Previously Unreported Morgan Dollars Sets Emerge As PCGS All-Time Finest

(Woodland Hills, California) June 24, 2019 — Quietly and patiently acquiring superb quality coin-after-coin over the past 14 years, an Illinois collector working with Barry Stuppler of Mint State Gold by Stuppler and Company ( in Woodland Hills, California has now assembled the all-time finest collection of circulation strike Morgan silver dollars.

Previously part of the famous Jack Lee Collection, this 1884-S Morgan graded PCGS MS67 CAC is part of The Illinois Set, now the all-time finest Morgan dollars in five PCGS Set Registry categories. (Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service

The previously unreported collection is now listed as all-time finest in five different Morgan dollar categories in the popular PCGS Set Registry® (

Known as The Illinois Set and now insured for $12 million, its grade point average surpasses such famous Hall of Fame and previous top Morgan dollar circulation strike sets as Jack Lee, Coronet Collection, California1 and IPS.

“The owner of The Illinois Set wants to remain anonymous, and he deliberately did not want to previously list his coins in the PCGS Set Registry until he achieved his goal of building the best set ever of historic Morgan silver dollars. That goal was happily accomplished this month (June 2019),” explained Stuppler.

“The building of The Illinois Set started in 2005. I have many clients building registry sets, but one of the proudest moments of my 59-year numismatic career was the day I posted the Illinois Morgan Dollar set. It took us 14 years to assemble it,” said Stuppler.

The 117-coin Illinois Set Morgan dollar collection, with a record-setting PCGS grade point average of 66.583, contains 51 coins that are the finest known; 15 that are the single finest and 36 other coins that are tied for finest known.

Highlights of the collection include:

The finest known 1892-CC Morgan dollar, graded PCGS MS67+ CAC/PQ with none graded higher, is one of the highlights of the just-revealed, all-time finest Illinois Set Collection. (Photo courtesy of Mint State Gold by Stuppler and Company.)

  • 1880-CC PCGS MS68 PQ, single finest known, ex. Jack Lee.
  • 1883-S, PCGS MS67+ PL PQ/CAC, single finest known, ex. Eliasberg.
  • 1884-S, PCGS MS67 CAC, ex. Jack Lee.
  • 1885-CC PCGS MS68+ CAC, single finest known, ex. Jack Lee.
  • 1892-CC PCGS MS67+ PQ/CAC, single finest known.
  • 1893-S PCGS MS65 CAC.
  • 1901 PCGS MS66, single finest known, ex. Jack Lee.
  • 1903-S PCGS MS67+, single finest known, ex. Eliasberg.

“Achieving the coveted number one spot for a set within the PCGS Set Registry is a feat on its own, and to be able to claim this top honor in five separate Set Registry composites is a true numismatic accomplishment,” said David Talk, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

“Not only are these sets the number one current finest set in each composite, they have surpassed some well-known sets which have won PCGS Set Registry awards spanning across 10-plus years. This is an interesting development with the Annual PCGS Set Registry Awards Luncheon quickly approaching,” stated Talk.

The single finest known 1901 Philadelphia Mint Morgan dollar, graded PCGS MS66, is one of the many highlights of the previously unreported Illinois Set that now is ranked all-time finest in five categories in the PCGS Set Registry. (Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service

The five PCGS Set Registry categories with The Illinois Set now listed as all-time finest are:

97-coin Morgan Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes, 1878-1921 (;

117-coin Morgan Dollars with Major Varieties, Circulation 1878-1921

26-coin New Orleans Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strike 1879-1904

29-coin Philadelphia Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strike 1878-1921
(; and

28-coin San Francisco Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strike 1878-1921

For additional information about Mint State Gold by Stuppler and Company, contact Barry Stuppler at 818-592-2800 or

For additional information about the PCGS Set Registry, visit

First Public Exhibit of Recently Discovered, Rare 1854-S $5 at ANA Show

Historic, Gold Rush-era San Francisco Half Eagle will be featured Museum Showcase display courtesy of ANA Governor Brian Hendelson

Rosemont, Illinois) June 24, 2019 – The fourth known 1854 San Francisco Mint Liberty Head Half Eagle, discovered just last year and subsequently sold at auction for $2.16 million, will be publicly exhibited for the first time during the American Numismatic Association Chicago World’s Fair of Money (, August 13-17, 2019. It will be a featured display in the Museum Showcase (booth #1829).

This recently discovered, fourth known 1854-S Half Eagle will have its first public exhibition at the ANA 2019 Chicago World’s Fair of Money, August 13-17, courtesy of Brian Hendelson and Classic Coin Company. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service

“As with other historic items I’ve happily loaned to the ANA for displays, I want to share this numismatic treasure with the public. It is an important, tangible artifact from the height of the California Gold Rush, and struck during the first year of operations at the San Francisco Mint,” explained the coin’s current owner, ANA Governor Brian Hendelson, president of Classic Coin Company ( in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

According to mint records, only 268 Half Eagles were struck in San Francisco in 1854.

The coin is graded PCGS XF45.

Its discovery was announced in April 2018 by Mark Salzberg, chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, who described it at the time as “like finding an original Picasso at a garage sale. It’s the discovery of a lifetime; a previously unknown surviving example of one of America’s greatest coins.”

The submitter was an anonymous New England resident who thought the coin had to be a fake because only three 1854-S $5 gold pieces were known at the time. After it was authenticated as genuine, he consigned it to Heritage Auctions ( which sold it for $2,160,000 at the ANA 2018 Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money.

The winning bidder was John Albanese, founder of CAC (Certified Acceptance Corporation) in New Jersey, and the next morning he was contacted by Hendelson who then purchased the coin from him.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to own this great 19th-century gold rarity,” stated Hendelson who subsequently submitted the coin to Professional Coin Grading Service for crossover service.

A commentary about the 1854-S Half Eagle on the reference website states: “If a poll were taken of knowledgeable numismatists as to which Half Eagle they would most like to own, the 1854-S would be a strong contender for top honors….”

One surviving example is in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection, and another 1854-S $5 is owned by the Pogue family in Texas. A third 1854-S Half Eagle was stolen in 1967 in a famous robbery at the Florida home of industrialist Willis duPont and is still missing. Authenticators stated that the recently discovered fourth example is not the duPont coin because of diagnostic differences, and Heritage officials said duPont himself waived any claims to the coin prior to last year’s auction.

“I’m happy to share the 1854-S Half Eagle at the 2019 ANA convention for everyone to enjoy and to learn about the hobby and Gold Rush history,” said Hendelson.

In addition to the 1854-S $5, the Museum Showcase will contain displays of rare items from the ANA Money Museum in Colorado Springs and other historic money on loan from other collectors and dealers.

The 2019 Chicago World’s Fair of Money will be in Hall F of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the suburb of Rosemont, Illinois, near O’Hare International Airport.

U.S. Mint Video: Mary Golda Ross $1 Coin

NASA Senior Program Executive Willis Jenkins, artist Emily Damstra, and Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint Joe Menna discuss the 2019 Native American $1 Coin. The theme of the coin’s design is American Indians in the Space Program. Native Americans have been on the modern frontier of space flight since the beginning of NASA. Their contributions to the U.S. space program culminated in the space walks of John Herrington (Chickasaw Nation) on the International Space Station in 2002. This and other pioneering achievements date back to the work of Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee Nation). Considered the first Native American engineer in the U.S. space program, Ross helped develop the Agena spacecraft for the Gemini and Apollo space programs.

Watch the video on YouTube →

Three Lucky Collectors Get PCGS Rewards For Finding West Point Mint Guam Quarters

June17, 2019 – The thrill of the hunt and the happiness of rewards continue with three more lucky coin finders in the Professional Coin Grading Service ( Quarter Quest.

The latest three bounty winners, one each from Georgia, Kentucky and Utah, were the first to discover and submit to PCGS for authentication and grading examples of the new 2019-W War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarters. One of the coins is now graded PCGS MS67.

Each of the three lucky submitters will receive $667 from PCGS.

The three winning PCGS First Discovery 2019-W Guam quarters. Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service

As with the previous America the Beautiful series design quarters released this year, the United States Mint has struck only two million West Point mint mark examples of the War in the Pacific National Historic Park coins, also known as the Guam quarters, for the western Pacific Ocean territory where the park is located.

As part of the ongoing PCGS Quarter Quest, a $2,000 reward was offered for the first West Point Guam coin submitted. Three people whose submissions arrived virtually simultaneously will split the prize and are receiving their now PCGS-certified coins with a special insert label: PCGS First Discovery.
“The Quarter Quest continues to drive excitement for collecting and has brought the hunt back to the hobby. The fact that these quarters came from such a spread of states shows that anyone is capable of finding them. We are excited to see what happens with the release of the San Antonio Missions West Point Mint quarter in August,” said PCGS President Brett Charville.

The three latest winners explained how they found their 2019-W Gaum quarters.

“Ana” from Utah went to a Salt Lake City credit union with several colleagues from work and each purchased two rolls of quarters, the maximum allowed per person. After finding a West Point Guam coin, she immediately went to the post office and submitted it to PCGS by overnight delivery. Her coin is graded PCGS MS64.

“It was like hitting the jackpot!” This PCGS First Discovery 2019-W Guam quarter found in Georgia is now graded PCGS MS67. Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service

“Pamela H” of Georgia is a cashier who has collected coins for more than a decade and started purchasing boxes of quarters when the W mint mark program was announced. “I was shocked (when I found the coin in Acworth, Georgia). It was like hitting the jackpot,” she told PCGS. Her coin is graded PCGS MS67!

“Fernando A” of Kentucky,” who began collecting silver coins from subway fare as a youngster in Queens, New York, purchased a box of quarters from a Chase bank in Radcliff, Kentucky. He had only about 20 minutes from the time he found the W mint mark Guam quarter before the post office closed for the day, but he beat the clock. He has a special fondness for the War in the Pacific/Guam quarter. “As a veteran, it is something special to have been one of the winners for the Guam quarter bounty. The design resonates with me, I will definitely be keeping this coin,” he stated. His quarter is graded PCGS MS64.

The PCGS Quarter Quest continues with still two additional coin designs scheduled by the Mint this year. Any qualifying 2019 West Point mint mark quarters received within the first seven days after the PCGS First Discovery for each design has been confirmed will automatically receive the First Week of Discovery pedigree.

The qualifying coins submitted after those 7 days and within 45 days of the PCGS First Discovery will automatically receive an Early Find pedigree. Also, there are opportunities for bonus points for W mint mark quarters featuring these special pedigrees listed in the PCGS Set Registry.

PCGS has created an information page for the promotion at where coin hunters can check on updated bounties, see if a PCGS First Discovery has been graded and authenticated, and review the terms and conditions for the promotion.

For information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

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