The United States two-cent coin was a short-lived denomination of a United States dollar. The two-cent piece, designed by James B. Longacre, was produced for circulation from 1864 to 1872 and for collectors in 1873, with decreasing mintages each year as other minor coins such as the nickel (5¢) proved more popular. It was abolished by the Mint Act of 1873.
The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused government-issued coins, even the non-silver Indian Head cent, to vanish from circulation, hoarded by the public. One means of filling this gap was private token issues, often made of bronze. Despite opposition, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, authorising bronze cents and two-cent pieces.
Although initially popular in the absence of other federal coinage, the two-cent piece's place in circulation was usurped by other non-precious metal coins which Congress subsequently authorised, the three-cent piece and the nickel. It was abolished in 1873; large quantities were redeemed by the government and melted. Nevertheless, two-cent pieces remain inexpensive by the standards of 19th-century American coinage.
The coins were only struck by the Philadelphia Mint, with no mint mark.
In 1873, 2 Cents were only issued as proofs for collectors, with mintage of 600 only. There was a later restrike, with mintage of 500, which differs by the shape of the 3 in the date. This was the last year the denomination was minted.
|Two Cents 1864||19,847,500||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1864|
|Two Cents 1865||13,640,000||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1865|
|Two Cents 1866||3,177,000||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1866|
|Two Cents 1867||2,938,750||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1867|
|Two Cents 1868||2,803,750||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1868|
|Two Cents 1869||1,547,100||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1869|
|Two Cents 1870||862,250||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1870|
|Two Cents 1871||722,210||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1871|
|Two Cents 1872||65,000||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1872|
|Two Cents 1873 (Proof only)||1,100||Shield of the Coat of Arms||IN GOD WE TRUST 1873|
|Coin Type||Two Cents|
|Symbol||Shield of the Coat of Arms of the United States|
|Face Value||2 (x Cent)|
|Current||No; withdrawn 1873|
|Designer||James Barton Longacre|
|Orientation||Coin Alignment (Axis 6)|
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|Krause, Standard Catalog of World Coins||United States KM# 94|