Identifying a 1961 Mule halfcrown

at 400 dots / inch


Irish Coinage


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1961 Mule

© 2002 - Copyright
_ Stafford-Langan
Version 1.10
15th August, 2002


The 1961 mule halfcrown was struck in error (or on purpose) from a reverse die from of the 1928-37 type.

In 1938 the halfcrown reverse - the horse - had been redesigned to improve the striking characteristics of the coin - a single 1938 trial of the new die exists - see : Irish Coinage - News Index - 1938 halfcrown

During the preparation of the 1961 restrike of the 1928 proofs the original dies were tested and found not to be in suitable for use in producing the new proof coins. In this process the halfcrown die from the 1928 series was introduced into the production run for circulating 1961 halfcrowns. This may have happened to other reverse dies but the halfcrown and penny are the only two which were distinct in design and no pennies were struck in 1961, so the opportunity for a mule penny to exist is minimal - but I keep looking.

The term 'mule' is used to describe any coin made from two mismatched sides - it is an unfortunate term in this case as it makes people think that the 'mule' halfcrown has a picture of a mule on it.

The 1961 mule halfcrowns are quite easy to detect - the illustration above shows the major differences.

- The 'd' of 2s6d is open at the top on the mule but it is closed on a normal coin.

- The tail on the mule has a slightly 'bell-shaped' sides with 8 hairs - the normal coin has a straight sided tail with 7 hairs.

- The lettering on the mule is finer and the spacing is different - most notably the OI of COROIN are much closer together on the mule than the normal coin.

- The designer's initials PM are larger and the P is not at all under the hoof, on the normal coin the initials are smaller and almost entirely under the hoof.

- The base of the 2 is longer on the mule than the regular coin.

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