By Taylor Webb
If you are looking for a coin series with a lot of history, but one that is still affordable, then 2-cent pieces are for you.
The 2-cent piece offers the allure of a Civil War era coin, with the odd denomination of 2 cents.
The 2-cent piece was first struck for use in circulation in 1864. The reason for this odd denomination is because of the hoarding of other denominations in the civil war.
The obverse depicts a shield in front of crossed arrows, with a resemblance to the obverse of the shield nickel. Above the shield is a banner that says “In God We Trust.” This is the first coin series to bear this motto. Below the shield is the date. On the reverse is the value, 2 cents, within a wheat wreath. The coin is made of copper-tin-zinc.
An interesting fact about 2-cent pieces is that they were struck with decreasing mintages throughout the series, which was struck until 1872, with proof 1873 issues struck.
The key date to the series is the 1872, which runs at about $700 in fine condition, and about $3,150 in MS-60. Every other date is readily affordable in MS-60 condition, with prices ranging from about $90 to $725 for the 1864 Small Motto variety.
The 2-cent piece is an interesting coin worth of addition to any collection. The 2-cent piece was kicked around in the late 1980’s Congress, but the idea was quickly scrapped.
Maybe with the Lincoln cent piece falling out of favor, they can bring back the humble 2-cent piece.
This “Viewpoint” was written by Taylor Webb, a Young Numismatist from Fremont, Calif. “Viewpoint” is a forum for the expression of opinion on numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.