Varieties of bullion 2014 £2 Britannia and 2014 £2 Lunar Year of the Horse mule error coins have been authenticated, graded and certified by the Paris Submission Center of Professional Coin Grading Service (www.pcgseurope.com).
A mule error happens when an obverse die for one coin is used along with a reverse die for a different coin.
"It’s always exciting to see a new coin variety in person for the first time, and these beautiful coins did not disappoint," said Muriel Eymery, PCGS Vice President of International Business Development.
"These types of errors are highly sought after by collectors and already are bringing extremely steep prices."
The mule error varieties resulted from mix-ups in pairing dies at the Royal Mint when pressing 2014 £2 Britannia Bullion Coins and 2014 £2 Lunar Year of the Horse Bullion Coins. Both series have nearly identical obverses centered on Ian Rank Broadley’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The inside rim of the two coins are how to tell them apart, with £2 Britannia coins having denticles and £2 Lunar coins having standard rims. Denticles are tooth-like design elements.
One variety of mule error coins created by the Royal Mint is a £2 Britannia obverse with denticles coupled with the no-denticles reverse intended for the £2 Lunar. According to PCGS, it certified 461 of them during the PCGS Paris Grading Week held March 10 – 14. The Royal Mint estimates that about 38,000 exist.
The second variety of mule error coins produced have a no-denticles obverse of the £2 Lunar coupled with the denticles reverse intended for the £2 Britannia. PCGS certified 22 of them in Paris. The Mint indicates that about 17,000 were made.
The London Coin Company of London, England submitted the one-ounce, .999 fine silver bullion coins to PCGS, saying a client first alerted them to their existence.
"We had a call from one of our clients explaining he had purchased a 2014 Britannia £2 silver one-ounce coin and he wanted to return it. He said it did not look like the picture of the coin he had purchased, and he thought the coin was a fake," recounted Ingram Liberman, President of The London Coin Company.
After Liberman discussed the appearance of the coin with the client "the buyer quickly realized that, in fact, he had bought a £2 Britannia mule from us and wanted to hold onto it and to his collection. He appreciated our honesty and integrity," Liberman explained.
Officially, PCGS notes that the Royal Mint is not calling any of these mule errors coins but "a variation in the design for a limited time only."