How Do You Tell if a Coin is Mule?

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

Coin collectors are known for their interest in coins, but only some collectors know the value that some mule dollars can have. How do you tell if a coin is mule?

Mule dollars are one type of coin typically worth much more than the face value listed on its face.

These coins were minted with an error and are considered less common than non-error coins because they were never released into circulation.

What is a Mule Dollar?


A mule dollar is a coin struck by the wrong pair of dies, meaning it has two differing designs. Mules are not rare—they’re pretty common but valuable.

What makes them so rare? They’re unique and unique, making them a big deal for collectors and investors alike. There’s nothing else like them!

Depending on the rarity of both coins involved in the mix, these can sell for thousands of dollars at auction houses around the country (or even more).

Are Mule Dollars Valuable?

The value of any particular coin can take time to determine. Mule dollars, like other coins, are worth what collectors are willing to pay for them at auction or in private transactions.

The value of mule dollars varies widely depending on the coin’s rarity and condition. If a mule is rarer than another dollar design, it will be worth more money.

Some common dates have sold for more than $10,000 each, while others have sold for less than $100.

But, of course, the values can go up or down depending on the market conditions at any given time, so it’s impossible to predict what your particular mule dollar might be worth unless you sell it yourself or find a buyer who wants exactly that specific coin (and who knows what they’re doing).

How Do You Tell if a Coin is Mule?

You can tell if a coin is a mule by examining the edges of the coin, looking at the design elements, inspecting the lettering and date on the coin, and checking for a mint mark.

  • Edge 
    • If you look at where two coins meet together at an angle, you may notice that one side looks like it has been cut with scissors. This is because machines didn’t make it; instead, someone took two coins from different countries and tried to glue them together into one piece. You can also check for any scarring on either side of your coin where they were connected in this way.
  • Design elements
    • Mules often have mismatched designs as well; they might have different-colored background colors or even entirely new designs altogether! They’ll also often have overprints (which means they’ve been stamped with something other than “US Mint” or whatever country’s mint printed them).
  • Lettering
    • The lettering on a mule will usually be much smaller than on normal coins, sometimes even so small that it’s hard to read! Some mules have no lettering because all production methods were used up during their creation process (for example, when two different countries were going through political turmoil).
  • Mintage number
    • On most types of circulating currency—like dollar bills—there is an identifying number printed somewhere near where you’d expect to see your face value listed prominently, as well as around each corner edge that helps identity which series produced each particular batch produced by its respective government entity responsible for doing so

Most Expensive Mule Coin


One of the most expensive mule coins is the 1959-D Wheat Penny. This coin is worth $50,000!

One of the most famous mule coins is that numismatists don’t even know if this is real because there are no records of it being made by the United States Mint!

Even if the Secret Service provided documentation that this coin is genuine. This penny was sold at an auction in 2019 for $50,000!

Before you go…

So, if you’re looking for a way to invest in the future, consider mule dollars. They offer a unique opportunity for collectors that can be pretty lucrative. However, if you’re looking for an exciting piece of history, then, by all means, go ahead and buy one!

Check out my next article: “What is a Quarter Mule?

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