2014 NGC Registry Award Winners
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 NGC Registry Awards 2015 - Ensure your set is at its best by 10 a.m. EST on December 2 to be automatically considered for awards. Winners will be announced January 8, 2016. For more details, click here.**
There are now nearly 90,000 sets 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 five winners for Custom Sets in the following categories: Best Overall, Best World, Best Ancient, 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
GSA Gem Quest — Newport Ridge Collection — GSA Soft Packs
For many years Soft Packs were the poor cousins to the rigid GSA holders, and many were cut open to retrieve the coins. NGC’s certification of still sealed silver dollars has made Soft Packs extremely popular, and this collection features a quite extensive run of dates, mints and varieties. Highlights include 1878 CC (NGC MS 65), 1879 CC (VF 25), 1893 CC (F 12) and 1900 O/CC (XF 40). All coins in the collection are illustrated, and the owner has provided a detailed commentary for each.
T. D. Petersen — TDP — 3 Cent Nickel Mint State
It’s no secret to advanced collectors that Mint State Nickel Three-Cent pieces are often more rare than their proof counterparts, especially for the later dates. This collection is complete for all issues 1865–89, with no entries grading less than MS 66. Some of the more memorable pieces are 1866 (NGC MS 68), 1875 and 1887 (both MS 67) and 1889 (MS 67). The addition of photos is desirable, but this collection is nonetheless a remarkable achievement.
First Strike Society — J. Murphy Collection
The resumption of proof coin sales in 1936 following a 20–year hiatus got off to a slow start, with a mere 3,901 half dollars ordered that year. While this number grew each year, all dates 1936–42 are rare in top grades. This amazing collection is complete for Walking Liberty proofs, all in superb condition. Indeed, the lowest grade is for the rare 1936 issue (NGC PF 67). No fewer than four of these coins have been NGC graded PF 68, a testament to the great care with which this collection was assembled.
SLUGGO — Slotkin Family Trust Seated Proof Liberty Quarters
As yet lacking just four coins for the long run of proof Seated Liberty Quarters 1858–91, this collection is immense in both its breadth and consistent quality. All entries are accompanied by photos and the owner’s detailed commentary. Some highlights include 1860 (NGC PF 68 Cameo), 1873 Arrows (PF 68), 1880 and 1881 (both PF 68 Cameo) and a simply wonderful 1890 quarter (PF 69 Cameo). The owner’s stated preference is for “bright white Cameos,” and this goal is being richly realized.
Peter Bay — Monster Set of $4 Stellas
America’s answer to the dream of an international coinage was the gold four-dollar piece, popularly known as the Stella for its central reverse device of a star. Ownership of any one example of these rare pattern coins is a major achievement, yet this impressive collection brings together all four gold varieties dated 1879 and 1880. Each is a glittering proof, the finest of which is an 1879 Flowing Hair specimen NGC-graded PF 67 Cameo. Another gem is the similar issue of 1880 (PF 66), of which only 17 pieces are known.
Best Modern Sets
COININVESTOR1943 — Half Oz. Gold Panda Varieties
The popularity of China’s Panda series of bullion coins cannot be overstated, and this collection brings together all of the Mint State half-ounce gold issues from the beginning of the series in 1982 to date. Comprising several denominations, all are NGC-certified as either MS 69 or 70. Some of the key pieces include 1990 50 Yuan Large Date (MS 70), 1994 50Y Large Date (MS 70), 1996 50Y Small Date, and 1998 50Y Small Date (MS 69). King of the series is the rare 2000 50Y Mirrored Ring (MS 69).
Dan Hughes — Kangaroo Silver Dollars, Complete (Including Varieties)
Australia offers an extensive series of precious metal bullion coins. This collector has completed a long run of the Kangaroo Series Silver Dollars from 1990 to date, including varieties such as gilt and colorized strikings. The quality is superb throughout, with most coins grading 70. Some of the choicer entries include 1991 Mob of Roos (NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo), 1994C Reeded & Plain Edge (MS 69), 1998C (PF 70 Ultra Cameo), 2003 Gilt (MS 70) and 2009 (MS 69).
David Rappaport —RAPP’S MS KENNEDY’S
2014 marked the golden anniversary of this popular coin series and featured a number of issues unique to that year. This remarkable collection is complete for all non-proof dates and mints, several dozen coins in all. The grades are consistently high and feature a number of condition rarities. Among the more memorable coins are 1964 and 1964 D (both NGC MS 67), 1969 D (MS 67), 1971 D (MS 68!), 1977 (MS 67), 1979 and 1986 D (both MS 68!). The highly sought Denver and San Francisco high relief coins are both NGC-certified as SP 70, the latter with the addition of Prooflike.
hightidetech — NGC Dreamin
The title of this collection doesn’t reveal that it’s a complete and superb run of Mint State Eisenhower Dollars 1971–78. This writer remembers a time when Ikes were hard to sell at face value, but they’re very hot these days, especially in such high grades. Beauties abound, such as the 1972 Type 1 NGC-certified as MS 66. Other condition rarities include 1972 D and 1973 D (both MS 67), 1973 S (MS 69!), 1976 D Type 1 and 1977 (both MS 67). A rare and unusual entry is a mint error striking of the 1978 D dollar NGC-certified as MS 67.
floridacoin — American Arts
Another area of United States Mint products formerly overlooked and now highly sought is the series of American Arts Gold Medallions struck 1980-84 as a precursor to the later Eagle program. Offered in one-ounce and half-ounce editions, these featured key figures in America’s Arts and Letters. All entries in this complete set are NGC-certified as MS 68, 69 or 70. This series presented a wonderful opportunity for the U. S. Mint’s sculptors to show what they could do before the resumption of commemorative coinage in 1982, and the owner of this collection clearly has an appreciation of that fact.
Best World Sets
rudman coleccion — Rudman*8 Escudos*1789-1808
As its title suggests, this is a collection of the gold 8 escudos pieces issued by the Mexico City Mint during the reign of Spain’s Carlos IV, all NGC certified. Assembling this complete run by date and variety is an immense achievement, as even a single piece is challenging for most collectors to acquire. Highlights include 1789MO FM (MS 62), 1790MO FM “CAROL IIII” (AU 58), 1794MO FM (MS 64) and 1795MO FM (MS 63). About half of the coins are illustrated for the enjoyment of fellow collectors.
PR Owner — PR 960R Brazil
A long and impressive collection, this set gathers together the final 13 years of Brazilian 960 Reis (silver crown) coinage under Portuguese rule. Featuring the 1810–22 issues of the Bahia, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro Mints, it is approaching completion at this point. All entries are NGC certified and grade from AU 50 to MS 64. Collection highlights include 1810B REGENES (AU 55), 1814R (MS 63), 1816R KM-313 (AU 55), 1819R (MS 64) and 1820R (MS 63). Nearly all of the entries are illustrated.
POLDAN — Great Britain — A Complete Set of Choice Victorian Florins
An extremely impressive collection, both in its breadth and presentation, the owner has assembled a complete run of florins (two shillings) from the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria. Spanning 1849–1901, all are NGC certified and also illustrated, with rich commentary accompanying most coins. In addition, a very good overview of the series is provided that makes for entertaining reading. Rare highlights include the key-date 1854 (VF 20), 1862 (MS 65), 1863 (MS 64), 1865 (MS 65), 1868 (MS 64) and 1877 without die number (MS 62).
Strandcoins — Benchmark Collection — Halfpenny
Half penny coinage for Australia began in 1911, and this collection is nearly complete through 1964, the final date issued before decimalization. Just two entries are as yet lacking, and the set is of uniformly high quality as certified by NGC. Each coin is nicely illustrated and accompanied by the owner’s brief comments. The obvious centerpiece of this collection is the extremely rare 1923 half penny (MS 62 BN), with other notable coins being 1915H (MS 64 RB), 1918I (MS 65 BN), 1930 (MS 65 BN) and 1931 (MS 64 RD).
joeyuk — Lithuania First Republic 1925-1938
The First Republic of Lithuania was declared in 1918 and survived until overwhelmed by Soviet and German domination during World War II. This collection features the 14 coin issues produced during that period, and all are certified by NGC in Mint State grades. Highlights of this short but impressive collection are the 1925 centas (MS 66), the 1925 five centai (MS 66), the 1925 five litai (MS 64) and the 1938 ten litu commemorative (MS 64). Each coin is illustrated and accompanied by its specifications.
Best Presented Sets
BillJones — Bill Jones’ Complete Gold Coin Type Set
Taking on a complete type set of USA gold coins is no small goal, but this collection’s owner has actually done just that, and the coins all grade AU 50 or higher. Each entry features excellent photos and commentary that details the coin’s qualities. It’s hard to say which pieces are the highlights in this impressive collection, but a few that stick out are the 1796 No Stars Quarter Eagle (MS 62), the rare 1808 Capped Bust Quarter Eagle (AU 50), the 1835 Capped Head Half Eagle (MS 61) and the 1795 Draped Bust Eagle (AU 53).
Summer97 — Summer97’s $5 Liberty Obsession
An obsession this clearly is, as few ever take on the building of a complete date/mint set of Coronet Head Half Eagles. The sheer number of coins is daunting enough, irrespective of their rarity. Though a few entries are still lacking, the breadth, quality and presentation of what is included are simply amazing. Each coin is illustrated and accompanied by text describing its features and pedigree. A few standout rarities are 1839 C (MS 62), 1841 C (MS 61), 1842 C Large Date (MS 64), 1852 C (MS 64), 1856 C (MS 63), 1859 S (MS 61) and 1869 S (MS 62).
Mr. Smith Guesser — The Fear Itself Collection
As the title suggests, the theme of this collection is Franklin D. Roosevelt—specifically the series of dimes bearing his likeness. The set is complete for all silver currency strikes 1946–64, and the grades are uniformly quite high. A virtual encyclopedia of the series, this registry set is superbly illustrated and features a detailed analysis of each specimen that is quite useful to other collectors. Individual condition rarities include 1948 D (MS 67 FT), 1953 D (MS 67 FT), 1957 D (MS 67 FT), 1959 (MS 67 FT) and 1962 D (MS 67 FT).
JohnA — Gold Pesetas — Complete Set (Originals & Restrikes)
As the owner of this extensive collection relates in its entertaining introduction, Spain joined the Latin Monetary Union in 1868 and adopted the peseta as a coinage that would be in line with those of other Union members. Gathered here are all of the gold issues from 1876 to the end of coinage in 1904, both originals and restrikes. The owner has provided good photos of each entry and detailed numismatic information. A few of the more memorable coins include the 1892 PGM 20P (NGC MS 66), the rare 1904 SMV 20P (MS 62) and another rarity, the 1885(86) MSM 25P (MS 63).
NAA — NAA Franklin Half Collection
This is a superb collection of proof Franklin Half Dollars complete from 1950 through 1963, all coins carrying extremely high grades for their dates. The extensive introduction provides very useful commentary on the rarity and values of this series. These details are expanded upon in the text accompanying each entry, and all coins are illustrated. Standout condition rarities include 1950 (PF 68 Cameo), 1951 (PF 67 Ultra Cameo), 1954 (PF 68 Ultra Cameo), 1958 PF 68 Ultra Cameo) and 1960 (PF 69 Ultra Cameo).
Best Ancient Set
Kohaku — The Roman Empire
Building this collection was a tremendous undertaking, with 109 of the 153 slots already completed. It presents an excellent overview of the Roman Empire from the transitional late Republic period to the beginnings of the succeeding Byzantine Empire. Numerous denominations and mints are included, among them several provincial mints that reflect the diversity of Rome in its years of glory. Both the introductory essay and the detailed commentaries on each coin are extremely informative, and all of the coins are nicely illustrated.
Best World Custom Set
Congo Kid — Belgian Congo & Conga 1887-1999
When completed this collection will include 156 coins in all, and the owner is now in the home stretch. The entries begin with the Congo Free State and continue through the Belgian Congo, and the owner will add the post-independence coinage in the future. This collection also includes an interesting array of varieties and patterns. Though the owner’s comments are very brief, the coins are nicely illustrated, offering viewers a chance to see many rare pieces not illustrated in popular catalogs.
Most Informative Custom Set
DCZAN SILVER COINS — The Global Silver Coin Collection
This very fun collection presents an alphabetical tour of the world as represented by one or more of each nation’s silver coins. The owner states the five criteria for inclusion and provides an interesting overview of the history of silver and its use in coinage. The coins selected feature a broad mixture of periods and include both circulating and non-circulating legal tender issues. Each coin is illustrated, and the owner furnishes detailed commentary of the coin’s background and rarity.
Most Creative Custom Set
JAA USA/Philippines Collection — The United States Manila Mint, Complete
The typical collector of United States coins is apt to know little of the unique series struck for The Philippines under American administration and is even less likely to know that the USA operated a branch mint in Manila from 1920–41. This collection features all the coins and medals struck there, including those for the Culion Leper Colony, and the owner provides a very detailed history of the mint, its operations and its fate during World War II. Each piece is nicely illustrated and accompanied by the owner’s comments regarding rarity.
Best Overall Custom Set
mnrmay — Civil War Merchant Tokens
The owner of this collection states his goal of spending “the rest of my life trying to build an entire set of all merchant tokens,” adding “I will never accumulate them all...” What is included is this set right now is an amazing 466 NGC-certified pieces from the 1861–65 period, and these represent just a portion of the owner’s holdings. Each token is illustrated, and the owner’s comments as to its rarity are included. This commentary is brief, yet the sheer magnitude of this collection makes it a most impressive achievement. We’ll look forward to watching its continued growth.
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 2014 Awards Archive page.