From the NGC Archives: 1864 Two-Cent Piece with Small Motto

Americans were so desperate for hard money during the Civil War that even the lowly copper-nickel cents were hoarded.

Congress decided to replace them with lightweight cents of bronze in 1864, adding a similar two-cent piece at the same time to speed this transition to bronze.

The mintage of this first variety of two-cent piece, with its small letters in the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, is unrecorded. Walter Breen estimated that a few thousand business strikes were coined, in addition to just a handful of proofs. This variety has been rare from the outset, and generations of collectors have sought high grade examples. Featuring a sharp strike and lustrous surfaces, this charming coin is richly toned to pleasing chocolate brown, with flashes of mint red and iridescent colors around its borders.

Are you interested in learning more about these coins? Click here to visit the NGC Coin Explorer and read on.

Articles List