My 2 Cents

1864 2 cents coin

Remember that $50 credit I got for offloading those $5.00 star notes? Well, this is coin #1 I picked up from my newest coin friend’s stash :) Helping me get closer to owning one of each “odd” denomination the U.S. has produced too – I’m thrilled!

Most people don’t even know we used to have 2 cent pieces back in the day, nor others like 3 cent pieces, 20 cent pieces, or even “half dimes” – not to be confused with nickels, haha… And best of all I got this coin, and others I’ll be blogging about next, for free! Since I paid face value for those $5.00 notes I traded to get this “credit” :)

(I mentioned this before, but it’s worth stating again: You can usually get MORE value for a coin/collection if you trade it for other coins/stuff vs asking for straight cash. That may not always be what you want, but do keep it in mind for the next time you offload something…)

Here’s more about these 2-Cent pieces from Wikipedia:

“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… The cent at that time was struck of a copper-nickel alloy, the same size as the later Lincoln cent, but somewhat thicker. The piece was difficult for the Philadelphia Mint to strike, and Mint officials, as well as the annual Assay Commission, recommended the coin’s replacement. Despite opposition from those wishing to keep the metal nickel in the coinage, led by Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, authorizing 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 authorized, the three-cent piece and the nickel. It was abolished in 1873; large quantities were redeemed by the government and melted.”

Pretty neat, yeah? And as you can see, mine is dated 1864 making it one of the first ever produced! And in fairly decent condition too. I can’t remember exactly what we decided the grade to be (F-12?) but we did make a marking of $23.00 in the notes which aligns up about right. The coin ranges from $18 to $535 in the Red Book depending on its condition, and MUCH much more if it’s the “small motto” version vs the “large motto” one we’re pretty sure it is. That range starts at $215 and goes all the way up to $18,500 (!!!!). Which shows two things:

  1. Rarity definitely matters with coins!
  2. And condition even more so!

The grades jump $500 in some spots, and THOUSANDS of dollars in others. Which goes to show that if you have something decent it might be worth officially getting checked out, and then more importantly stored better for the future. For this one though, I’m pretty happy keeping it in one of those “air-tite” capsules which are my all-time favorite since they allow me to store more of them easier than in big bulky “slabs” or other devices (like 2x2s). I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how I store my coins pretty soon here though – it’ll be riveting stuff ;)

Anyways, that’s my new coin! Almost 150 years old now, and I’ve got one sitting on my desk just smiling at me… Life is good, baby! It’s the small things in life, right? :)

Gotta do more of the stuff that excites you in any given day, and less of the stuff that sucks your soul… At least that’s my 2 cents (bah-dum-ching).


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