Representing ancient, vintage and modern coins, these 36 sets stood out among more than 327,000 in the NGC Registry to win top awards this year. Meanwhile, six collectors were chosen from over 34,000 NGC Registry participants for the David W. Lange Overall Achievement Award.
Each year, NGC recognizes outstanding achievement in Registry set building. For 2023, 10 winners were selected in each of our Best Classic, Best Modern, Best Presented and Best New categories, along with six Custom Set winners. In addition, we named six winners in the David W. Lange Overall Achievement in Collecting category.
Winners in these major NGC Registry Award categories receive a personalized plaque, an icon of recognition next to their NGC Registry set and a $500 NGC grading credit. We awarded more prizes than ever for 2023, with a total value of more than $36,000!
Our team of judges reviewed all of the top sets across every category in the NGC Registry. After much consideration, they selected the following sets. Congratulations to our 2023 winners!
David W. Lange Overall Achievement
The Coinery Collection is primarily focused on coins of the British Empire and has amassed over 1 million NGC Registry points, placing him in 20th place overall among world set collectors. All of his 836 coins in the NGC Registry have images, a gift to fellow collectors and competitors examining his sets. His top-ranking Pennies 1841 – 1901 was the winner of a Best Classic Set this year, but his collection extends seamlessly to modern coinage as well, where he earns top billing as a collector of Proof ¼ Sovereigns, 1990 to date. His core strength, however, is certainly among mid-20th century pennies, three pence and six pence, where he again boasts a number of top-ranked sets. In any category he chooses to focus, competitors should keep a careful lookout.
Tom Carr is ranked 58th among the 30,000-plus NGC Registry participants with an impressive point total of over 1.1 million. He is a strong participant in many US modern coin short sets and has won #1 Best in Category a staggering 315 times. But clearly one of his pride and joys is Olympic coinage. He holds the top-ranked set in the multi-country Summer Olympic Games, Host Country Coinage complete set, where just this year he bested his closest competitor for the first time and garnered another Best in Category award. Of note, every single coin in his 232 competitive sets has an image. Even though he has private sets in categories where he’s still actively building his sets, his public sets are veritable showcases.
Samara is a city in Russia, the third largest on the Volga with over 1.2 million residents. Samara Numismatist has more Registry points than there are residents of Samara, with over 1.6 million, making him the 7th ranked overall for world sets in the Registry. Much of Samara Numismatist’s collection is comprised of modern Russian coinage, where he is simply dominant. Samara Numismatist holds all the top spots for modern USSR and Russian gold 25, 50, 100 and 200 rouble sets. The real showstopper remains his top-ranked silver 3 rouble set 1992-date, which contains 463 of the 483 coins, all with images, having grown by 25 coins since it was awarded Best Modern Set in 2021.
Collector Desert Gold garners a lot of points from his high-ranked US Liberty Gold sets, and this is partly where his Registry name comes from, too. His 692,000 points place him 163rd overall. But in the Registry, he should be better known as the “King of Portuguese Coins.” He is a 200-time winner of Best in Category for his extensive collection of this coinage. He holds the top spots in all type sets from Pedro II through Maria II, spanning eight monarchs from 1683 through 1853. His collection displays similar strength among Portuguese colonial issues of Brazil and the Azores. Due to his dominance of these categories, even with his heavy concentration in one area, he is the 87th ranked competitor for total points among all world set collectors in the Registry.
The Bray Collection is known well to many Registry participants in the modern US categories, where they have very likely encountered a competing set from this collector. He has amassed an astonishing 1,260 competitive sets. In fact, among this year’s David W. Lange Overall Achievement winners, The Bray collection has the highest overall point total, 2.7 million NGC Registry Points, for 9th overall. He is a two-time major award winner, earning recognition for his 100 Greatest US Modern Coins and his Eisenhower Dollars. Beyond US coins, The Bray Collection is ranked 43rd overall among world coin collectors, showing strength particularly among French coins, where he has numerous top-ranked sets. The diversity and expansiveness of his collection is something few could ever match.
Guenther Trust’s collection may be a little hard to define. A lot of focus and energy are given to high-ranking modern American Eagle coinage in silver, gold and platinum, and even some very high-grade non-precious metal sets. There is a smattering of classic US coinage, too. This alone makes Guenther Trust a strong Registry participant, but there is so much more. Add to the mix his mind-blowing Proof US Trade Dollar set (a winner of Best Classic Set in 2022) and an awesome Canada Platinum Wildlife Series set (winner of a Best Modern Set Award in 2020). He is also the top-ranked collector of South African Natural Gold coinage. His Registry collection totals some 2,400 coins and over 2.4 million Registry Points, making it 11th overall in the Registry. Guenther Trust is a true powerhouse of modern precious metal coinage with more than enough chops to take top billing in a competitive classic US category.
Best Classic Sets
Shortly after its founding, Israel underwent a monetary reform and issued coins denominated in Pruta. Each had unadorned symbols of the State that would become the hallmark of its coinage to this day. Perfect-70’s collection is comprised of 21 coins of this issuance, including coins from all mints, denominations and major varieties. Beyond completion, 10 coins are among the finest examples certified by NGC. The set contains a lovely near Gem example of the key 1954 Utrecht Mint 100 Pruta and an astonishingly beautiful 1949 With Pearl 250 Pruta that caught more than one judge’s eyes.
The importance of this short set of nine coins shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s the first quarter dollar struck with a “close collar” constraining its diameter to 24.3 millimeters, the size of the quarter still in use today. Collector rfar has been searching out the “right” Capped Bust Quarters for his collection for over 20 years, and his dedication shows. Each coin possesses a superior strike and has superior eye appeal. There is a perfect balance of bright coins with booming luster and others with vibrant toning. It is hard to say which coin is most beautiful, but we keep coming back to his “sea green, cobalt-blue and golden” 1834, graded a lofty MS 64.
Collectors have long been fascinated with this four-year set that saw the removal of nickel from the “Nickel five-cent coin,” replacing it with an alloy of copper, silver and manganese. Whether it is due to the unusual composition or large prominent mintmarks, these coins have always attracted attention, which makes this Registry category very competitive. Mcpix has still found a way to dominate the competition, with four top pop coins and four MS 68 Full Step coins. Occasionally, war nickels can be found with attractive toning, and Mcpix’s 1944-P and 1945-P, both graded MS 67★ 5FS, are standout examples, giving him a Registry point bonus for the stars and making fellow collectors envious.
Competing in the Circulated Coins Only category hasn’t made P. Kaufman’s task any easier. He has sought out problem-free original coins that were used in commerce. Philadelphia Mint dimes of the early 1840s, San Francisco Mint issues of the 1850s, Civil War dates and Carson City issues are all notoriously tricky to find pleasing examples of, and he has gotten all but one of them. In so doing, P. Kaufman has built the only set in the Registry category that nears completion and has set a lofty bar for anyone ready to compete. We applaud his great efforts!
This set is comprised of 27 sovereign coins minted in Australia during the reign of Edward VII at Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from 1902-1910, and everything about this set is deceptively difficult. Although most have mintage figures from 2 to 5 million, they are harder to find than those figures suggest. The low relief effigy of Edward VII makes these coins prone to contact marks, and they are downright scarce in choice condition. Zebo has seven coins graded MS 63 and one MS 64, including two Top Pop examples. Zebo’s set is remarkably well balanced and every coin but one is uncirculated. Patience and commitment have no doubt played a role in finding these coins, and what an enjoyable box of gold it must be to behold.
This is the most popular competitive set definition of British Pennies in the Registry. It covers the circulation issues of Queen Victoria, prompting collectors to get one of each date. Beyond that, the collector has total freedom, and The Coinery Collection has used it to his advantage. In tight competition with collector vic readies, The Coinery Collection has elected to populate his set with several scarce varieties of early “Bun Head” issues to increase his point total. Everywhere else, he has included high-grade examples, many with Red Brown color designations. This, again, boosts the point total and makes for a novel approach to the series.
Lincoln Cent lovers, take note: Murph5 is here for the ultimate challenge, and he has come to compete. This set category includes all Lincoln Cents (Mint State and Proof), including major varieties. It’s 485 coins, spanning 114 years. Murph’s Complete Cents is 88% complete and has reached a mind-numbing 497,951 points (as of the award judging). When competing in a category like this, the points come from many places, and Murph5 shows strength across the board. For the classic keys of the series, he has some impressive pieces: 1909-S VDB in MS 62 BN and a 1922 No D Strong Reverse in AU 50 BN. He includes some early branch mint dates in full Gem MS 65 RD: 1912-S, 1913-D, 1916-D, 1918-D. The full Bronze cent run from 1934 to 1982 is awash in Superb Gem MS 67 RD graded coins, and the quality ratchets up through the modern zinc cents. A major achievement through and through!
Mactanboy’s set of Philippines Republic coinage from 1947 until the 1967 coinage reform includes the complete issuance of circulating coins and non-circulating commemoratives. Popular with collectors, it pairs the Philippines under US Sovereignty obverse with a Republic of Philippines coat of arms reverse. Of the 32 coins in Mactanboy’s set, 20 coins (62.5%) are Top Pop. That impressive feat gives him top billing over intense competition from fellow collectors lightningsquid and coin928. When we say intense, we mean intense: first and third place are separated by a mere 79 Registry points at time of judging, with second wedged in between. Congratulations to Mactanboy on his fierce efforts.
The Peru Libra (or Pound) was equal in weight and fineness to the British Sovereign and formed part of the gold-backed Peruvian monetary system. The coin was issued from 1898 until 1969 with no change in design, which shows an indigenous bust on the obverse and coat of arms on the reverse. It’s a distinctive and attractive coin. Early dates served a monetary function and can be challenging to find in higher grades. Many later dates have miniscule mintage figures. Madz has managed to best all comers in the category, filling 38 of the 50 slots, and crushing the closest competitor by 20,000 Registry points.
The Resolute Americana Continental Dollar collection is the stuff of dreams. For years, this coinage has intrigued collectors. Its designs are closely modeled after Benjamin Franklin’s currency design, and they bear the meaningful date 1776, but no contemporary documentation exists. Even the identity of the engraver, EG, is left to speculation. Roblou270 (Robert L. Rodriguez) has conducted and sponsored extensive research that has answered several meaningful questions surrounding this series. Of relevance to this writing, he has also assembled possibly the greatest collection of this coinage, period. The coins here are all of exceptional quality and very beautiful. Rather than focusing on technical grade, Roblou270 chooses coins that appeal to him personally. It’s likely that no coin extant could improve this collection to his exacting standards.
Best Modern Sets
One-third of all stamp collectors worldwide are said to reside in China, where the vibrant hobby is pursued by people of all ages. This medal series explores the intersection of philately and numismatics in a fascinating way. Issued annually with colorized designs replicating Lunar calendar stamps, each medal is made of a thin silver sheet. Because of their fragile perforated edges, which can be easily bent, MS 70 examples are hard to come by. Collector Dan Hughes impressively has three so graded examples in his complete 12-year set, and each “stamp” is the finest example certified by NGC.
It was the 1982-D George Washington Half Dollar that relaunched the United States commemorative coinage program, and that’s where Beijim’s incredible set begins, with a Top Pop example, no less. From there, every coin is a 70, displaying no post-production defects at 5x magnification. Being a competitive category, with over 600 competing sets, Beijim has surpassed all others with the intelligent inclusion of a lovely MS 70 Prooflike 1994-D World Cup Half Dollar, one of only four so graded by NGC. Not just a beautiful coin, it has given him a 100-point bonus over the stiff competition, allowing his highest-possible grade set to reach its vaulted status.
Anyone who has felt a solitary Panda Kilo has no doubt been taken aback by its heft and its presence. Just one coin alone is impressive, but 32 of them together is an auspicious celebration. Few mints around the world dare try to rival the quality of Shenzhen and Shenyang when it comes to these large pieces. Denominated as 200 Yuan and later 300 Yuan, they are among the most impressive Panda coins, using their large flans to create playful animals with joyful expressions in delicate tonal finishes. TRF’s set is 100% complete and two-thirds of TRF’s coins are Top Pop at NGC. King of Kilos indeed!
Ultra Cameo Collection tags his Registry set of Proof Jefferson Nickels with the cheeky line, “All UC or bust!” He makes no further comment, but none is needed. The coins do the talking. Every single coin displays sharp black-and-white contrast, earning it the Ultra Cameo designation. Nearly all are Top Pop, as well. Most of the 1950s issues graded PF 69 Ultra Cameo have single digit populations with none better. If one is curious what is the earliest date Jefferson that exists in the coveted PF 70 Ultra Cameo grade, look to the Ultimate Jefferson set, where there resides a 1976-S so graded. Whether it be for aesthetics or technical merit, from top to bottom, this set is a mammoth accomplishment.
The Kookaburra, or more specifically Laughing Kookaburra, is a bird species native to Australia known primarily for its distinctive call from which it also gets its distinctive name. Australia chose it as a symbol for its annual Silver Dollar series launched in 1990. Since then, the Perth Mint has created one of the most dynamic series in all of modern numismatics. Not only does the design change each year, but Perth uses colorization, privy marks and coin relief to showcase its technical mastery and to honor world events with enviable timeliness. In all, 239 different coins comprise the complete collection, which includes all Proof and Mint State issues. Michael from Germany has them all (but the very newest issue), and nearly all are Top Pop. Michael from Germany’s set demonstrates his passion and commitment, and images of each coin entreat others to join him on his Kookaburra quest.
This set includes all Great Britain Proof commemorative 5-pound silver issues of Elizabeth II from 1990 to 2022, comprising 182 coins in all. Unique among modern coinage series, British commemorative coins honor historical, civic and cultural events and figures together fluidly and contiguously. The themes of this set thus range from Death of Princess Diana and the 200th Anniversary of the victory at Waterloo to James Bond and the Rolling Stones. Collector DJM says it’s not possible to pick just one favorite from the complete set, which has been impressively assembled in full: the only complete set in the category! One could only imagine what a challenging task it would be to recreate this achievement. The only thing more difficult might be to look upon this set and pick one favorite, another impossible task.
The 21st Century Type Set includes all the Proofs and non-Proofs of the circulating issues of United States coins minted 2001 to date. As a current set, it grows and creates new possibilities for the collector each year, and it is a highly popular category with nearly 500 entrants. Collector valenrk has managed to rise to the top! In valenrk’s set, rather incredibly, 22 of 24 coins are Top Pop, the highest graded of their type. The run of “golden dollars” graded MS 69 is comprised of three coins with populations of 25 and below. The five Mint State clad quarters are all unimprovable, capped by the 2022-D Wilma Mankiller graded MS 69 PL, one of just six so certified. This set will continue to be a dynamic space to watch as new issues are released, and valenrk seems to know how to fend off the competition.
This set category includes every bullion and uncirculated (burnished) American Gold Eagle from 1986 to date, a total of 184 different coins, and The Hinchman’s got ‘em! Boy does he ever! Missing only one coin, the entire set is graded MS 70. Almost every coin is housed with a label hand-signed by former Chief Mint Engraver John Mercanti. The Hinchman has set a high mark for dedication and commitment, not only displaying a mastery of the American Gold Eagle series but a keen ability to focus on such a lofty collecting goal.
The Kennedy Half Dollar Proof variety set is a specialist playground, for not only does it include all the Proof Kennedy Half Dollars but also the major die varieties. Early in the series there were numerous doubled dies, including multiple varieties of the key 1964 Accent Hair issue. Seeking these out and attributing them correctly is challenging for all collectors, and David Rappaport has increased the difficulty by adding condition sensitivity to the mix. Many of his early varieties are Top Pop. Topping the rankings in any US set category in the NGC Registry is an achievement, but David Rappaport is fending off particularly tough competition from Mikey Siegel’s impeccable collection and KK, LLC, making this an exciting space to watch.
RDH2000 is of course a Star Wars fan. His Niue Silver Star Wars Collection set description includes a chronology of the films that will give more casual viewers some essential insights. These coins are a great way to combine an appreciation of the epic motion picture series with a love of numismatics. But it is no simple undertaking. With a variety of denominations, the set includes many oversized coins of different formats and themes within the Star Wars universe, ranging from photorealistic colorized scene captures to the popular, playful Chibi coins. The set is currently comprised of 248 coins, including a 10oz bar of Mandalorian Beskar (although Niue has substituted .999 fine silver for the rather more precious armor-making metal). RDH2000 has acquired all the coins in the series from 2011 through 2022, making him the only collector to achieve that impressive feat.
Best Presented Sets
Cellgazer got bit by the collecting bug after making a bullion investment. Using Eric Jordan and John Maben’s book Top 50 Most Popular Modern Coins and its corresponding Registry set as framework, he’s nearly completed the set, acquiring 49 of the 50 total coins and rising to the top spot of the category. Every coin is accompanied with commentary featuring Cellgazer’s own insights and excerpts from the Top 50 book or Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett’s 100 Greatest US Modern Coins. Additionally, an image of every coin is shown in its holder, including both the obverse and reverse. Plus, many have exclusive Top 50 or 100 Greatest NGC labels. In so doing, whether intentional or not, Cellgazer has laid the foundation for others to be bitten by the same collecting bug that got him.
Twice a winner of Best Classic Set (2013 and 2017) and a 12-time winner of Best in Category (2012-date), KKM’s incomparable set has earned a new accolade: Best Presented. Images are provided for 212 of 297 of the coins included in the collection. The coins are of such high quality that one can’t help but be entranced and look at every single one.
If anyone is curious what a complete set of Elizabeth II Maundy coinage looks like, nerbee’s Maundy Madness Registry collection is the definitive way to quell that curiosity. Maundy coinage refers to sets of silver coinage valued at 1, 2, 3 and 4 pence, which were given out by the British Monarch on Maundy Thursday. While its origins go back much further, the first Maundy coinage was issued in 1662 under Charles II and persists to this day. nerbee’s set is complete and top of category and also includes images of 273 of 280 coins. One can hardly imagine the challenge of finding all of these coins, as this is certainly the only place to see them all.
RoninSaint was first attracted to Franklin Half Dollars because of an admiration of the man portrayed. This has contributed to a thoughtful and disciplined approach to the set, even if RoninSaint admits he must spend more than might be prudent to get the very best coins. The rewards are evident with a top-ranked set and many beautiful Franklin halves. Fortunately, RoninSaint provides excellent images for each of his coins and all are accompanied by summary statistics. The best part is that for most coins there is a one-line remark describing the most important features of each coin, Franklinian in their brevity and depth of insight.
500 Years of Gold Ducat Coins of Venice is aptly named. It tells the story of the standard gold unit issued by the Doges (or “Dukes”) of the Republic of Venice. Introduced in 1280, the ducat underwent no significant changes in design or composition until 1797. In so doing, it set the standard for trade coinage in Europe and beyond. This history is eloquently shared in deposito’s introductory text. His set currently contains 43 of 73 issues. As every coin is imaged, we can observe the many shared features and subtle stylistic changes throughout the centuries-long span of this coinage. Additionally, many coins are accompanied by details of the Doge’s reign and concurrent developments in Venice, making deposito’s set one of the most engaging in the entire Registry.
A short set, it includes the reform (reduced-size) silver six pence of George III, issued from 1816 through the end of his reign in 1820. Just five years, this set is expanded by an 1819/8 overdate and major varieties. Coins like the ones in this set don’t come along everyday, and M.T. has been on a journey of a quarter-century in his collecting, enough time for him to locate some outstanding examples. Fortunately, each is pictured here. M.T. provides a pithy introduction as well as commentary on each coin, allowing his expertise to shine through. It’s a great model for how to engage with a coinage series and showcase a collection.
This is a monster of a set! It is comprised of all the American Gold Eagles, Silver Eagles and Platinum Eagles in Mint State and Proof, with 579 coins in all! Collector All MS70 has filled 96% of the slots in this set (or 556 coins) and provides images for 341 of them. Pictured front and back in holder, the coins reveal the varied designs of the proof platinum issues and the many subtle hub changes through the series, contrasting it with the drama of the 2021 Silver and Gold Eagle reverse redesign. There are also changing and evolving trends in NGC labels and release designations, giving unique perspective into the ways this series is collected in an evolving and dynamic marketplace.
Shalako presents his collection of Niue $2 Tarot Cards in the best way possible. Consisting of 14 issues thus far, his set is complete and exceptionally high grade (all but one is Proof 70 Ultra Cameo). In this introduction, Shalako describes his attraction to the set. Each coin is then accompanied by a detailed description of the subject tarot card’s significance and additional notes on the source of the picture provided. Particularly great care has been taken to provide the best images possible. Struck for Niue by the New Zealand Mint, these coins feature mirrored Proof finish and vibrant colorized design. Never easy to capture in an image, the gorgeous pictures are a tribute to Shalako’s extraordinary efforts.
A measure of gratitude is owed to the Hornets Nest Collection for sharing this unsurpassed collection of Charlotte Mint Gold in the NGC Registry. To have coins like this, a complete assemblage of coins issued by the Charlotte Mint, is a serious pursuit, one that has garnered Hornets Nest Collection with an Overall Achievement award in 2020. For each coin, an obverse and reverse image is provided. The commentary gives greater detail. Each description is hyper-focused on specific attributes of individual artifact itself, such as its rarity and factors that affect its grade. While there are likely very few collectors of Charlotte gold coins who haven’t seen this set, every collector of US classic gold coins should spend time exploring this Best Presented Set.
To PR Owner, the Libertad 1 Onza is an analog to the American Silver Eagle, only more beautiful and much rarer. A collector from a young age, with every coin description, he shares his journey to stay on top as the leading collector of Proof 1 Onzas in the NGC Registry. PR Owner examines, buys and sells tens of coins for every one coin in his collection. In the process, he gains unique insight into the series. Some of this valuable information is shared freely here, and some only hinted at and retained for his own advantage. It takes a lot to be number one!
Best New Sets
Switzerland is officially a Confederation of 26 cantons, many of which issued their own coinage in years past. The coins in this set are denominated variably as thaler, 4 Franken/Franchi and 40 Batzen, depending on the language and monetary systems of the canton, but they are all of similar thaler-size and composition. Each shows a Swiss soldier on the obverse in distinctive, traditional dress. The reverse of each shows the Cantonal shield. When fully assembled in uniformly high grade from Brilliant Uncirculated MS 62 to Gem MS 65 condition, as P.B. has done, it makes for an impressive set, and its presentation is further bolstered by quality images throughout. Although first appearing in the Registry in February 2023, it’s clear that this collection required years of effort.
Struck over a two-year period in 2021 and 2022, the Cook Island Silver $5 US State Animals Series makes for an engaging 50-coin set. Ahmad Al-Azemi’s set, added to the Registry in July 2023, is entirely complete and every coin is in Top Pop MS 70 condition. Every coin has an obverse and reverse image, allowing viewers to explore the diverse wildlife of the United States and photo-real, full-color designs of the coins. Two coins feature horse breeds, and three coins feature whales, uncharacteristic subjects for US-thematic coinage, demonstrating a unique aspect of this coinage.
Venezuela’s second coinage reform, which denominated coins in Céntimos and Bolívares, endured from the late 19th Century through the entire 20th Century. A complete Type Set of the circulating issues consists of 77 issues. It begins, interestingly with a 1/5 Bolivar silver coin and ends with a 1,000 Bolivares copper-nickel brass bi-metallic issue, forecasting the need for another coinage reform that would come in 2007. This colección from elmerfaroh, added to the Registry in June 2023, includes 63 of the 77 issues and is already the second-highest ranked in the category. With images for each, it helps to tell the story of the monetary history of Venezuela.
Bill Dobbs added his eponymous set Bill to the Registry in April 2023. The category Modern Commemorative Silver Dollars, 1983-Date, Mint State and Proof, has over 1,000 sets, but this set has already garnered the No. 2 ranking. It’s 100% complete and 100% MS 70 or PF 70 Ultra Cameo. That’s to say, it’s essentially unimprovable. Not much more can be asked of a new entrant to the Registry, which easily justifies this Best New Set award.
This 19th Century Type Set of Bremen includes all the regular issue types from the start of the century until incorporation into Unified Germany. Collector 514 has been actively working on this set for several years, although he first added his collection to the Registry in late May 2023. Nearly all the coins were bought raw (uncertified) and then submitted to NGC, adding an interesting dimension to his collecting experience, especially considering his set contains five Top Pop coins. The iconography of Bremen’s coinage is rather distinctive and it’s easy to see why these coins hold special appeal, but 514 provides engaging descriptive text for each coin, making his set an especially welcome new addition to the Registry.
Electric Peak demonstrates what it’s like to be a Registry superstar. A previous Overall Achievement winner, he added his Icelandic set in February 2023 and has already garnered the No. 2 ranking. He was first attracted to the set because of the 2000 Lief Ericson 1000 Kronur, which Electric Peak purchased directly from the US Mint paired with the Lief Ericson Silver Dollar commemorative. Each coin features an enjoyable, concise description that includes thematic information, where it was acquired and a discussion of its technical merits. A super Registry set in every way.
Mama’s Secret is an experienced collector who pursues her passion her way, which is exactly what the best collectors do. A conversation with a neighbor exposed her to this artful coinage series of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation, which inspired her to complete the collection. As she notes, the coins are low mintage and can be hard to acquire. She still has them all! Added to the Registry in May 2023, this set takes top honors in the category. Every coin has an image, and it’s hard to imagine a more intricate, captivating and attractive set of coins.
Seldom in a major category, such as Panda coins, does a new entrant rise to the top of the Registry ranks. But that is precisely what’s happened with Weezie Belle’s Golden Pandamania. Added to the Registry in November 2023, just before the awards deadline, it is a complete set of 1/10th Ounce and 3-gram gold Pandas in Mint State and Proof. At 90% complete, the set edged out the top spot by a razor-thin margin of 201 points, with a total of 45,311 to 45,110 for Arif’s admirable No. 2-ranked set. Weezie Belle showed up to compete and also admirably won a Best New Set award in the process.
Although the GSA sales of US Silver Dollars held between 1972 and 1980 are best known for the large number of Carson City (CC) Morgan Dollars released into the marketplace, a small fraction of the coins were from other Mints. Collector Joyce C Novitzke was already a participant in the complete GSA Hard Pack Category, but as her set grew to include these scarce coins from other mints, she created her non-CC GSA Legacy set in June 2023. More than half complete, it’s an admirable new entrant. As she’s building this set to pass on to her grandchildren, thus the “Legacy” collection name, she’s managed to pick up an award for just herself, Best New Set.
ale2koin created his El Salvador Coin type set in May 2023 and has been busy ever since. It’s 100% complete and includes four Top Pop coins. By adding coins from the R. L. Lissner collection, a famous and quality-conscious collector, he’s been able to nudge into the No. 1 spot by a mere 156 points! The tight competition and inclusion of some very special coins with provenance were enough for the judges to take notice and award ale2koin with Best New Set.
Best World Custom Set
The set includes the Rand and Cents of South Africa from 1961 to date. It begins with the crown-sized silver rands, moves to reduced-sized commemoratives and continues on to the nickel-plated copper workhorse of today’s everyday transactions. For HUMAN COLLECTION, the rand is a symbol of South Africa’s progress and prosperity. Then he includes the cents as well, an underappreciated coin that to HUMAN COLLECTION symbolizes the people of South Africa. Each coin is hand selected for its quality, and multiples of many issues are included if they have different attributes. There are countless Top Pop coins, rarities and mint errors. Each coin has a full description and image. Oh, and the set has 480 coins, too! For anyone interested in modern South African coinage, taking time to explore this set should be a requirement.
Best Tokens and Medals Set
3mctoledo’s stated long-term goal is to create a reference set of Scottish Conder tokens. Conder tokens are British merchant tokens issued during the 1790s to address a shortage of small coinage required for everyday commerce. They are named for the author of the early catalogs of the series, compiled by James Conder in 1798. Collectors today and NGC use a reference by Dalton & Hammer. Over 300 provincial copper coins of Scotland are included in the full listing. 3mctoledo is on his way, with 214 pieces. There are some duplicates, because in addition to adding missing pieces, he updates their quality as well. The designs are varied and excellently executed, making the set worth exploring by any fellow enthusiast. Already a Best Tokens & Medals Set, it will be exciting to see how this set develops.
Best Ancient Custom Set
AVALEIGH presents a captivating survey of Ancient Greek coin types from the Archaic through Hellenistic periods in a variety of metal types. The goal is to explore the changes in coinage thematically and stylistically, and this set accomplished just that. On display are a grand variety of types including much sought-after issues like the Athenian Owl (tetradrachm), Carthaginian electrum stater, Pisidia and Thasos staters. Even among them, the well-selected small bronzes hold their own. Using the Registry’s slideshow view allows one to scroll through images of each of the 98 pieces – many with NGC PhotoVision Plus images included – and really explore the variety and development of Ancient Greek coinage, fulfilling AVALEIGH’s goal. It’s a lovely collection and a great way for anyone to experience ancient coinage.
Most Informative Custom Set
deposito explores a tight 18-year span of coinage during the Second Punic War between the Roman Republic and Carthage (218 to 201 BC). The introductory text both explains his attraction to this time period and provides historical context. The coins are well selected and further show a scholarly approach to collecting in the many detailed descriptions provided. The coins themselves, interestingly, show sharp contrast between the Roman types and Hellenistic Greek issues. There are several standout coins as well, such as the Half-Shekel of Bruttium under Carthaginian occupation and a gold Roman Republic 60 Asses (that first appeared in an auction in 1908!). There is no place better to explore the coinage of the Second Punic War.
Most Creative Custom Set
Creative Sets are all about finding a unique theme or thread that connects a group of coins to form a set. PAL Collection is comprised of ancient coins that have received the Star designation, which denotes a coin of exceptional appeal. That’s exactly what the PAL Collection is: 41 highly appealing ancient coins. Each is well centered, well struck and of good style. They are all well above average examples of their type. It is impossible to select a favorite, but when it comes to a set like this, click on the Custom Set Slideshow Button, sit back and enjoy!
Best US Custom Set
The Mint of the Philippine Islands custom set is a chronological presentation of the coins and medals struck at the Manila Mint while under US Sovereignty. The introductory text is exceptional in its detailed description of the Mint’s origins and operations. The collection contents are exceptional as well, including numerous die varieties cataloged by Allan, the challenging Culion Leper Colony tokens and the very popular Manila Mint Opening (Wilson $1) medals, except for the gold, which is still wanted. It’s exciting to consider these varied items were all struck at the only branch mint outside the continental United States. coin928’s descriptions are wonderful as well, demonstrating exactly what a Custom Set should be.