This set has it's origins in an attempt to make bullion investing a little more interesting. I was a fairly avid collector in my youth, having spent most of my summer job money on old (not necessarily rare) coins. Grading services did not exist at this time, and I made some unfortunate purchases of cleaned or over-graded coins which turned me off to the hobby for many years.
As an adult I wanted to put some money into precious medals. Buying bullion coins was made significantly less stressful thanks to NGC and PCGS...you finally knew exactly what you were paying for. I began to send the coins which I had purchased directly from the US Mint to these two services, and it was always exciting to get a 70! Having rekindled my interest in numismatics, I started to do research concentrating on modern issues. I purchased the 1st edition of "100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins" by Scott Schechter,Jeff Garrett, et. al, and was excited to learn that a few of my bullion issues had qualified for the list. Around this time NGC created a competitive set based on this book, and I was hooked. A few of us had a friendly competition early on, and we helped each other find the coins which qualified as one of the 100.
So the hunt was on! Ebay and Heritage have remained my primary hunting grounds, although a few of the best examples were found elsewhere...for example, I spied a lightly toned 1979 Anthony dollar in a souvenir set at an antique mall. The purchase price was not much, but that con was graded MS67 by NGC...a "top pop" and one of the stars of my set. Another shop purchase was a "Cheerios Dollar" seemingly just out of the box in original packaging along with it's buddy Lincoln cent. That wonderful prototype reverse rarity graded a satisfactory SP68. It had become the crowning achievement of my set...until I needed money for a house down payment. I sold it for a very good price thinking that I will easily replace it in a few months. Well a couple years have passed since then, and all that I have found for sale were PCGS graded. I tried to cross one, but NGC would not cross it. The hunt continues...(UPDATE: found one that crossed!)
Since the sale of that dollar and a good many other members of the set, I have been concentrating on quality...not just the highest grade but also on eye appeal. This has resulted in several star and plus grades. Over all I am very happy with my progress rebuilding the set, but still hunting the elusive Miss Cheerios Dollar, along with some of the other highly elusive members of this tough and highly entertaining set.Read more...