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Question about Mules  
 

 
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Valued Member
United States
402 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  08:35 am Show Profile   Check BadDog's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In a different recent topic, SteveInTampa said
Quote:
Your series 1963 Aces have BP #ís 429 & 441, which makes them mules.


Speaking of mules, I know that if the BP# of a note in a given series is the same as the BP# of a note in a previous series then that note is a mule.
What about BP#'s that are lower than a mule BP#? Are they mules as well?

For example, in my $1 FRN District sets I have a series 1969B $1 note with BP# 1362 and a series 1969A with BP# 1362, so the 69B is a mule. But, I also have 1969B $1 notes with BP# 1341 and 1361. Since these BP#s are lower than the mule 1362 BP#, are they also mules? Or does the BEP sometimes skip BP#s in a series and then use them for a later series?
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 Posted 05/16/2018  10:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To me, itís a little fuzzy.

Most everything Iíve read, mostly from Azpiazuís guide, shows face and back plate numbers being continued from one series to the next with no mention of mules until 1977A - 1981. Some 1977A $1ís have 1981 back plate numbers (low numbers 3,4,5 and 6) where normally they would be higher, 4 digit BP numbers. And, some1981 $1ís have high BP numbers, as used on 1977A notes. Both of these are called mules in Azpiazuís guide.

In the case of 1963 $1ís , some of the new $1 FRN,s were printed with back plates from $1 Silver Certificates that preceded them.
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United States
402 Posts
 Posted 05/16/2018  11:05 am  Show Profile   Check BadDog's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Most everything Iíve read, mostly from Azpiazuís guide, ...

Steve,

Yes, I have Azpiazu's collector's guide as well. He defines $1 FRN mules as

Quote:
Ö notes whose back plate numbers appear in consecutive Series.

and does indicate some specific mule back plate numbers for some series. For other series, he just says mules are possible and to check back plate numbers.

I don't think he addresses my question in his guide, and I haven't seen it addressed elsewhere either.
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 Posted 05/17/2018  06:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Our discussion, so far, addresses fairly modern notes.

The Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S.Paper Money (Schwartz-Lindquist) speaks to Mules as notes with a Micro plate number on one side and Macro plate number on the other side. This was taking place from the late 30ís through the early 50ís. There is a complete list of Mules by Type published on pages 18 and 19 of this guide. These occurred on Silver Certificates, FRNís and United States Notes (Legal Tenders).
Valued Member
United States
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 Posted 05/17/2018  10:22 am  Show Profile   Check BadDog's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve,

that's the "non-moderns" definition for a mule (I suppose I should have indicated in my original post that I was discussing "modern" mules ). It's also defined that way in Whitman's "Guide Book of United States Currency 1st Ed".

BTW that guide indicates that the size change for the plate numbers was an increase in size from .02 to .04 mm which is likely incorrect (perhaps fixed in a later edition?). The Schwartz-Lindquist guide indicates a "macro" size of 1mm and a "micro" size of .6mm, for a difference of .4mm, which is more likely correct. Even though the micro numbers are about half the size of the macro numbers, I've never really been able to tell the difference by sight. I always rely on the published back plate numbers that indicate a non-modern note is a "mule". The Schwartz-Lindquist guide does a great job of listing the mule back plate numbers for the non-modern notes. Unfortunately, it doesn't address modern $1 FRNs mules at all, or give the "moderns" mule definition for that matter
Edited by BadDog
05/17/2018 10:25 am
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