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U.S. Two Cent Coin

★★★★★ U.S. Two Cent Coin ★★★★★

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Two Cents Coin Obverse Two Cents Coin Reverse

Two Cent Coin

The two cent piece was authorized by Congress on April 22, 1864 by the Coinage Act. Starved for coinage of any kind during the Civil War, Americans readily embraced the two cent piece when it first appearance in 1864. Hoarders and speculators joined by millions of frightened Americans had set aside every coin they could get causing a shortage. Mint officials reasoned that a two cent coin might help relieve the shortage. Acceptance and mintage levels both fell off dramatically after the war as coins that had been hoarded during the war began to reappear in circulation.

The two cent coin hold two distinctions, it was the first U.S. coin to have the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on it. The second distinction was: It was and is the least successful coin in U.S. history. Production of the coin started out with nearly 20 million coins and over a ten year period, dropped to 600 proofs. This was a gage of its popularity. While all two-cent coins are of the same basic type, several die varieties exist. The most important variation is the "Small Motto" and "Large Motto" varieties of 1864 as seen it the example below.

The same law that eliminated the two cent coin in 1873 also did away with the half dime and the silver three-cent piece. During the late 1970's discussion of reviving the two cent coin was heard, but nothing came of it.


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Two Cent Specs.

Designer: James Barton Longacre
Weight: 6.2 grams
Diameter: 23 millimeters
Edge: Plain
Content: 95% copper 5% other
Two Cent Mintage

Date/Mint Circulation Strikes Date/Mint Circulation Strikes
1863 Pattern 1864 19,847,500
1865 13,640,000 1866 3,177,000
1867 2,938,750 1868 2,803,750
1869 1,546,500 1870 861,250
1871 721,250 1872 65,000
1873 Proofs 600

Copper Two Cent Grading

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