Registry Set Showcase: Small Size Denomination Sets

Posted on 5/24/2011

Take a look at four popular Registry Set categories.

This week, we’re going to look at four different Registry Set Categories that are among the most popular ways to collect currency. Since they are so actively collected, Registry competition is intense in each of these categories and rising to the top of the ranks will pose a great challenge. But unlike the sets we looked at last month, none of them include a stopper note, a key rarity that makes them a daunting challenge to complete.

Specifically, we’re talking about Small Size Denomination Sets. A denomination set is a Registry Set that includes one of every denomination of a particular note type. For example, the Small Size Silver Certificate Denomination Set requires just three silver certificates, the $1, the $5 and the $10. These are all the denominations of Silver Certificates issued from Series 1928 through Series 1957B. Since any Small Size Silver Certificate from any series will fit a slot, provided it’s the right denomination, this set is very easy to put together. A very high grade set could be built for a few hundred dollars. There are 42 sets in this category, many of them complete.

PMG does however score notes based on their individual merits, and therefore highest grade doesn’t always take the prize. For example, the 1953B $10 Fr. 1708 is awarded 882 points in 67 EPQ. It’s the most available of the $10’s at this grade level with 13 certified. Meanwhile, the rather scarce 1934B $10 Fr. 1703 garners 1337 points in 50 EPQ, enough points that member Backas finds his set Backas no5 in fourth place with this about uncirculated graded note.

The Small Size Legal Tender Notes Denomination Set requires one more note than the Silver Certificate Set at four notes: a $1, a $5, a $10 and a $100. This short set is so popular that it has the second highest number of participating sets of all Registry categories with 88 total sets competing. Competition for the top spot is intense. The number one set The "DeRocker" Collection at 8,745 points and the number two set, Bill B’s LT Type, at 8,581. The 164 point margin that separates them is razor thin at this level of competition.

There are two other Small Size Denomination Sets in the PMG Registry, the Small Size National Bank Note, One-Per-Type Set with 34 sets competing and the Small Size Federal Reserve Bank Notes Denomination Set with 16 sets competing. Both of these sets require five notes: a $5, a $10, a $20, a $50 and a $100 bill. The National Bank Note set doesn’t have extreme variations between the notes eligible for each slot, so here overall completion and grade determine the highest ranking set. Among the Federal Reserve Bank Notes, scarce districts and star notes can be the wild cards, adding huge point premiums. As a result, the number two ranked set, MCrup1’s Small Size FRBN New York (Stars Only) contains only two notes (40% complete).

In these four Small Size Note Denominations Sets, we find the best of all worlds. The sets require few notes, so they can be completed rather easily. But at the same time, rising to the top of the heap is no easy feat. Three of the sets offer big rewards to the collectors who buy scarcer notes, raising the fundamental question, “which is better, quality or rarity.” We can see that if overreaching for a rare note stands in the way of completing a set, it’s likely impossible to achieve a number one rank. In all four categories the top sets are 100% complete. Whether you’re just starting out on the Registry or an advanced Registry collector, these set categories are worth exploring.

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