NGC-certified Sacagawea Dollar / Washington Quarter Mule Sets a Record

Posted on 4/2/2018

In a Stack's Bowers auction in March, the 17th known specimen realized $192,000.

Another record was shattered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 2018 Baltimore Auction as the 17th-known example of the famed (2000)-P Sacagawea dollar / Washington quarter mule crossed the auction block. Offered in lot 2382 and certified NGC MS 67, the newly discovered piece saw fierce bidding activity up to $192,000, establishing a new public auction record for this rare modern Mint error. This new price record significantly surpassed the previous record of $158,625, set by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in their August 2012 Philadelphia ANA Sale.

2000-P Sacagawea Dollar/Washington Quarter Mule, graded NGC MS 67. Realized: $192,000
Click images to enlarge.

This most recent offering marks the fourth time Stack’s Bowers Galleries has handled one of these incredible rarities, beginning with the discovery example sold in their (Bowers and Merena’s) August 2000 Philadelphia ANA Sale of the Millennium.

While several further examples of this Mint error have been discovered in recent years, demand appears to be stronger than ever. The competitive bidding witnessed in the auction room suggests increasing desire among collectors to own one of these elusive errors, as 12 of the 17 known examples reside in the collection of error enthusiast Tommy Bolack.

These dramatic blunders are thought to result from confusion in the Die Room of the Philadelphia Mint in the spring of 2000. A coin press operator was mistakenly given an obverse die for a Washington quarter instead of the new Sacagawea dollar, and many thousands of these dramatic errors were struck before Mint employees noticed the mistake. Once discovered, employees culled out and destroyed all the muled coins they could, although several escaped into circulation.

While there was some initial debate as to the authenticity and the legality of such an error, the Mint acknowledged the mulings as genuine on June 19, 2000, and they have traded freely among collectors ever since. This is contrary to the Mint’s stance on similar coins, like the 1974-D Aluminum cent and the 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle, examples of which the government has repossessed from collectors.

The record-breaking sale of this newly discovered Sacagawea dollar/Washington quarter mule, the fourth offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries since 2000, highlights the firm’s expertise and continuing success in the numismatic auction market. If you would like to take advantage of this record-breaking expertise, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries at 800-458-4646 to speak with a numismatic representative.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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