Two Cents


Two Cents 1864-1873

The two-cent coin was produced in the United States from 1864–1873 with decreasing mintages throughout that time. In terms of consumer price indexes, the 1864 coin would be comparable to $0.3 in today’s money. Just over 45.5 million were produced.
The two-cent piece was authorized by Congress on April 22, 1864, by the Coinage Act. The same law also eliminated the half dime and the silver three-cent piece (the copper-nickel three-cent piece continued to be minted through 1889). During the mid- and late-1970s there was some discussion about reviving the two-cent denomination (in conjunction with reducing the mintage of the one-cent piece), but nothing came of it.

Two-cent pieces were minted in both proof and regular issues. Although the proof mintages were normally smaller than the regular-issue mintages, more proofs of high grade survive as they were always considered special collector coins.

While all two-cent pieces are of the same type, many die varieties exist. The most significant of these are the Small Motto and Large Motto varieties of 1864. The Small Motto is rarer and more valuable. Doubled dies, die cracks and other mint errors are often encountered in this series.