THE U.S. TWO-CENT COIN: FACTS AND VALUES

The two-cent coin was only produced for 10 years, 1864-1873.
The two-cent coin was only produced for 10 years, 1864-1873. | Source

The two-cent coin was produced by the U.S. Mint beginning during the Civil War in 1864. The two-cent coin was designed by Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, Mr. James B. Longacre. The two-cent coin is made out of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. The two-cent coin was produced until 1873.

The two-cent coin was the first U.S. coin to bear "IN GOD WE TRUST". The front of the coin has a shield centered in the middle. The ribbon above the shield reads "IN GOD WE TRUST". There are also two arrows and an olive branch on the front behind the shield. The date is seen centered at the bottom of the obverse. The reverse side of the coin has "2 CENTS" centered and it is surrounded by a wreath. "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" is centered along the top rim on the back of the coin.


On April 22, 1864, the U.S. Congress authorized the two-cent coin due to the Coinage Act. The law eliminated the silver three-cent coin and the half dime. The silver three-cent piece was later replaced with copper-nickel and it was discontinued in 1889. Minting errors and double-dies are not that rare for the two-cent coins.

As far as values go, the 1872 and the 1873 two-cent coins have the highest value. There were only 65,000 two-cent coins produced in 1872. In good grade, this coin is worth nearly $300. In great condition, it can reach $1,000 or more. In 1873, only proofs were made. Only 1,100 were produced and they are considered very rare. Even in good grade, they are worth $500. A high grade 1873 two-cent coin can reach values in the thousands.

In 1864, 19,847,500 two-cent coins were made. Despite the high production of coins produced, the coin is considered a key date if you find the right type. Pay close attention to the ribbon on the front of the coin above the shield. "IN GOD WE TRUST" should be smaller then the regular coin. This coin is valued around $200 in good grade. You can clearly see the difference in the "T" in "TRUST" or possibly the "E" in "WE". The other coin is considered the "Large Motto Type" two-cent coin and it is worth around $10.

This coin series produced less coins for each passing year. In 1864, there were 20 million coins produced and in 1873, there were only 1,100 proofs produced. The value of your coin is based on rarity and condition. The prices above are valued at a low good grade. This is the average condition of most coins. If they are in great shape, the value will be more then listed. If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment.

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Comments 33 comments

manthy profile image

manthy 5 years ago from Alabama,USA

Very good hub voted up and useful ;0)

Have a blessed day


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Thanks a lot Manthy. I appreciate your time and comment. See ya soon.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I am going to start collecting old coins! Wow, some are worth 1,000 dollars? I remember reading somewhere that an old English penny, 1933, was supposed to be worth a lot of money, same reason, not many made at the time, I am not sure how much its worth, but I keep looking! really interesting, cheers nell


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey Nell. Thanks for coming by and checking it out. The largest price ever paid for a coin was $7,600,000. It was for a 1931 or 1933 Double Eagle coin. Only 3 are known to exist. They were made and later destroyed. 3 made it out. 2 were turned in and the other one turned up over in your country I believe at a private shop.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Fascinating Hub! I was once a coin collector, with a fairly impressive collection that took me maybe 20 years to collect. When my bar started to go broke, I sold my entire collection to a coin dealer for less than half what it was worth so I could buy stock. Six months later, I was out of business anyway. I wish I had my collection back today. Thank you.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I have casually collected coins off and on through the years, but I did not know that there was a 2 cent coin. Thanks for teaching me something I didn't know. This was a great hub and very interesting.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

James, I feel you. I hate that you lost it. 20 years on a collection is hard. I am trying to sell mine starting today. It is a smaller collection. Top coin is a 1890 Silver Morgan and a 1826 Large Sent. I am hoping to get $200 for it to pay bills, even though it is worth nearly $700. It is always something. Thanks for coming by James and see ya soon.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

James, I feel you. I hate that you lost it. 20 years on a collection is hard. I am trying to sell mine starting today. It is a smaller collection. Top coin is a 1890 Silver Morgan and a 1826 Large Cent. I am hoping to get $200 for it to pay bills, even though it is worth nearly $700. It is always something. Thanks for coming by James and see ya soon.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Homesteadbound. Thanks for coming by and checking it out. Your time is always appreciated. I as well. I found out when someone was selling one a few years back. I wish I would have bought it, but even if I did, it would be sold anyway. I thank you and have a good Monday dear.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I used to have one of these coins in fair condition given to me by my grandfather...it was thieved from my moms house by a third party friend.I don't remember the year and is was a dear keepsake.;)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Metalist. Sorry to hear that. I hate when that happens. Seems like it is always something.


ThePelton profile image

ThePelton 5 years ago from Martinsburg, WV USA

Four odd denominations were tried at one time or another, only to be discarded. 1/2 cent, two cent, three cent (both silver and nickel) and twenty cent among the non-gold coins.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative.

I didn't know there was a two cent coin. Canada had one too.

I hope you get more than $200.00 for your 1890 Silver Morgan.

Take care


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

My guess is that many coins are going to increase in value as we get to the point of not using 'cash and coins'. Especially coins that have 'valuable' content such as copper, silver and gold.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I have a large cent from the late 1700's that my father had. It's still in the protective covers and he paid $65 for it back in the 70's. It's in great condition.

Nice Hub!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hello Sueswan. Thanks for the comment. You and me both. I really hate to get rid of it, but I have to. I have to keep the power and water on, but I believe I have found a job. So let us hope.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

LuxmiH, thanks for coming by. You are right. In the economy scare, they are a safe haven commodity. Gold will always hold up. It hit 1930 an ounce this summer and is now back in the 1600s. I thought silver would rise steady, but it has fail from 45 to 32 in the last few weeks, as well as copper has dropped. But, they always hold value unlike a dollar.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

LuxmiH, thanks for coming by. You are right. In the economy scare, they are a safe haven commodity. Gold will always hold up. It hit 1930 an ounce this summer and is now back in the 1600s. I thought silver would rise steady, but it has fail from 45 to 32 in the last few weeks, as well as copper has dropped. But, they always hold value unlike a dollar.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Will. It is probably up there in value now, especially coins from 1795 and 1796. The large cent has a face value or one cent, but in great condition, it can be worth hundreds to thousands. Coins have went us a lot since 1970s. I would be interested Will in seeing what the date is if you don't mind. Great find and thanks.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I had several of the 2 cent coins, half dimes and more from my grandfather and when we were first married and living in an apartment, it was stolen. We never found out who did it nor did we even know when it happened because I did not look at them that often. I discovered the loss one time when I poured out the collection and noticed all of those rare types were missing! Whoever did it took their time in sifting through it. Of course we both worked back then and whoever did it knew they had plenty of time. I had no idea of their value then and will never know but your hub has certainly given me an idea. Voted up, interesting and useful. Sure wish I had those coins today!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Very interesting reading. Didn't even know there were such coins. We have 2 santimes coins here in Riga, Latvia and we always get them confused with the 1 santime ones.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hello there Peggy. It seems like everyone that has saved a collection has been robbed of it. That is such a shame. I appreciate your time, comment, and vote. It might just be best to let it go as you have. I would be on a path of investigating if I found out those coins were the ones worth thousands. Sorry to hear that Peg.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

Hey there Gypsy. It can easily be done. I am going to start a few articles on foreign coins soon. I know American coins, but it will be fun to get to know the other coins from different countries.


GoldCoinNet profile image

GoldCoinNet 5 years ago from Utah

Very Impressive Hub! Who knew a coin can be worth so much money!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia Author

GCN, thank you very much for reading. It is incedible how these coins have become valuable. I bet they would have been hoarded more if they knew what they were worth today.


O. Henry Reader 3 years ago

I am writing with a question. How common were the two-cent pennies in 1905? In O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," Della has $1.87, with 60 cents in pennies. Either she is counting wrong, or she has at least one two-cent penny. Which is more likely? Thanks.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 3 years ago from West Virginia Author

O Henry Reader, thanks for the comment and question. I am not familiar with this particular book. The last two cent coins were released in 1873. It wouldn't be uncommon to have a two cent coin in 1905. They were heavily produced at this point and time. Back then, a two cent coin could buy a few things. I would believe that she had a two cent penny. Very interesting question. I will have to take a look at the book. If I knew Della's personality, it would bring more confidence to my answer. Since I don't, I am just using what I know about these coins. During this era, we also saw three cent coins and twenty cent coins. I believe hoarding of these coins began a little later then 1905, a few years later actually.


O. Henry Reader 3 years ago

Thanks for the reply. Here is a link to an on-line copy of the story.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2776/2776-h/2776-h....

On the one hand, she had to count three times, which made me wonder if maybe she could not count well.

Thanks,

O. Henry Reader


LzMarie 2 years ago

So I came across a wheat back penny, not quite sure of the date I think it's 1920 something. But it has a large(huge) 2 stamped on reverse side. Does anyone have any idea what this means. I can post picture.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 2 years ago from West Virginia Author

LzMarie, thanks for the comment. Post a picture and I'll take a look at it. It shouldn't have a 2 on it. If this is a mint error, it could be one of a kind. It's also possible that someone stamped it, but I need a picture to see for sure.


Douglas 24 months ago

yeah i made several mtkeasis on vid i was trying to make it perfect i just bought around 8 new proof gems, cameo, and some older coins indian heads, buffalo´╗┐ nickles . Ill be making videos of unboxing them and reveiws just waitiing for my new camera to get hear through mail also waiting for coins so stay tunes most of these coins i bought off ebay really cheap and nice coins like gem proofs and cameo coins trust me im going to make several videos on coins.thanks for the support views


Dario 23 months ago

That's a nice Kennedy half. You're right that is a proof coin. The s mint mark stands for san fnacsisro, that's where proof coins were minted for a while, im´╗┐ not sure if proof coins are minted there anymore.


Blackspaniel1 profile image

Blackspaniel1 22 months ago

The problem with 2 cent pieces is they do not photograph well, so buying online is difficult.

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