ERROR IRISH HALF CROWNS  2s6

NORMAL 1961 HALF CROWN

1961 HALF CROWN  1928.37  TYPE

- d - Is Open -

8 hairs

PM is bigger

O.I. Closer

The 1961 mule half crown was struck in error. /or on purpose /from a reverse die from of the 1928-37 type.

In 1938 the half crown reverse - the horse - had been redesigned to improve the striking characteristics of the coin. a single 1938 trial of the new die exists .

During the preparation of the 1961 re strike 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 half crown die from the 1928 series was introduced into the production run for circulating 1961 half crowns. This may have happened to other reverse dies but the half crown 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' half crown has a picture of a mule on it.

The 1961 mule half crowns 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.