 1866-1908
It takes some grit to assemble a collection of 19th Century USA gold coins by date and mint. While this set is still a work in progress, a mere five coins are lacking. This extensive series is here represented by both absolute rarities and condition rarities. The 20th Century portion is comprised entirely of gems, but there are some real jewels among the scarce, early issues. The lowest grade is AU-50 for a single coin, with nearly all others being choice AU or Mint State. There are three star-designated coins, including an 1873 Closed 3 that is also prooflike!
Brenda John Collection – Buffalo Nickels 1913-1938
Buffalo Nickels have been a collector favorite since this coin type's inception. This wonderful set is complete for all dates, mints and major varieties, including the 1916 Doubled Die (MS-64), the 1918-D overdate (MS-65) and the 1937-D Three-Legged (MS-67). Key date gems include 1913-S Type 2 (MS-67), 1918-S (MS-66), 1924-S (MS-66) and 1926-S (MS-66)! The majority of the series is MS-66 or MS-67, with some notable condition rarities including 1928-S (MS-67) and 1937-S (MS-68).
49er – Seated Liberty Dimes 1858-1891, Proofs
This collection features all of the dates of Seated Liberty Dimes in proof since the inception of public sales by the Mint in 1858 through the end of the series in 1891. In itself this is a remarkable achievement, but the collector has maintained throughout a consistently high grade level. While a few of the rarest issues grade PF-66, the majority are PF-67 or PF-68. Some of the many highlights from this collection are 1858 (PF-66 Cameo), 1861 (PF-67 and identified by the collector as the second rarest date), 1864 (PF-68 Cameo), 1866 (PF-67 Ultra Cameo) and 1875 (PF-67 Cameo).
Best Modern Sets
Chauncy Renard – Modern Commemoratives 1982-Date, Complete
The modern series of USA commemoratives is stunning in its breadth, and this collection presents it in its entirety. Nearly every coin has a perfect grade of MS-70 or PF-70 Ultra Cameo. The sole exception is the 1982-D Washington Half Dollar, which is the only one of the modern commemoratives to have been handled at the mint without particular care. The stunning MS-69 example in this collection is very rare and as fine as this issue comes. Also included are such condition rarities as the 1984 Olympics $10 pieces, each one in top grade.
GNLD – 1 Oz. Gold Eagles 1986-Date, Proofs
The one-ounce, Gold American Eagle is a splendid coin in proof, a fact which becomes abundantly clear when viewing this complete set. Every coin is a top-grade PF-70 Ultra Cameo, except of course the scarce and distinctive reverse proof dated 2006-W, which grades simply PF-70. The initial entry dated 1986-W is one of the condition rarities in this collection, as are 1996-W and 1997-W. Each coin is accompanied by a photograph, permitting collectors to study how this design has subtly evolved over the past 20+ years.
trinity-cole – Roosevelt Dimes 1950-Date, All Proofs
Comprising 50 years of proof and special mint set production, this handsome collection features each and every collector edition of the familiar Roosevelt Dime, including both varieties of the 1979-S and 1981-S issues. Outstanding individual coins include 1950 and 1951 (both PF-67 Ultra Cameo), 1952 (PF-68 Cameo), 1957 and 1958 (both PF-69 Ultra Cameo) and 1966 SMS (MS-68 Ultra Cameo). From 1976-S to date, the entire series includes an unbroken string of PF-70 Ultra Cameo gems, a truly memorable achievement.
West Coast – West Coast Washington Quarters 1936-1998, All Proofs
This amazing collection includes the complete series of proof Washington/Heraldic Eagle Quarters, with both varieties of the 1979-S and 1981-S issues. The high-grade rarity of the pre-WWII issues is well known, and this collection has some superb specimens: 1936 (PF-67), 1938 (PF-68) and 1942 (PF-69!). Among the later silver highlights are 1952 (PF-68 Ultra Cameo) and 1954 (PF-69 Ultra Cameo). Another special entry is 1967 (MS-68 Ultra Cameo). From 1976-98 this collection offers an uninterrupted sequence of top-pop PF-70 Ultra Cameo beauties.
Mark Bressler – Jefferson Wartime Nickels 1942-1945
The silver-alloy "war nickels" of 1942-45 comprise a short series but one with some real challenges in the top grades. This set has them all, including a superb 1943/2-P overdate grading MS-67. Other "stellar" entries include 1943-D (MS-68 5FS) and 1944-D (MS-68). Some of the remarkable condition rarities include 1942-S (MS-68), as well as 1944-P, 1945-P and 1945-S (all three a whopping MS-67 5FS).
Best World Sets
E.M.O. Collection – First Republic, Complete Set MS
The modern history of Cuba is intertwined with that of the USA, which actually produced some of its coins. This delightful collection presents the coinage of Cuba's First Republic dated 1915-53. A mere three entries are lacking, and all of the coins included are choice or gem Mint State. Some highlights include 1938 one centavo (MS-66), 1916 ten centavos (MS-64), 1932 20 centavos (MS-65), 1915 Low-Relief peso (MS-62), 1937 peso (MS-65), 1915 gold four pesos (MS-63) and 1915 gold 20 pesos (MS-63).
Worldwide Numismatics – Landenmar Mexican 50 Peso Collection
Among the most popular and impressive of modern gold coins are the 50-peso pieces coined by Mexico 1921-47. This challenging set includes all 16 and an overdate, 1931/0. This scarce overdate is the only example in this fine set grading less than MS-65, and the overall quality of this collection is excellent. The scarce and popular 1921 centennial piece (MS-65) is one of the highlights, along with some outstanding condition rarities: 1944, 1945 and 1946 (all MS-66), 1943 (MS-67) and 1947 Restrike (MS-68!).
ROBBAKE12157 – Bakewell ZAR 1 Pond Collection
The brief but fascinating series of pond (pound) coins issued by the South Africa Republic in 1874 and again 1892-1900 has long tempted collectors to assemble it by date. Presented here is a nearly complete collection, lacking only the 1874 Fine Beard variety to be finished (the 1874 Coarse Beard variety is an impressive MS-64). The only coin not grading Mint State is the rare 1898 pond counterstamped "99" to indicate its year of coining when no new dies were available. Also included in this great collection is the rare and popular Veld Pond, an emergency issue made during the Boer War in 1902 (MS-62).
Best Presented Sets
VUMC409 – Linda C. Prescott Birth Year Set - 1947 Mint Set
This outstanding 1947 USA Mint Set was created to honor the memory of the owner's mother, and the accompanying text makes for some very entertaining reading. Of the 14 coins which make up such a set, the owner is lacking just two, as he seeks to find pieces which have the right eye appeal in addition to a lofty grade. Some highlights include a 1947(P) cent grading MS-67 RD and two very high grade dimes: 1947(P) in MS-67 FT and 1947-S grading MS-67 FT. This is a charming set that comes with a great back story.
gherrmann44 – Gary's 20th Century Type Set
Assembling a type set is a wonderful learning experience and can guide one toward a favored area of specialization. The owner of this collection truly appreciates the beauty of our coinage and loves the history behind it. While this set includes some really pleasing coins, each one illustrated, the intent was to investigate the history of coinage rather than to dazzle with high grades. A few pieces yet remain to be added, but what has been achieved already makes for a very satisfying experience.
rfar – R&R Capped Bust Quarters 1815-1838
Few collectors attempt to collect this early series beyond seeking a single type coin. This was an ambitious undertaking, and the results are quite pleasing. Lacking just two entries, this set is comprised almost entirely of AU and Mint State coins, and the owner has left no stone unturned in his search for the "right" pieces, as determined by eye appeal and originality. This registry set is accompanied by a very useful and detailed history of the series, and each entry is described and illustrated for the benefit of fellow collectors.
Layton Kor – Carson City Morgans in GSA Holders Only 1878-1893
The GSA silver dollar sales of 1972-80 created countless new collectors of Morgan and Peace Dollars, and the most coveted of these coins were the formerly rare Carson City issues. This collection features nearly every CC dollar in its original GSA holder, graded by NGC and including its original box and Treasury certificate. Only the very rarest issues are lacking, and the coins included are all choice or gem. Each one is accompanied by photographs and a written analysis, which makes for an excellent learning opportunity.
Rayshield – Ultrafiltered - 2005 Proof Set, Complete
Despite its mysterious name, this splendid Registry set turns out to be a complete collection of proofs made by the U. S. Mint in 2005 from cent through dollar. Each coin is a top-pop PF-70 Ultra Cameo of unimprovable quality. Included are the two Lewis & Clark nickels and the five statehood quarters. The dimes, quarters and halves are present in both clad and silver compositions. Photos are included for each coin, as well as an entertaining description of its theme and/or characteristics. While describing coins of the current day, the collector admirably connects their themes to the events of his own life.
Best World Signature Set
Zohar444 – Habsburg Empire Talers
The name Habsburg is nearly synonymous with talers, those Old World silver crowns. This handsome collection includes several dozen pieces ranging from the 16th Century to end of the Austrian Empire in World War I. Represented are numerous rulers, states and mints. Each coin is illustrated and includes a brief outline of numismatic information. This collection presents some real masterpieces of the engraver's art and reveals the progression of minting technology over 300+ years.
Most Creative Signature Set
YannSan – Latin Monetary Union 20 Francs
The Latin Monetary Union was created in the 1860s in an attempt to standardize gold coinage throughout the Western world. It was moderately successful until the lingering damage of World War I effectively destroyed the gold standard in the 1920s. This splendid collection gathers together nearly all the gold coins of many nations which conformed to the standard for France's 20-franc piece. A rich collage of European nations, this collection is fully illustrated and includes basic numismatic information that enriches a collector's understanding of this economic movement.
Most Informative Signature Set
Mahdi Bseiso – Jordan – Circulation Type Coins
This distinctive collection presents all the different circulating coin types issued by Jordan since 1949, presently lacking just a few pieces. Broken down into six series, the significant facts of each series are presented clearly in a preliminary essay, before the actual coin entries are listed. Each entry is illustrated, and the coins are of very appealing quality. Viewing these in chronological order by denominations, this Registry set is a virtual reference book on modern Jordanian coinage.
Best Overall Signature Set
RAM-VT – All that I have left – Parts 1 through 4
Part 1 |
Part 2 |
Part 3 |
The owner of this set has a common theme presented in multiple parts. He relates his long history in the coin hobby, which includes having sold his past collection and then rebuilding a new one as his budget permitted. The resulting theme is thus the coins he has now. Parts 1 through 4 list and illustrate his diverse collections of ancient, world, vintage USA and modern USA coins, respectively. Here is a person who truly loves coins and the pursuit of them, a fact which comes through in the reading.
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.
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 2009 Awards Archive page.