1884 Straits Settlements 1 Cent Mule With British Honduras Obverse
In 2019 on the Coin Community forums, a user posted images of an 1884 Straits Settlements 1c which appeared to have been struck with a British Honduras 1c obverse die - the first reporting of such a mule. Both denominations were struck at the Royal Mint in London.
While very similar at first glance, the two different renditions of the Leonard Charles Wyon obverse have a number of small differences - on the Straits Settlements obverse the denticles are short; the hair ribbon almost touches the N in QUEEN and the hair curls behind the ear point down while on the British Honduras obverse, the denticles are long; the hair ribbon is away from the N in QUEEN and the hair curls behind the ear point up. The British Honduras obverse is also slightly smaller at 28.35mm compared to the Straits Settlements obverse at 29mm.
The circumstances in which the mule was struck will probably never be known, but given the extreme similarity of the two obverse dies, an innocent mix-up of dies is the most likely scenario, especially considering that it was the first time the Royal Mint had struck Straits Settlements and British Honduras 1c pieces. A die shortage is also possible - if no Straits Settlements obverse dies were currently available, using a similar substitute die may have been acceptable, though this is less likely given that British Honduras 1c pieces were first struck in 1885. This is not to say that British Honduras obverse working dies were not available in large quantities in 1884, but it seems unlikely considering the British Honduras 1c denomination was first struck and released in 1885.
It remains to be seen if any further examples come to light, but given the subtle difference it is very likely that other examples remain to be discovered.