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Two Cent Piece (1864-1873)

Learn About the Two Cent Piece and Its Inscribed Phrase

Issued in 1864, the Two Cent Piece has the distinction of being the first coin to bear the inscription “In God We Trust.” During the Civil War crisis, Americans on both sides of the war increasingly were more open about their religious beliefs, so the motto addition was readily accepted.

One of the most interesting coins in this series is the 1864 issue. There are both Small and Large Motto varieties. The Small Motto is significantly rarer than the Large Motto variety, being worth more than 10 times the price of the Large Motto. They were minted between 1864 and 1873.

Two Cent Piece (1864-1873)

Grading a Two Cent Piece

Knowing what a graded coin is, or certified coin, may awaken greater curiosity about the process of grading coins. Coin grading is an art as well as a science, and it is a lifetime’s work to become an expert. Of course, knowledge is power. The more a collector knows about grading and graded coin values, the better equipped they are to make smart buying decisions.

There are many tutorials on how to grade a coin for those who wish to learn about the process. Unsurprisingly, the educational materials at PCGS and NGC may be the best place to begin. However, no private individual’s grades make a difference when selling a coin. Only coins graded by a reputable third-party grading service are considered certified coins.

Anyone wishing to enter into amateur coin grading will need some basic supplies, including a jeweler’s pad to protect your coin in case of droppage, cotton gloves and a 5x magnifier. The most important thing to remember is not to damage your coin while handling it. You may also wish to practice photographing coins with your camera or smartphone to capture images as you learn how to grade your coins.

1864 Two Cent Piece Small Motto AU-50 NGC

Coveted Bust Silver Dollars

In 1864, the Philadelphia Mint produced two versions of the Two Cent Piece, both relating to the size of the letters in the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The Large Motto replaced the Small Motto and became the model for the remaining years of the Two Cent type. The Large Motto variety is the more common of the two.

Projected Value of Two Cent Pieces

Considered to be highly collectible among numismatists, Two Cent Pieces have, appropriately enough, two key dates. The first is the 1864 Small Motto design, one of two obverses minted during the first year of the series. 1872 is also a key date for Two Cent Pieces, as it was the last edition of the series to be produced for circulation. While initially popular among Americans, Two Cent Pieces fell out of favor with the public as the years passed following the Civil War. However, this series continues to be recommended for coin collectors to this day, due to their limited mintage and historical relevance. Some key dates for Two Cent Pieces include:

1864 Small Motto


Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of Two Cent pieces.


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