As the first regular-issue two-cent coin minted by the United States federal government, the 1864 2-cent coin holds an important place in American numismatic history. The Philadelphia mint made the 1864 2-cent coin, produced during a time of great change in the country.
The Mint’s facilities saw wide circulation throughout the country of the two varieties of coins, one with a large motto and the other with a small motto. This coin bears no mint mark. All the coin production happens at the Philadelphia Mint.
A US seal on the obverse side of the 1864 two-cent coin gets accompanied by the banner “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The year 1864 is imprinted below the US seal. The coin’s reverse side is dominated in the center by a wreath made of wheat. The coin’s face value is 2 cents, and the phrase “United States of America” appears prominently over the wreath.
According to the USA Coin Book, an 1864 2-Cent Piece (Small Motto Variety) is worth $343 in average condition and can be had for $1,655 to $1,925 or more in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition. On the other hand, proof coins can be worth up to $20,894.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a 2-cent coin from 1864, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll discuss the value of this particular coin and what factors can affect its worth. Learn about the 1864 2-cent coin value here, from collectors’ opinions to market trends!
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the 1864 2-Cent Coin
- 2 Historical Background
- 3 What Makes the 1864 2-Cent Coin So Rare?
- 4 How Much Are 1864 Coins Worth?
- 5 Grading System for the 1864 2-Cent Coin
- 6 How Rare Is a 2-Cent Coin?
- 7 1864 2 Cent Coin Value Small Motto vs. Large Motto
- 8 1864 2 Cent Piece Small Motto
- 9 1864 2 Cent Piece Error
- 10 Importance of Getting a Professional Appraisal
- 11 2 Cent Coin Value Chart
- 12 Conclusion
- The 1864 Two Cent Piece (Small Motto Variety) is worth $343 in Average condition and can be $1,655 to $1,925 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Proof coins can be worth up to $20,894.
- The production of all the 2-cent coins happened at the Philadelphia mint, but the mintage decreased over time.
- There are two types of 1864 two-cent pieces: a Large Motto and a Small Motto.
An Overview of the 1864 2-Cent Coin
- Design Engraver: James B. Longacre
- Type: 2 Cent Coin
- Metal Composition: Bronze (95% copper and 5% zinc and tin)
- Weight: 0.21940 ounces (6.22 grams)
- Diameter: 0.90551 inches (23mm)
- Shape: Round
- Edge: Plain
- Thickness: 0.07087(1.8 mm)
- Face Value: $0.02
Related: 1884 Silver Dollar Value
The 1864 2-cent coin value was first minted in the United States in 1864. The coin was designed by James Barton Longacre, who also created the Indian Head penny. On the front of the coin, there is a picture of Abraham Lincoln and the words “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The coin’s reverse bears the denomination “2 CENTS” within a wreath. A total of 19,847,500 coins were minted in 1864.
The two-cent piece was created during the Civil War to help finance the war effort. At that time, copper was in short supply, and the government needed a way to increase its production.
The two-cent coin was made of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, making it slightly different from other copper coins produced at that time.
The new five-cent nickel piece eclipsed the two-cent piece in 1866, despite the public’s initial enthusiasm. Mintage decreased by nearly 30% in 1865, then by 75% the following year. The quantity of two-cent pieces continued to decline until they were last struck for circulation in 1872; proof-only two-cent pieces were still produced in 1873.
Today, examples of this historic coin can sell for anywhere between $50 and $5,000, depending on condition and rarity.
Related: 1937 Buffalo Nickel Value in 2023
What Makes the 1864 2-Cent Coin So Rare?
Proof-only 1873 is the rarest date in the 2-cent series. Other rare varieties are an 1864 coin with a small motto, and an 1867 one with a doubled “IN GOD WE TRUST,” which range in value from $145 to $7,500 depending on condition.
There are also rare versions of this series that are 1867 coins with “IN GOD WE TRUST” written on them twice. Coin collectors estimate the extremely rare 1869/8 overdate coins are precious and believe less than thirty specimens exist.
How Much Are 1864 Coins Worth?
According to NGC Coin Explorer, you will find an 1864 2-cent coin containing a small motto for around $250 in good condition. A coin in good condition can fetch around $550, and one in fine condition is worth $750.
Coins in uncirculated condition sell for around $1,250 if they contain the MS-60 grade. The MS-63 BN coins are worth $1,500, while the PR-63 BN proof coins are worth $25,000 each.
On the other hand, the 1864 2-cent coin containing a large motto is worth around $20 when in good condition. Coins in excellent condition can fetch around $35, and those in extremely fine condition are worth around $55.
If you find an uncirculated coin with an MS 60 grade, it is worth around $115. Further, uncirculated coins with the MS-63 BN grade mark can fetch around $175. Proof coins in PR-63BN condition trade at approximately $1,000.
Grading System for the 1864 2-Cent Coin
The 1864 2-cent coin grading system helps determine your coin’s condition and value. The system uses a point scale from 1 to 70, with 70 being a perfect, uncirculated coin. Each grade has a specific range of points; the higher the grade, the higher the coin’s value. Here is a breakdown of the grades and their corresponding point ranges:
- Grade 1: 1-10 Points
This is the lowest grade possible for a coin, indicating that it is in poor condition. It will be heavily worn and may be missing some detail.
- Grade 2: 11-20 Points
A grade 2 coin is also in poor condition, but not as bad as a grade 1. Some detail will remain, but it will be quite worn out.
- Grade 3: 21-30 Points
A grade 3 coin is in fair condition. The details will start to wear down, but you should still be able to make out most of them.
- Grade 4: 31-40 Points
A grade 4 coin is in good condition. The details will start to fade, but they should still be visible.
- Grade 5: 41-50 Points
A grade 5 coin is in excellent condition. All the coin’s details are sharp and clear.
Coins can also be identified in a grading system from “good” to “PR-63BN proof” as follows:
- Good: The part “IN GOD ” is at least visible on the Motto.
- Very fine: The word “WE “on the Motto appears clear, even if not strong.
- Extremely fine: The word “WE “on the coin is bold.
- MS 60 uncirculated: The coin shows no sign of wear. It contains luster, abrasions, and a few stains or surface marks.
- MS-63 BN Choice uncirculated: The coin focal areas contain contact marks or blemishes. The coin is brown without significant flaws.
- PR-63BN Proof: The brown coins show reflective surfaces without significant flaws.
How Rare Is a 2-Cent Coin?
The answer may vary depending on who you ask and where you are in the world. A 2-cent coin is worth $0.02, which is not very valuable. In the United States, the last 2-cent coin was minted in 1873, so it is pretty rare. There are only about a dozen known to exist.
In Canada, the last 2-cent coin was minted in 1920, and there are thought to be about 50 of them in existence. So, while a 2-cent coin may not be worth a lot of money, it can be pretty rare depending on where you are from and when it was minted.
1864 2 Cent Coin Value Small Motto vs. Large Motto
The 1864 2-cent coin value can vary depending on whether it has a small or large motto. A small motto coin is worth more than a large motto coin because it is rarer. There were only 100 small motto coins minted in 1864 in proof condition, while there were 19,822,500 large motto coins minted.
This makes the small motto coin more valuable to collectors. The value of an 1864 2-cent coin can range from $30 to $500 for a small motto coin and from $5 to $65 for a large motto coin (G4–MS60).
The difference between the two coins is as follows:
Small Motto: The initial “T” in trust is almost against the ribbon crease.
Large Motto: The large motto variety has a 1 mm gap.
Small Motto: The letters of the word “WE” are close together.
Large Motto: The letters in the word “WE” differ widely.
Small Motto: The stem of the leaf is clearly seen.
Large Motto: No stem
Related: The 1964 Penny – A Complete Guide
1864 2 Cent Piece Small Motto
The 1864 2-cent piece small motto is a coin minted in the United States from 1864 to 1873. The coin is made of bronze and has a diameter of 23 mm and a weight of 6.22 grams. The obverse of the coin features the bust of President Abraham Lincoln with the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “Liberty” on the periphery.
The coin’s reverse features a wreath encircling the words “United States of America” and “Two Cents.” This coin was minted when the United States was transitioning from large cents to smaller coins. The small motto on this coin was intended to reduce production costs. Collectors prize this coin because it is scarce.
At the auction, the 1864 small motto can fetch $3,000, while the scarce high-graded small motto proof can fetch more than $50,000.
1864 2 Cent Piece Error
1864 2 cents with specific errors influenced the coin’s price range. So, if you think your coin could be a valuable error coin, you should take it to an expert. Some of the errors you will find in an 1864 2-cent coin include:
Grease Filled Die Error
During coin production, the error usually happens when grease, dirt, or other debris fills the spaces in the production die. This keeps the design from being struck up correctly, stops the flow of metal in the planchet, and keeps the press from pressing all the way.
The 1864 2 cents with this error appears with a “C” in the cents, and some letters in the “States” appear smashed.
Rotated Die Error
A rotated die error occurs when one die in the production process does not need to orient properly concerning the opposite die. Therefore, when the coin is struck, it leads to one side rotating at an incorrect degree. Typically, the measurement of a rotated die error is based on degree, which can rotate at 30, 90,0r 180 degrees. PCGS auctioned an 1864 2-cent coin classified as PCGS MS 64 RB at $285.
Importance of Getting a Professional Appraisal
You can determine the correct coin value of your collection and how much you should charge for their sale with the aid of an appraisal by a qualified numismatist. An appraisal of your coins can also help you sell them for more money by telling you how much money you could have made from them but didn’t.
2 Cent Coin Value Chart
Even though the Philadelphia mint only issued the 1864 2 cents for a limited time, as a coin collector, you will have no trouble obtaining almost all of the pieces in the series. You can buy specimens in good grades for between $15 and $80. Those in mint condition sell for around $200.
Coins in proofs appear more costly, but they are not too expensive. You can get a piece for approximately $200 to $500. If you are lucky enough to get a perfect specimen, you will pay a few thousand dollars at an auction.
A 2-cent coin value chart can be a valuable tool for collectors and those interested in the history of United States currency. The chart can provide information on the different types of 2-cent coins that have been minted over the years, as well as their current estimated values. Although the value of a particular coin may fluctuate over time, the chart can give a general idea of what to expect in terms of its overall value.
An 1864 2-cent coin is valuable due to its rarity and age. Coin collectors need to understand this coin’s history and how much it may be worth in today’s market. The value of this coin will continue to go up over time, making it a great addition to a collection of rare and unique items. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your 1864 2-cent coin retains its value for years to come.