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Superb Gem Sacagawea Dollar/State Quarter Muling a Highlight of Stack’s Bowers Official ANA Auction

Lot 13287 of our Rarities Night Session, a (2000)-P Sacagawea Dollar muled with a Statehood quarter and graded MS-67 by NGC, is a major rarity among modern mint errors. This error created quite a stir in the mainstream media, as well as numismatic circles, when the first of a dozen or so known pieces were discovered in rolls in early 2000. Our Senior Numismatic Cataloger Frank Van Valen’s expert description is quoted in its entirety for you to enjoy. If you enjoy mint errors, be sure to see this major rarity in our lot viewing sessions.

Vivid brassy-gold surfaces display iridescent lilac and pinkish-rose peripheral highlights. Satiny in texture and fully struck throughout, this is an outstanding example of this extremely popular and visually impressive modern Mint error.

The definition of a Mule is the pairing of two dies not intended to be used together. For this reason, Mules are extremely rare and highly sought after. This coin is Die Pair 1: die crack from rim through F in OF on the Sacagawea dollar side. A fully brilliant and highly lustrous Superb Gem Sacagawea "golden" dollar / Washington Statehood quarter Mule, the obverse of the quarter mated with the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar in an undated marriage from the year 2000, the year in which the first of these rare Mules was discovered, as well as the first date in the Sacagawea dollar series. 

Rich and lively cartwheels cascade across the satiny surface, and beautiful rose and orange iridescence engages both sides. Nearly innumerable die striations radiate inwardly from the rim toward the center on the Washington quarter side with a dramatic sunburst effect as the end result; the same effect is minimal on the dollar side.

The rare Muling of the Sacagawea dollar and Washington Statehood quarter was first brought to the attention of collectors in May 2000, when Frank Wallis of Mountain Home, Arkansas reported finding an example. We (Bowers and Merena) sold that rare discovery piece at the August 2000 American Numismatic Association Sale of the Millennium for $29,900. This shocked everyone as this Mule was virtually unknown at the time. It has been reported that examples sold privately in the neighborhood of $250,000 in 2007/2008.

The Sacagawea dollar Washington quarter Mule was the first such error to receive national publicity, including in the local and national press as well as on television newscasts. The search was on, and by the autumn of 2000 a few examples had come to light, by which time a total of three different die pairs were recognized and described by David J. Camire, author and first authenticator of the variety. In August 2000, the U.S. Mint issued a letter regarding the existence of the pieces stating: "In its 208-year history, coin errors are a rare occurrence, but occasionally, misstrikes happen."

The numismatic 2010 reference 100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins by Nicholas P. Brown, David J. Camire and Fred Weinberg lists a roster of 10 different specimens, several of which are owned by collector Tommy Bolack, including the discovery piece. As of the time of publication of the referenced book, Bolack owned eight examples, four from Die Pair 1, three from Die Pair 2, and one from Die Pair 3! The other two listed specimens were in private collections at the time of publication. 

Other rare Mules, including one with a cent obverse and dime reverse, and another with a dime obverse and cent reverse, were reported. They are listed as coins ranked #’s 12 and 13, respectively, in The 100 Greatest US Error Coins book. The rare, highly publicized, and extremely popular Sacagawea dollar / Washington Statehood quarter Mule is listed and ranked by the panel in the aforementioned reference as coin #1!

 

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