Two Cent Piece
Two Cent Coin
The Two Cent Piece was one of the shortest-lived of the American coins. It’s a small coin that was produced during the civil war. It was minted between 1864 and 1873, from copper. As the coins were thought of as odd denominations, they were never very popular, and each year saw a decline in the number struck. The series was soon discontinued.
Two cent piece history
The Two Cent coin was the first coin minted for circulation with the motto “In God We Trust,” which is still used on coinage today. The first two-cent coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1836, eighteen years before the coin was circulated. It was minted using a billion alloy, which included ten percent silver and 90 percent copper. The Mint Director decided not to circulate the coin as it was proven that it could be easily counterfeited, a common problem in the 19th century.
In 1863 Mint Director James Pollock decide to introduce a two-cent piece that would be struck using bronze. In the years 1863 and 1864, proofs were created using various designs, one of which featured George Washington’s head. These designs were later rejected, and James Barton Longacre designed a new coin. This coin was eventually circulated. Longacre was an engraver responsible for creating most of the coinage circulated during the 1850s and 1860s, as he was the Chief Engraver of the United States.
The two cent’s obverse featured a heraldic shield and a scroll above it with the words ‘In God we Trust.’ A pair of arrows protrude from the top of the shield, and olive branches have been placed around the sides. The date the coin was struck is located below the shield, in a slightly curved font. The obverse of this coin is almost identical to the shield featured on the nickel designed in 1866.
The two-cent coin reverse has a wreath made up of wheat and other plants. Inside is the words ‘2 Cents’, and around the coins, circumference reads ‘The United States of America.’ Both the obverse and the reverse stayed the same throughout the coin’s circulation.
Two cent coin mintage
The two-cent coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint with almost twenty million coins produced in 1864. These coins entered circulation and were used by the general public, but weren’t very popular and were never totally accepted. Over the next few years, the number of coins minted dropped sharply. This was due to the five-cent coin, which was more useful and more widely used. In 1872, the last year that the coin was minted, only 65,000 coins were produced.
In 1973 a new Mint Act was created that discontinued several smaller denominations of coins, one of which was the two-cent piece. These coins were no longer being minted but continued to be legal currency. They slowly disappeared from circulation over the next couple of years and were forgotten about by the public.
During the 1970s, it was suggested that the two-cent piece should be reintroduced as it was thought that they would make transactions easier. The idea never came to fruition as it was believed that the coin was unlikely to be accepted by the general public.
Two cent pieces for sale
If you’re looking to add a two-cent piece to your coin collection, you can purchase the coin online from Bullion shark. These coins are relatively rare as not many were minted, which makes then highly desirable. During the 19th century, many of these coins were reclaimed to be melted down. This has added to their rarity and made them reasonably valuable.
There were not many different kinds of Two Cent coins minted as the obverse and reverse were the same for the whole series. In 1864 there was a slight difference in the coin's design as some Two Cents from 1864 have the motto ‘In God we trust’ in small lettering while on others it’s larger.
Coins with a small motto are rarer and worth more than other coins. The 1872 two-cent coin is also collectible as it was the last year that the coin was minted. The value of Two cent pieces varies from between $30 for a single coin, which has been in circulation to thousands of dollars if it is in uncirculated condition.