What is a Mule Note?
How to Identify a Mule Note.
Types of Mule Notes
Different plate sizes are the major reason why the mule note exists. Each plate is assigned a specific number for a unique set of dimensions as part of the design layout for a note. In the case of the mule note, the placement of the series number was dependent on the plate used for printing it, which effected the physical size and location of the series numbers. For small mule notes, using Macro plates (1.0 mm) made a larger sized series number on the back, while micro plates (0.6 mm) made a smaller sized number on the front.
Not only did the different plate numbers alter the size of the printed series number, it also modified the location of it. In the new macro series, the engravings placed the number in a new spot than on previous plates. These are called large mules. Reusing old plates after implementing the new macro plates, or using already, half-printed notes with the old plates, brought about the mule note. It was also more cost effective and an efficient use of any old materials.
Flip between both sides of any notes within in this time period, and check the size of the series number as well as its location on each side. If you are within the correct time frame, a mule note might be in your possession. Small size mules are more common than larger size, though. The new look of the note began with $1 and with higher denominations changing approximately a decade afterwards. Use additional sources to help narrow down a specific series or year, and maybe your rare fine will lead to a more profitable future.