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A Look Back at the Creation of the PCGS Set Registry

A Look Back at the Creation of the PCGS Set Registry

By Sanjay Gandhi for PCGS ……
The PCGS Set Registry went online in 2001 and the Set Registry Awards were introduced with an announcement sent to our members via email in early 2002. The following correspondence below displays the first two messages that were posted about the awards by members within the PCGS Set Registry Forum:

March 26, 2002, 7:04 AM:

I received an email this afternoon [from Collectors Universe] announcing the First Annual PCGS Set Registry Awards. It will be held this summer and all winners will receive an award of some kind along with a plaque. Does anyone think this is a ploy to put some spark back into the PCGS Registry?

March 26, 2002 7:08 AM:

I think this is a great way to recognize some of the registry set [sic] accomplishments. PCGS stops at the top Five [sic] sets. I think some of the top ten sets should get some kind of recognition (at least if the set is complete that is). I know [sic] how about a web cast of the event?

The first person at PCGS to come up with the idea of introducing the Set Registry online was BJ Searls. She had been with the Set Registry from the beginning, and I wanted to reference a snippet of an article written by BJ from June 18, 2013: “We launched the first version of the PCGS Set Registry online in February 2001, with just 327 sets.”

That first year of the Set Registry Awards, PCGS awarded 15 members plaques, and the rest is history! An idea that was initially thought up to be an educational tool for collectors transformed into more than beyond what was initially envisioned.

Here’s a recent example of an educational description written by a member about their set, which was an entry in the Toned Showcase Awards titled “Across the Spectrum Collection – Toned Types of Morgans”:

“This collection is meant to showcase examples of the various types of toning that Morgan Dollars can exhibit and serve as an educational set for others to enjoy. My goal is to help people new to colorful coins or collecting learn more about the ways that mint-bag toning and paper toning can develop. All of the coins in this collection have been carefully selected to represent a variety of different toning patterns — from banded rainbow, to textile, to crescent, to monochromatic, to end-of-roll, and many more.”

An interesting fact about last year’s Set Registry Awards is that PCGS handed out 379 Registry Awards in 2020 and our closest competitor gave out only 44 awards in total. PCGS awarded eight times as many awards and recognized more collectors than anyone else in the industry!

Even though the Set Registry was introduced primarily to encourage our members to display the best of the best, the competitive nature is not the only aspect of Set Registry. The following statement is written under our Set Registry info page: “In the Registry you can track your inventory with images, costs, market prices, and populations in a secure, online environment.” A recent poll conducted by PCGS showed that most of our members utilize Set Registry to track and organize their inventory. In addition, our members also promote growth within our community by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and much more with each other within the PCGS Registry Collectors Forum. Our Forum is where collectors may have discussions about U.S. coins, World coins, ancient coins, banknotes, and more.

With 134,000+ Registry Sets and counting over two decades, we believe by listening to our members and delivering superlative customer service, the Set Registry experience will continue to become better and better. We look forward to growing with you and to another year of Set Registry Awards for the upcoming 2022 year.

Note: Quotes edited for space and content considerations.

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