Congratulations to the 2015 NGC Registry Award Winners

Posted: 1/8/2016

Annually, NGC recognizes outstanding achievement in Registry Set building. For many collectors, Registry Set building is a longtime personal journey and we thank every participant for sharing their sets and experiences through the NGC Registry.

There are now nearly 90,000 sets in the NGC Registry. It is our pleasure to review and consider so many terrific sets.

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.

After much consideration and review of sets across all categories, our team of experts made their selections. Congratulations to our winners!

Best Classic Sets

Electric Peak Collection — EPC Liberty Seated Half Dimes (Set 1 — Route 66)
This collection of Liberty Seated Half Dimes is nearly complete, lacking just ten coins at present, one of which is the unique 1870-S issue. All but a few of the coins are high-end, Mint State examples, and the owner has stated his goal of acquiring only well struck pieces. Also favored is attractive toning, which makes these coins quite pleasing to the eye. Among the highlights are 1839-O grading MS 66, 1848-O in MS 67 and 1864, also a MS 67 gem. Three of the coins in this collection carry the coveted NGC Star () Designation for superior eye appeal, and two (1866 and 1868) are designated as Prooflike.

Grandman — GrandView Double Eagle Collection (No Proofs)
The combination of high bullion value and a very extensive roster of coins is enough to discourage most from attempting to complete a set of Coronet Liberty Double Eagles, but Grandman is very close to achieving that goal. All but the rarest pieces are already present. Since many issues are unknown or nearly so in Mint State, this collection features a blend of XF and AU pieces for the early dates, with a long run of MS coins for all but one of the post-1893 coins. Standout specimens include 1854-S (AU 55), 1857-S (MS 65), 1868 (AU 58), 1885-CC (AU 53) and a particularly nice example of the rare 1892 (AU 58 PL).

T. Crabtree — Greenbrier River Proof Liberty Nickel Collection
Just two issues are presently lacking in this superb run of proof Liberty Head Nickels, and the quality of the coins already assembled is uniformly outstanding. Ultra Cameo proofs of this coin type are exceedingly rare, yet the present set kicks things off with an 1883 No CENTS nickel grading PF 67 UC. Other exceptional coins include several certified as PF 68 Cameo (1884, 1891, 1897, 1903, 1909 and 1910), and four issues bearing the NGC Star () Designation for superior eye appeal: 1895, 1900 and 1901 (all grading PF 68) and 1907 (PF 67).

kidzmd — kidzmd buffalos
The Buffalo Nickel series is a perennial favorite with collectors, and this set is nearing completion with uniformly excellent specimens, all of them NGC-certified. The very first entry, 1913 Type 1, is a superb MS 68 specimen. Other coins achieving that lofty grade include 1937 (also carrying the precious ), 1938-D and 1938-D/S. Among the noteworthy condition rarities in this collection are 1921 (MS 67+), 1924 and 1925 (both MS 67), and 1928-S (MS 65). There are no fewer than nine pieces bearing the highly sought NGC Star designation, making for a most memorable collection.

This is a very impressive collection that has been updated in recent months. The judges were struck not only with its breadth and quality, but also by the fact that the owner has focused primarily on locating NGC-certified examples.. A USA type set from half cents through silver dollars is quite an undertaking, yet most of the slots have already been filled. Among the more elusive coin types included are attractive, VF examples of the 1793 half cent and the 1793 Chain and Wreath Cents. One intriguing aspect is that the Draped Bust silver types from dime through dollar are in matching NGC AU 55 grades, which shows a rare level of consistency. Ironically, the highest scoring coin is one of the most common by type, yet a 1955 cent is anything but common when it grades PF 69 RD!

Best Modern Sets

RHF — RHF Susan B. Anthony Dollars, 1979-1999, Complete
The SBA Dollar, a coin so maligned in its own time, has begun to gain some stature with collectors, as it’s a short set that’s challenging to complete in top grades. This is due mostly to the non-proof issues, which are elusive in gem condition. The collection’s owner has overcome that obstacle, with a set that has uniformly PF 70 Ultra Cameo issues combined with currency strikes grading MS 67 through MS 69. The standout condition rarity is 1979-S grading MS 68, while other toughies include 1979-P Narrow Rim, 1980-P, 1981-D and 1999-P, all of them lovely coins in matched MS 68 grades.

Tim Couch — Couch’s Proof Kennedys
Quality is the key ingredient in this collection, as all of the regular proof issues from 1974 onward are uniformly PF 70 Ultra Cameo. The earlier issues are likewise outstanding, as they are graded about as highly as these less well produced issues are known. All coins are present from 1964 through 2015, including the Accented Hair (PF 67 UC), the scarce Type 2 mintmarks of 1979-S and 1981-S (both PF 70 UC) and the silver and gold 50th Anniversary issues of 2014 (also PF 70, either Reverse PF or UC). The frosty white devices of these coins look especially attractive in their white NGC holders.

john zabecki —Jeanna’s - #13
This handsome collection features a complete run of Canada Commemorative Dollars 1981-2015, more than 70 coins in all. The very latest emission is yet to be added but will be shortly, one imagines. Nearly all are NGC-certified as PF 70 Ultra Cameo, with a few 69 UC pieces entered for some of the toughest issues. The standout coin in this collection is the 2002 dollar honoring Britain’s Queen Mother, who passed that year. Its score is nearly double that of the next most valuable entry, and the owner has noted that these lovely coins are earmarked for his daughter’s college fund---very thoughtful, Dad.

Russ736 — Russ 736 ¼ AU Panda MS
China’s Panda series of bullion coins is popular worldwide, and this fine collection brings together a complete run of the quarter-ounce gold pieces in Mint State from 1982 through 2015. During that time, the denomination of these was raised from 25 yuan to 100 yuan to match the rising price of gold. All but two of these coins are certified by NGC as MS 70, with the others being MS 69. The pieces from 2011 to date are Early Releases, that being the first year that such labeling was offered for Panda coins. The standout rarity in this set is the 1998 issue in NGC MS 70, which is scored 50% higher than its runner up.

Cameonut — CGM III Cameo Shooters
Switzerland was famous for its long series of silver thalers commemorating the popular shooting festivals that rotated from town to town, and this tradition survives today in the form of silver 50-franc coins that have been issued since 1984. The collection presented here is complete through 2015, and all of the coins are NGC-certified as either PF 69 Ultra Cameo or PF 70 UC. The sole exception is the 1984 issue, which is also present as a non-proof grading MS 69. The artistry of the designs is best understood by simply clicking on the photo icons, as each specimen is illustrated in this collection. The key coin is easily the 1984 piece graded PF 69 UC, of which just 300 were minted.

Best World Sets

Ir Dannies Fum — British North Borneo Complete Circulation
The owner of this collection has set a goal of acquiring each coin issued for British North Borneo from 1882 through 1941, and just three entries are yet lacking. This series ranges in denomination from half cent through five cents, with a sole 25-cent piece from 1929. Interestingly, all were struck by the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England under contract and carry its “H” mintmark. The top scoring entries are the cent and half cent dated 1907H, both of which have mintages of one million pieces but precious few survivors. The owner describes this collection as including “some of the finest pieces graded by NGC in terms of eye appeal, preservation, originality and aesthetics.”

Otto Flynt — NGC MS $ Set #1
This is a complete run of silver dollars coined by Canada from its first issue of 1935 through the end of circulating silver dollars in 1967. The collection is complete for all dates and varieties, aside from a couple of the 1947 varieties, and every coin is Mint State. The key date 1945 and 1948 dollars are each NGC-certified as MS 63. Rare varieties include 1947 Pointed 7 and 1966 Small Beads (both MS 63). Top entries in terms of numeric grade are the 1935 dollar honoring George V’s Jubilee (NGC MS 66) and the 1949 Newfoundland commemorative (NGC MS 67).

Piefort — Piefort’s Colon Set
This complete, 15-piece collection of Costa Rica’s “Cristobal Colon” gold coins spans the years 1897-1928 and includes four denominations ranging from two to 20 colones. The series was coined in either San Jose, Costa Rica or Philadelphia, USA. The grades of this collection are outstanding, and included are the only five coins of the series graded MS 67 by NGC (all five are two-colones pieces, and one date is duplicated). Among the highlights of this set are the 1899 and 1900 G10C coins, each grading MS 65, and the 1897 and 1899 G20C specimens NGC-certified as MS 64.

rudman coleccion — RUDMAN JAMAICA SET
A complete set of the Commonwealth coinage of Jamaica 1869-1969, this collection includes dozens of coins ranging in denomination from farthing through penny, as well as a five-shillings commemorative dated 1966. With the exception of a single AU 58 example, all of the coins are Mint State. Included are several issues struck at the Ottawa Mint (mintmark C) and the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, England (mintmark H). Among the stars of this collection are halfpennies dated 1882H (NGC-graded MS 65) and 1905 (MS 66), and pennies dated 1882 (MS 64), 1900 (MS 64 PL) and 1916H (MS 64).

POLDAN — GREAT BRITAIN — A Complete Set of Victorian Sixpences
The sixpence coinage of Queen Victoria spans the years 1838-1901, and this set is complete in all dates and major varieties, a truly remarkable achievement. Most of the coins are in the mid-high Mint State grades, the exceptions being rare dates that the owner hopes to upgrade as opportunity permits. The introductory text to the series is quite detailed and informative, reflecting a real understanding of the series and providing a useful guide to collectors. Highlights within the scarce issues include 1862 (NGC MS 65), 1863 (NGC MS 62), 1866 (NGC MS 65), and 1878/7 (NGC AU 55).

Best Presented Sets

Lucky One — Life’s Dream — Liberty Head Half Eagles 1839-1908
The stated goal of this collector has been “putting together a set of coins that were rare enough that they would challenge me until the day I die.” The long run of dates and many mints in this series provide such a challenge. While not yet complete, what is already present is quite impressive. All issues from 1894 to 1908 are Mint State, while the earlier issues range from XF to MS. Highlights of this collection include 1842-D Small Date (NGC AU 50), 1846-C (NGC AU 55), 1853-D (NGC MS 61), 1862-S (NGC AU 53) and 1876-S (NGC AU 58). The owner’s commentary on how the set was assembled will certainly resonate with any veteran collector.

JAA USA/Philippines Collection — USA-Philippines, Proof Issues
The Philadelphia Mint coined proofs of the United States coinage for The Philippines during the years 1903-08, and this collection is complete from half centavo through peso. The coins are uniformly high in grade, with some truly outstanding examples. A few key pieces include the 1905 centavo (NGC PF 67 RB), 1908 five centavos (NGC PF 66) and 1905 fifty centavos (NGC PF 67). What really sets this collection apart, however, is the wealth of information provided by its owner. The introductory essay alone would make an excellent article for a numismatic journal, yet each coin entry is also described in detail, making this presentation a handy guide to collectors choosing to pursue a similar collection.

TMS Coins — ½ Sovereign 1838-1901, Circulation Issue, (VICTORIA)
This collection features the gold half sovereign (ten shillings) series of Queen Victoria, who still holds the record as longest-reigning British monarch. The owner presents a history of the sovereign and its half unit as coins of the realm, as well as a biography of Victoria herself. Each coin is illustrated and described fully, including it aesthetic qualities and provenance, when known. While the collection is still a work in progress, some of its current highlights include 1847 (NGC MS 64), 1852 (NGC MS 65), 1863 without die number (NGC MS 64) and 1883 (NGC MS 64).

jgenn — Jack’s Mexican Charles III Portrait 8 Reales Hoard
The Spanish eight reales silver coin, once familiar throughout the world, was revised in 1772 to feature a portrait of the reigning monarch, Charles (Carlos) III. These were issued until his succession by Charles IV in 1789. This collection brings together all dates and major varieties of this series coined at the Mexico City Mint. The history of this series is presented in a brief but entertaining introduction, and each specimen is described fully and quite well illustrated. Some of the better pieces include 1776Mo FM (NGC MS 63), 1780Mo FF (NGC MS 62) and the very scarce 1784Mo FF (NGC XF 45) that was purchased at an auction in Madrid.

Danziger — Freie Stadt Danzig (1923-1939)
Danzig was the German name of what is now the Polish City of Gdansk. Between the two World Wars it had the status of Free City and was thus able to produce its own unique series of coins from 1923 through 1937. This set is complete for all denominations and dates, and the grades are uniformly high. A few of the better pieces include 1927 half gulden (NGC MS 66), 1932 five gulden KM-157 (NGC MS 63) and an amazing 1924 gold 25 gulden (NGC MS 67). The presentation of this set is truly outstanding, with a rich essay on the history of the Danzig Free State and the background of its coinage. In addition, each specimen is beautifully imaged and described in detail.

Custom Sets

Best Overall Custom Set

Spencer Collection — Spencer Collection of So-Called Dollars
So-called dollars are commemorative medals of approximately silver dollar size, and the American series goes back to 1826. The goal of this collector is not necessarily completion by Hibler-Kappen numbers, but rather to assemble as many Mint State pieces as possible with an emphasis on rarities. Proof of the latter is this set’s inclusion of the gold Commerce & Industry medal from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, one of just four examples struck (NGC MS 66). Each specimen is described in detail and splendidly illustrated. Also included are tips for collectors seeking more information about this rich and varied series.

Best World Custom Set

MJSH — Polish Danzig ¼ Thalers of Sigismund III
In the early 17th Century Danzig (now part of Poland) was ruled by Sweden’s Sigismund III, and it issued an extensive series of coins. The ort or quarter-thaler, valued at 10 groszy, is the subject of this handsome collection, which is nearly complete by date and varieties. Each of the coins is NGC-certified, and all but one grade AU or higher. Rarities include 1611 (AU 55) and 1612 (AU Details), while the top-graded coin is a lovely 1616 SA (with ruff collar) in NGC MS 65. The owner of this set provides a brief but informative introduction to the series, and several coins are illustrated.

Best Ancients Custom Set

Taler Universe — Select Ancients
A splendid assemblage of 87 coins representing different rulers and time periods from Ancient Greece through the Roman Empire, this set provides some real eye candy. Each coin is NGC-certified and accompanied by superb photographs. The owner provides a commentary for each group of coins and has selected these pieces with a “Focus on engraver’s fine style, eye appeal, and overall design,” noting that additional coins will be added as they become available. Most of the entries are silver or billon, but bronze, electrum and gold are included, as well, for a wonderful look at the coinage of the ancient world.

Most Creative Custom Set

LUV2JOURNEY — Big Cats Collection — Feline Coins from Around the World
Within the realm of topical collecting, cats are quite a popular subject. In this set, however, there are no house kitties to be found. The theme is big cats as depicted on world coins. Most are modern issues made within the past 30 years, but exceptions include Albania’s 1926R five qindar leku depicting a lion’s head (NGC MS 66 RB) and a Belgian centime of 1901 with a seated lion as part of the nation’s arms (NGC MS 65 BN). There are 84 coins in total, ranging over the entire world, and all are in very high grades for their respective issues. The majority of these coins are illustrated, making for a quite entertaining display.

Most Informative Custom Set

The BRG Collection — Horses
This charming collection features depictions of horses on coins, medals and tokens from all periods of history back to ancient times. Having already been awarded “Most Creative Custom Set” in 2011, it presently features over 250 pieces and will continue to grow. Each specimen is described in detail, with most entries providing information about both the numismatic item and its subject matter. This is done in the form of two postcard style views, one for the specimen and another for the subject. The project is ongoing, particularly with respect to the historic views, but it’s already a very broad and educational presentation that transcends numismatics alone.

Collectors’ Journals

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.

Electric Peak 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 2015 Awards Archive page.

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