Two extremely difficult to assemble numismatic collections that are
the finest of their kinds in the Professional Coin Grading Service Set
Registry will be displayed by PCGS for the first time in public at the
upcoming American Numismatic Association World's Fair of
Money in Rosemont, Ill.
The Numismatic Americana
Reference Collection of United States Assay Commission Medals and the
End of the Trail VIII Collection of Morgan dollars with the lowest
grade point average in the "Low Ball" registry will be
exhibited at the PCGS booth during the ANA convention, which runs from
Aug. 5 to Aug. 9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
The all-time finest registry set of historic U.S. Assay
Commission medals is owned by Bill Shamhart of Numismatic Americana Inc., in New Jersey. The
set has a Mint State weighted grade point average of 62.345.
The Assay Commission was established in 1792 to supervise the
annual testing of gold and silver coinage produced by the U.S. Mint to
ensure that the metal content met specifications. The commission
members appointed each year were private citizens including
Medals were produced for commission members
every year from 1860 through 1977, except during the Civil War years
of 1862 to 1866, and also 1954. The Assay Commission was disbanded
after the 1977 session as a cost-cutting move by the Carter
"Most U.S. Assay medals are rare
because they were only issued in very limited quantities, usually from
about 50 to 200 of each,” PCGS President Don Willis said. "They
were struck in various sizes ranging from 33 millimeters in diameter,
a little larger than a modern half dollar, to 76 millimeters, about
twice the size of a Double Eagle.”
Willis said there’s a
“vast array” of interesting designs in the series.
will distribute brochures at the ANA convention about U.S. Assay
Commission medals in the Numismatic Americana Reference Collection and
featuring illustrations of the owner's 10 favorites.
See the entire collection on the PCGS
The PCGS table at the ANA convention
will also feature the lowest graded basic set of Morgan silver
"The appropriately named 'End of the Trail'
Morgan dollar collection has a Poor weighted grade point average of
only 1.130,” Willis said. "It is the all-time finest, or in this
case, the worst-of-the-worst basic Morgan dollar set in the Low Ball
"While collectors have a lot of fun with
the Low Ball sets, remember that it often is just as difficult and
exciting to build a low grade set as it is to assemble a high grade
Brochures on the Low Ball set will also
be available at the convention. The brochure includes illustrations of
the top 10 favorite low-grade Morgan dollar coins of the set's owner,
collector Mike Hoyman of Alaska.
Hoyman's favorite is an
1878 Morgan, 8 Tail Feathers dollar variety that is missing more than
99 percent of the obverse design, but has enough reverse design
remaining to distinguish the eight feathers. It is graded PCGS Poor
PCGS authenticators were unable to determine the
specific VAM variety for that coin and some others in the collection
because the grades are so low. Of the 97 coins in the set, 87 of them
are graded Poor (PCGS PO-1) and the other 10 are graded Fair (PCGS
See the entire End of the Trail VIII Collection on
the PCGS website.
"PCGS launched the Low
Ball registry category in 2007 as a fun and challenging way for
collectors to compete to see who has the lowest graded coins,”
Collectors Universe Set Registry and Special Projects Director BJ
Searls said. "It's much harder than you would think, but there
are now 825 registered Low Ball sets of U.S. coins."
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