Overall Achievement of Zero Points
Entry posted by Captainrich ·
We all set goals in our collecting pursuits, and when we successfully reach a goal there is a sense of overall achievement. The NGC Registry sometimes recognizes these accomplishments by awarding a user’s set with the designation of “Overall Achievement.” But usually, a collector’s sense of achievement is solely personal, since his/her set is sometimes lost within the rankings of hundreds of other sets - or the complexities of the set is lost on everyone but the person who built it.
For instance, I thought a complete set of twelve U.S. silver war nickels (i.e., “Jefferson Wartime Nickels 1942-1945, Circulation Issue”) was not very challenging, which is demonstrated by the existence of over 400 sets in the registry. Since I already had a few wartime nickels designated as being part of the “Omaha Bank Hoard,” I decided to challenge myself to try and complete a set of just Omaha Bank Hoard pedigree nickels. It took me almost 15 years to complete the set, finally having to settle for a PCGS coin for the 1944-P. The grades on all the dates and mint marks are MS-65 and MS-66 (except for the over-date error), but my complete set currently only ranks as the 161st best set. In this case, my “overall achievement” is strictly personal, because what NGC admin is going to dive into the intricate details of over 400 sets of war nickels?
If you're curious about the Omaha Bank Hoard, Mark Borckardt of Heritage Auction Galleries said: "Heritage purchased the Omaha Bank Hoard in its entirety in 2004. The man who owned the coins is very private and doesn't want a lot of details disclosed. I can tell you that the hoard consisted of over 320,000 coins, all in rolls, that were saved by one man starting in the late 1930s and continuing until the early 1970s.”
Another registry set, called "21st Century Type Set, Mint State Only," also did not appear to be very challenging. When I first noticed this new collecting category, I didn’t have many current coins from the twenty-first century, at least not in slabs, but I did have a presidential dollar that had a generic grade of “Brilliant Uncirculated,” so I tried to add it to this registry. Boy was I surprised when the coin garnered exactly zero registry points. I thought to myself, “If only this uncirculated coin was graded MS-60, instead of Brilliant Uncirculated, then I’d earn some registry points!”
Anyway, my thoughts quickly changed back to “How can I make this set challenging, like I did with the War Nickels?” Then it occurred to me that it might be possible to complete this registry set with all so-called “Brilliant Uncirculated” coins, thus creating the only complete registry set with “zero points!”
But this idea has proved a lot more challenging than I originally thought, especially since some of the coin types appear to be unavailable from NGC with the generic “Brilliant Uncirculated” grade. I then tried adding a coin in an NGC “Sample” slab, but it added points to the registry, so I had to delete it. Then I tried adding a coin with the generic grade “Gem Uncirculated,” but it also added points to the registry, so I had to delete it too. These incidents were indeed “Lessons Learned” for me, but I remain determined to find all 17 coins for the 21st Century set and not earn a single registry point in the process!
Of course, I named my special set “Zero Points.”
At the end of February 2023, I have found 11 of the coin types needed for the “21st Century Type Set, Mint State Only,” which means the set is 64% complete. My ranking against other sets? Funny you should ask… My “Zero Points” registry set currently ranks as the 105th best set. Of course, every time a new user starts a set in this category, even with one straight-graded coin, that person’s set shoots above my set in the rankings. Furthermore, the sets that are ranked just below mine all contain just one coin, graded Brilliant Uncirculated, of course.
I still need to locate six type coins, specifically graded “Brilliant Uncirculated,” to complete my special set - and I am finding the hunt to be quite formidable. The coins I currently need are: 1¢ LINCOLN MEMORIAL (2000-2008); 5¢ JEFFERSON, MONTICELLO (2000-2003); 5¢ JEFFERSON, WESTWARD JOURNEY (2004-2005); 10¢ ROOSEVELT, CLAD (2000-DATE); 25¢ D.C. AND U.S. TERRITORIES, CLAD (2009); and 25¢ CROSSING THE DELAWARE, CLAD (2021).
My goal is to find as many of these last six coins as possible by the end of the year, and perhaps grab the attention of the NGC staff responsible for granting the “Overall Achievement” designation. Of course, the worse case scenario would be if my set attracts the wrong kind of attention and NGC suddenly begins awarding registry points for the generic grade of “Brilliant Uncirculated.”
If you’re curious about my “Zero Points” set, please check it out at: https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/378118/
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