Registry Set Mania

Quite a bit has been said about the benefits, dangers, and thrills of Registry Sets. While some dealers have based their businesses around the concept, others have done so at first but changed swiftly when things weren't exciting enough, and some people never jumped on board. I’ll admit that I was skeptical and never focused (or knew much at all) about them until one of my first conversations with collector (and now my business partner), Dell Loy Hansen. He explained to me what got him back into collecting and how his competitive nature fueled his interest in coins so that he could compete with other collectors. As a result, a Numismatic Giant was born.

Now, I won’t lie and say that I’m a Registry Set expert by any means, but I have learned a lot about them and feel comfortable discussing and analyzing them for my use. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. But I do think that they are certainly an important tool in our hobby and their effect on collectors has been fantastic. It has not only fueled competition, but it’s given collectors a “goal” to see what they still “need” for their sets and a way to organize their inventory of coins. They have certainly benefited our hobby, and I’m a staunch proponent of them when it comes to the collector.

Given this introduction, the mammoth project that Mr. Hansen has been working on (completing a circulation strike set of U.S. coins from 1792 to Present), you can see why I’ve had a lot of time to study the Registry Set. The largest set that we have focused on for some time requires over 4,400 unique coins! While the heavy lifting has been done with the rarities, the remaining coins are fascinating when you really think about it. In fact, I was searching for 10 modern coins that simply had not been offered on the Internet in the past year. Why you may ask? Well, with the fact that I could find an example of almost everything else, there must not be an answer. In fact, I could find more 1913 V Nickels for sale than these coins…

The list of missing perpetrators:
2005-D 10c
2008-P 10c
2009-D Guam 25c
2010-D Yosemite 25c
2010-P Mount Hood 25c
2010-D Yellowstone 25c
2009-P District of Columbia (Satin Finish)
2010-P Yosemite 25c (Satin Finish)
2005-P Sacajawea $1
2006-D Sacajawea $1

Clearly, none of these are rarities; however, no one has them for sale either! But, at DLRC, because we buy EVERYTHING, I had a stash of statehood quarters and mint sets that I could go through and pick out the best of each of these. Well, sounds like it’ll take some time, but is easy right? Well, I had NO idea that the coins in modern mint sets are all Satin Finish. Who came up with that idea? Do we really need a new type of finish for our mint sets… “thanks a lot U.S. Mint!” Well, as luck would have it, we actually had a roll of 2005-D Dimes, but I had to search for a 2008-P and a 2005-P Sacajawea Dollar. Believe it or not, the 2008-P 10c had to come out of some pocket change from one of the folks at the office, and the Sacajawea was in a bag of coins going to the bank. The search for those final two pieces took over an hour, but we were successful. Of course, we had to get all of these graded as well, but that was the easiest part of the challenge. So, the story of some of the lesser known modern rarities and how they ended up in the Hansen collection is now known.