Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com
2001-D Lincoln Cent
Muled with Roosevelt Dime Reverse Die
PCGS MS 66 RD
Sold for: $114,000.00
A mule is a coin struck from mismatched dies. In the long history of the U.S. Mint, mules are extremely rare. The best-known is the Washington state quarter obverse paired with a Sacagawea dollar reverse, struck circa-2000, which has a census of fewer of 20 pieces. A recent discovery is a 2014-D dollar with a Sacagawea obverse and a Presidential reverse. A February 8, 2021 Coin World article by Paul Gilkes describes the other mules known to that writer:
"A mule struck with Roosevelt dime reverse dies on a copper-nickel clad dime planchet; two examples of Washington quarter mules from two reverse dies, presumably struck at the San Francisco Mint circa 1965 to 1966; a unique 1993-D piece struck on a cent planchet with a Lincoln cent obverse die and [a] Roosevelt dime reverse die; and a 1995 piece struck on a dime planchet by a Lincoln cent obverse die and [a] Roosevelt dime reverse die."
Additionally, Heritage auctioned a 1999 Lincoln cent with a Roosevelt dime reverse as lot 5271 in our 2006 Central States Signature. The present lot is, then, the third-known Lincoln cent with a Roosevelt dime reverse. The 1995 piece was struck from similar dies, but on a clad dime planchet. The cent and dime have a similar diameter, respectively 19 mm and 18 mm, which undoubtedly contributed to the error. Reportedly, the U.S. Mint has taken steps in recent years to prevent mule errors.
The quality of the present lot is surprisingly high, given that it is the only known 2001-D mule. This lustrous orange-gold Premium Gem is devoid of contact. The strike is precise, and the grade is limited solely by scatted pinpoint obverse flecks. The Lincoln obverse has a normal appearance aside from an indistinct rim. The Roosevelt reverse has an unusually broad rim that consists of three concentric levels. The inner and outer levels are raised, while the middle level has a lower relief. The smaller diameter of the Roosevelt reverse die was responsible for the wider rim on that side.