1872 Two-Cent Piece

1872 Two-Cent Piece

The 1872 two-cent piece is a significant part of American numismatic history. It was the first coin to feature ‘In God We Trust’ as part of its design, and it has been an object of fascination for collectors ever since.

As one of America’s most iconic coins, the 1872 two-cent piece continues to be sought after by both novice and experienced numismatists alike.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the significance and importance of this historic coin.

Overview Of The 1872 Two-Cent Piece

The two-cent piece is a valuable part of American numismatic history. Produced from 1864 to 1873, this coin was the first small-size United States coinage struck in copper-nickel alloy and was created during an era when coins were transitioning from large size to smaller sizes.

First minted over 150 years ago, these coins are now highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and historical significance. Numismatists have long valued the two-cent pieces for its unique design featuring Liberty wearing a headband inscribed with the word “Liberty” on the obverse side and a wreath composed of agricultural products on the reverse.

It has also been considered one of America’s most unusual coins as it was issued without any denomination or motto. This lack of inscription made it difficult for merchants and businesses to accept them at face value, leading to their eventual decline in circulation.

Today, surviving examples are highly prized among collectors due to their scarcity as well as their important role in 19th century U.S. numismatics. The 1872 issue is particularly rare since only 156,000 specimens were produced that year; thus making it a collectible item worth seeking out.

Though not widely used today, the two cent piece remains an interesting reminder of our nation’s rich monetary past.

Design And Production

The two-cent piece was first minted by the United States in 1864. Its design consisted of a laurel wreath surrounding the words ‘TWO CENTS’ and its denomination on one side, while the reverse featured an Indian Head with feathers in her hair encircled by thirteen stars meant to represent the original colonies.

This design had been chosen due to its simplicity and resemblance to another coin that had come out earlier, known as the “Shield Nickel” of 1866. The production of this new currency saw significant improvement over previous coins with the advent of machinery punches for centering and cutting blanks, again allowing for more uniformity among those produced.

In terms of composition, the two-cent piece utilized a copper-nickel alloy which offered greater durability than other alloys used at that time elsewhere around the world. As such, it could be expected to last longer when exposed to everyday circulation. Furthermore, since there were no silver or gold coins being issued during this period due to their costliness, these copper-nickel pieces served as excellent substitutes for them instead.

Although initially popular amongst Americans upon introduction in 1864, usage would steadily decline until 1873 when Congress eventually discontinued the production altogether; however, some may still be found today through private collections or even sold online from certain vendors.

Despite its brief life span within American history, it remains an interesting chapter within numismatic circles nonetheless.

Rarity And Value

Have you ever wondered what makes a two-cent piece so special? It’s not only its rarity, but also its value. This article will explore the factors that make this coin of such great importance to numismatists and collectors alike.

First, let us consider the rarity of the two-cent piece:

  1. The short minting period – From 1864 to 1873, only sixteen million coins were produced.
  2. Its melting – Most two-cent pieces ended up in furnaces during World War I due to their low silver content.
  3. The lack of availability in modern day markets – Very few can be found through auctions or coin dealerships today due to the limited supply left from over a hundred years ago.
  4. The lower mintage numbers for certain varieties – For example, some Philadelphia Mint issues have fewer than 2000 specimens in existence!

The value of these extraordinary coins is quite remarkable as well. In fact, many examples sell for several hundred dollars depending on condition and type! Even if it isn’t rare enough to fetch sky high prices, each specimen has immense historical significance because they are connected to an era now past–one which saw major changes in how American currency operated and functioned within the economy at large.

Therefore we can see why two-cent pieces hold such esteem among coin aficionados; whether it is their relative scarcity or monetary worth, there is no denying the appeal these objects possess!

Collecting Tips

As a numismatist, collecting two-cent pieces is an exciting prospect. This rare denomination was only minted for 14 years and offers collectors the chance to find unique coins at relatively affordable prices.

When looking to start your collection of two-cent pieces, it is important to look out for certain characteristics that can make them valuable. Firstly, you should consider the condition of the coin itself – if it has retained its original luster or been cleaned too aggressively then this will affect its worth in different ways.

Secondly, you should be aware of any errors or varieties that might exist on a particular issue; these are highly sought after by serious collectors as they represent a one-of-a-kind piece with great potential value.

Finally, try to determine whether there are any interesting stories associated with a given coin; this could range from historical significance to simply being part of a family heirloom passed down through generations.

It’s also important when starting a collection like this that you become familiar with grading standards and other aspects of numismatics such as pricing guides and auction catalogs so you know what types of coins you should be looking for and how much each may cost.

Taking steps like these will help ensure that your new hobby is both enjoyable and rewarding!

Famous Exemplars

The two-cent piece is a coin that has been around since 1864, and its historical significance in the United States’ currency system cannot be overstated. Some numismatists have speculated that the two-cent piece was actually the very first coin to feature President Abraham Lincoln’s likeness.

While this theory may seem farfetched at first glance, further examination of surviving specimens reveal that it may indeed hold some truth. First of all, as many people are aware, the three cent nickel featuring President Lincoln’s portrait was released in 1865 – only one year after the introduction of the two-cent piece. This suggests that if any of these coins featured his likeness before hand, it would most likely be earlier issue like the two-cent piece.

Secondly, contemporary newspaper accounts from when the denomination was issued report on how striking and lifelike they found Mr. Lincoln’s image to appear on them – something quite remarkable for a relatively new technology such as engraving by machine.

Lastly, several surviving examples can still be seen with a profile view or bust of Lincoln compared to other coins which show only an outline or silhouette of him instead:

  • In 1865 The Daily National Intelligencer reported on “the clearness and beauty” of Lincoln’s face upon viewing their newly minted 2 Cent pieces
  • On February 20th 1866 The New York Times described seeing ‘a marked resemblance’ between the president and his effigy upon examining coins struck just months prior
  • Numismatic catalogues from 1870 depict full facing portraits rather than silhouettes or outlines

These facts together suggest that not only is there great potential truth behind the speculation of a two-cent piece being amongst the earliest portrayals of President Lincoln; but furthermore point towards it possibly being our nation’s first!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Store A 1872 Two-Cent Piece?

As a numismatist, the best way to store a two-cent piece is to keep it in an airtight container made of inert materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

To further protect your coin from oxidation and other damage, use cotton gloves or forceps when handling it.

You should also ensure that you are using archival grade supplies for storage; this will help preserve its condition over time.

Finally, consider storing your two-cent piece in either a plastic case with foam inserts or a hardwood box lined with velvet or felt.

With these precautions, your 1872 two-cent piece will remain safe and secure for many years to come.

How Can I Tell If A 1872 Two-Cent Piece Is A Genuine One?

As a numismatist, it is important to be able to tell whether or not a two-cent piece is genuine.

To do this, you should look for certain markings that are only present in authentic coins. Look for the date of mintage, which will typically be found on the obverse side and near the rim of the coin.

Additionally, check for any wear marks, discolorations and scratches that could indicate an alteration from its original condition.

Finally, examine the overall shape of the coin – if it appears irregular or off center then it’s likely not genuine.

How Much Do 1872 Two-Cent Pieces Typically Sell For On The Market?

Immerse yourself in the world of numismatists and discover the hidden treasures that lay within a 1872 two-cent piece.

These coins, imbued with history, have been found to be worth up to several hundred dollars on the market – a true testament to their rarity and value.

A collector’s dream come true; owning one of these timeless pieces will provide you with an experience unlike no other.

So if you’re looking for something unique and special, why not explore what lies within this beautiful coin?

What Is The History Behind The 1872 Two-Cent Piece?

The two-cent piece has a rich history, first being issued during the Civil War and becoming popular among American citizens.

The 1872 two-cent piece was an important part of this legacy, as it marked the last year that these coins were produced.

It featured a unique design with overlapping shields on the reverse side while featuring Lady Liberty in full profile facing left on its obverse side.

These pieces are highly collectible due to their age and historical importance, making them sought after by numismatists all over the world.

Are There Any Special Features To Look Out For When Buying A 1872 Two-Cent Piece?

When buying a two-cent piece, there are certain features to look out for.

Numismatists should be aware of the condition of the coin, as well as its mint mark and composition.

Coins with no wear or scratch marks have often been kept in good condition over time, while coins with a ‘D’ mintmark were made at the Denver Mint in 1872.

Additionally, many two-cent pieces from this era are composed of copper rather than nickel.

Being knowledgeable about these details can increase your chances of obtaining an authentic coin that is worth more than its face value.


The 1872 Two-Cent Piece is a classic example of American numismatic history. As such, it’s worth investing in if you can find one in good condition.

Not only will you be able to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of this piece, but also appreciate its increased value over time.

Some may worry that they won’t be able to tell whether the coin is genuine or not. But I assure you that with careful observation and research, any numismatist could confidently purchase an authentic 1872 Two-Cent Piece.

Investing in coins like these is always a sound decision – both financially and emotionally!






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