By Chris Bulfinch for CoinWeek …..
All of the American Gold Eagle $10 quarter-ounce bullion coins mistakenly struck with an unfinished Proof obverse die were struck on August 24, according to a press release from Todd Martin, Deputy Chief of Corporate Communications for the United States Mint. The date on which the errors were struck had not been previously known. The errors have already hit the market, attracting many bids in recent auctions on GreatCollections.com.
The errors, which are considered mules because they were struck with dies not intended to be paired were first identified by Gerald Medel from Lakeside Coins in San Diego among a group of coins sold as bullion that he and Todd Pollock of BluCC Photos, a Sacramento-based numismatic photography firm, purchased from multiple sources. The pair found the first 61 examples, 40 of which were from a single roll now known as the “discovery roll”.
Other examples have been identified; the Mint claims a total of 7,924 released.
Bullion-strike American Eagle coinage does not bear the West Point Mint facility’s “W” mint mark. The Proof die used to strike the nearly 8,000 mules had not had laser frosting applied to its devices.
GreatCollections auctioned the first five examples, certified MS-69 and MS-70 by PCGS, on October 31. Prices ranged from $4,387.50 to $15,811.38 USD. More examples were offered on November 7 and 14. Most of the coins graded MS-69 sold for between $6,000 and $7,000 each; those graded MS-70 sold for between $15,000 and $16,000. Seventeen examples are currently being offered by GreatCollections in sales that will be ending over the next two weeks, on November 28 and December 5.
GreatCollections’ President Ian Russell described the errors as an “impressive discovery” in a recent press release from PCGS, who certified the discovery coins.
The Mint offered the date of the mules’ strike in response to a public inquiry, but would not specify who or what organization inquired.