US Coins

Some 'mule' coins may not be mules at all: Inside Coin World

Struck between 2008 and 2012, this Egyptian 25-piastre coin is either a convent­ional weak strike or a weakly-struck mule generated by a pair of identical dies. Mike Diamond explains why this could be a mule coin, or something else.

Image courtesy of Mike Diamond.

The latest Coin World weekly issue, dated Dec. 11, 2017, is out the door, and we present exclusive previews of a few articles, to be found also in your latest digital edition of Coin World.

Is it a mule coin or something else?

Some coins look like mules — struck with mismatched die pairs, such as two reverse dies — but are something else. Mike Diamond writes in his “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column that some pieces that look like a mule are actually “a two-tailed pseudo-mule. Such look-a-like errors can be created in two ways.”

Diamond uses an Egyptian coin as an example in explaining how a coin can resemble a mule without actually being struck between mismatched dies, available only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

British Museum explores ‘Currency of Communism’

John Andrew, Coin World’s London correspondent, is a well-traveled numismatist, but turned to a local museum — the grand British Museum in London — for inspiration for his latest article. The museum has opened a new exhibit, “The Currency of Communism,” that will be on display until March 18, 2018.

Andrew details how the exhibit explores the connections between communism and money, writing, “Communism proposes that money is a social construct and therefore has no role in a utopian society. However, no communist state has successfully eliminated money from its economy.” Read more about the exhibit in the Dec. 11 issue of Coin World.

Counterfeit American Eagles worrisome

The popularity of the American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coin has made the longtime series (the first ones were issued in 1986) a target of counterfeiters, although its inexpensive cost “does not provide a lot of incentive for counterfeiters,” writes Michael Fahey in his “Detecting Counterfeits” column. He explores one of the exceptions to the rule.

The subject coin was “submitted to ANACS along with a number of other modern silver pieces,” Fahey, a grader and authenticator for ANACS, writes. “While a number of diagnostics identify it, someone giving this fake a cursory glance could easily miss it.” Learn what to look for in his column.

Edge lettering variants on Presidential dollars

“Presidential dollars may be one of the best ways to introduce collectors to American numismatics,” writes Scott Schechter in his “Making Moderns” column. One feature of the coins make them especially collectible, he adds.

The coins have a lettered edge, and the method of applying the edge inscription to the coins has resulted in various variants, varieties and errors, many of which can be found in circulation if you know what to look for.

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