What is now determined to be the third known example of a
copper-nickel clad quarter dollar struck with two reverse dies for
Washington quarter dollars has surfaced.
Error coin dealer Fred Weinberg, owner of Fred Weinberg
& Associates in Encino, California, purchased the coin for
an undisclosed sum in an assortment that included other error coins.
Weinberg made the purchase during the Sept. 7 to 9 Long Beach
Expo in Long Beach, California.
Weinberg said Sept. 13 the mule error coin was to be submitted to Professional Coin Grading
Service for grading and encapsulation.
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A mule error is a coin, token or medal struck with dies not intended
to be paired together.
The two other known “two-tailed” quarter dollars — both reported in
2001 as having come from unclaimed property sales by the state of
California — were previously graded Mint State 63 by Numismatic
A single example known of a Roosevelt dime struck from two reverse
dies, known since the early 1970s, was certified nearly three decades
later by PCGS as MS-64.
All four two-tailed mule errors are believed to have been struck
between 1965 and 1967 when coin output was executed at all three Mint
production facilities with no Mint marks. All four examples are
believed to be San Francisco Mint strikes.
Weinberg said the new discovery weighs 5.6 grams, well within
tolerance of the official 5.67-gram standard for the 24.3-millimeter
The eagle reverse that appears on the two-tailed quarter dollars
bear the same design by sculptor John Flanagan that was introduced on
the denomination in 1932 and discontinued with the introduction of the
State quarter dollars in 1999.
One of the Washington quarter dollar reverses on the newly reported
mule was struck with a previously used die. This side exhibits several
The die that struck the other reverse side, according to Weinberg,
was also a used die, but less used before striking the mule than the
other die was. This side also exhibits some very fine die polish
lines, according to Weinberg.
The strike is in perfect coin turn alignment — if flipped over from
top to bottom, either side flips over to a perfectly normal reverse
alignment, Weinberg said.
Most experts believe that the mules were clandestinely made inside
Discovery of the first two-tailed quarter dollar was reported by
Coin World on the cover of the July 3, 2001, issue.
Bob Wiborg from Gold’n Coins Jewelry in La Habra, California,
purchased the mule along with several hundred other error coins in a
May 2001 sale by the California State controller’s office featuring
unclaimed property from bank safe-deposit boxes.
The error coins Wiborg purchased had been seized by the Secret
Service, then returned to the state of California to be sold as
Weinberg, on Wiborg’s behalf, brokered the two-tailed $80,000 sale
to New Mexico collector Tommy Bolack, who owns 12 of the 16 publicly
known Washington quarter dollar/Sacagawea dollar double-denomination mules.
Bolack’s two-tailed quarter dollar exhibits perfect coin alignment.
The second two-tailed quarter dollar, also pedigreed to the
California unclaimed property sale, was submitted to NGC late in 2001
by Abbot’s Coinex Corp. of Birmingham, Michigan, on behalf of an
unnamed client. The coin is reported to have come from another
safe-deposit box whose contents were unclaimed by the same individual
whose safe-deposit box yielded the first two-tailed quarter dollar.
The second two-tailed quarter dollar exhibits medal turn die
alignment, meaning the tops of both sides back each other, which is
180 degrees out of rotation from normal coin die alignment.
Weinberg said he bought the two-tailed Roosevelt dime from error
specialist “Lonesome” John Devine on Nov. 1, 2001. Devine had owned
the coin since 1973 after purchasing it from a collector along with
other major San Francisco Mint errors.
Weinberg submitted the dime to PCGS, which graded the coin MS-64.
Weinberg said he sold the coin in 2002, bought it back from the same
party six months ago, and sold it to another party who placed the
unique piece with a serious collector of error coins.