US Coins

Tommy Bolack acquires 10th of 14 dollar/quarter mules at ANA

New Mexico collector Tommy Bolack now owns 10 of the 14 known dollar/quarter dollar mules, after his Aug. 6 acquisition of this NGC MS-67 coin.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries

With his Aug. 6 acquisition from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Rarities Night auction session, New Mexico collector Tommy Bolack now claims ownership of 10 of the 14 publicly known examples of the double-denomination 2000-P Sacagawea dollar/Statehood quarter dollar mule error coins.

“That’s 10 in the pen,” Bolack said of the mules. The coin realized $117,500 (including the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee).

The Stack’s Bowers auction was held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.

A mule is a coin, medal or token struck from dies not normally intended to be paired together.

The double-denomination mule error pairs the George Washington obverse from the State quarter dollar series with the Soaring Eagle reverse of the Sacagawea dollar. The mules were struck at the Philadelphia Mint on manganese-brass clad dollar planchets between dies fitted into a coinage press dedicated to Sacagawea dollar production.

It was Bolack’s second attempt to buy the coin.

Bolack first sought to be the successful bidder when the most recent acquisition was last offered at auction Aug. 9, 2012, also by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Bolack missed that opportunity, dozing off in his favorite easy chair while waiting for a telephone call from an auction company representative as bidding progressed.

Bolack said he wasn’t willing to go beyond a $100,000 hammer price for the coin, thinking the coin wasn’t worth the money then.

As it turned out, the coin in the 2012 auction realized a record $155,250, with the then 15 percent buyer’s fee added to the hammer price.

Bolack’s latest acquisition is from Die Pair 1. It is graded Mint State 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

A pedigree of all 14 known examples of the mule, sans the update with Bolack’s latest addition, can be found on the website of error coin dealer Fred Weinberg.

If any of the other four examples of the mule error he doesn’t own come up for sale, or other examples surface, Bolack said he’s interested.

“I think I’ve got the market cornered. I could name my price,” Bolack said. “After I bought the first one, I never thought I’d ever own a second one, much less 10. I’ve kind of fallen in love with them.”

The mule error was first reported to the numismatic community in May 2000 by Frank Wallis from Mountain View, Ark., who found an example in a 25-coin roll of Uncirculated Sacagawea dollars from First National Bank & Trust.

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