Two Cent Peculiarities

2 cent coins stamped love token

I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with the odd denominated coins of our past. Particularly two cent and three cent pieces. They’re just so cool and, well, odd looking that whenever I see someone looking to part with ’em I usually can’t help but to start bartering :)

And last night was no different. Though, I didn’t realize until I got home that all 3 coins I picked up were actually two cent pieces! Haha… I made two separate deals that randomly happened to involve these two cent coins which is fine by me. You can read up on the history of them here in an older post I did aptly titled, “my two cents.”

As you can see, two of those above look different than the normally circulated coin (the middle one). The left is what’s called a “punched” or “counter stamped” coin usually done by companies and shops for advertising purposes (technically ruining the coin’s value, unless you happen to be a collector of them), and the one on the right is a “love token.” Where people would hand-carve pictures and patterns, and especially initials of their own names to then be handed to their lovers as “tokens” of their love. Especially as they went off on trips or to war/etc.

I’ve been fascinated by love tokens for a while now, but this is the first one I’ve actually ever gotten which made me excited. It’s not as pretty as those I’ve seen before (check out these bad boys!), but it’s definitely a fun little addition to my collection :) You can learn more about love tokens at

Here are the details of all 3 coins:

  1. 1864 Two cent piece w/ “F.P.H.” punch — Probably worth around $15 if it didn’t have the stamp, and with it who knows… Most people would say it’s worth a lot less cuz of the markings, while others who specialize in these types of coins might value them more (I’d probably fall into the latter). I’ll have to go digging around and see if I can figure out what the F.P.H. stands for!
  2. 1869 Two cent piece (normal) –Worth around $40’ish. The mint produced much lower numbers of these coins in 1869 (1.5 million) compared to the creation of them in 1864 (when they made 20 million!) and as the years ticked by they made even fewer and fewer. If you hold a 2 cent from 1872 or 1873 you’d have something even more valuable in your hands, ranging from the mid-hundreds to thousands!
  3. ?? Two cent “love token” w/ “h.m.” carved — No way to tell original worth since the date-side of the coin has been wiped blank, but I kinda like that even more. It’ll remain a mystery, along with who h.m. was?!

Here’s what the revers sides of all three coins look like:
old 2 cent coins

Here’s what I traded for the two odd ones:

two pesos mpc notes

You might remember some of these from our old post on Military Payment Certificates :) Which I picked up for about $5 worth of trade. And then another $1.00 or $2.00 for the Philippines Two Pesos “Victory” bill – printed in the United states back in the day! They look pretty similar to our old ones, huh? They’re called “Victory” notes because after the liberation of the Philippines under Japanese rule in 1944 the backs were all overprinted with “VICTORY” on the notes.

Like this:

victory philippenes two pesos

So for about $6 worth of notes I came away with two awesome two cent pieces making it a steal in my books. I’m more of a coin collector than I am a paper currency collector anyways, so the idea of trading 4 items for 2 was an extra plus on the trade. My favorite thing to do is to trade/sell a bunch of items in exchange for just one or two not only cuz the value of the coins you get are worth more, but it also condenses your collection so it’s easier to manage (here’s how I store everything fyi). For a guy trying to practice minimalism, this helps out a lot :)

And here’s what I traded for the (normal) 1869 two cent piece:

special mint set old penny

  1. 1829 Large Liberty Penny ($30’ish) – One of the first coins I got three years ago when I started collecting (I have duplicates)
  2. 1966 U.S. Special Mint Set ($11) – A gift that doesn’t fit my collection (so traded it for something that does!)
  3. Three modern $1.00 coins (exact value of $1.00 a piece – it’s “real” money! :))

I’m not much a fan of the more modern coins, so now they belong in a home with somebody who does. It’s pretty funny too – I went from having zero two cent pieces 5 months ago to now having 4 of them! I’ll probably go on to trade some of them as time goes on, but for now they’re interesting additions to my collection.

Hope yours is growing in fun ways as well!


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