1864 Two Cents | Two Cents by Date | Two Cents by Type 
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Obverse of 1864 Two Cents     Reverse of 1864 Two Cents


1864 TWO CENTS -
SMALL MOTTO

PCGS Nos:
3579, 3580, 3581, 3624, 3625, 3626

Notes:
The two Proof examples illustrated here have distinct doubling on part of the motto and on the bottom of the scroll.  Is this present on all Proofs and/or does it appear on circulation strikes?

The finest Uncirculated Brown "Small Motto" examples graded by PCGS are 4 MS-65BN's.  The finest Uncirculated Red-Brown "Small Motto" examples graded by PCGS are 3 MS-66RB's.  The finest Uncirculated Red "Small Motto" examples graded by PCGS are 3 MS-66RD's.

The finest Proof "Small Motto" Brown example graded by PCGS is a single PR-65BN.  The finest Proof "Small Motto" Red-Brown example graded by PCGS is a single PR-65RB.  The finest Proof "Small Motto" Red example graded by PCGS is a single PR-66RD.  The finest Proof Deep Cameo example graded by PCGS is a single PRDC-65.

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
PCGS Proof-66 Red (illustrated above).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4165, illustrated, sold for $74,750.00, where it was described as follows: "Population: 1, with 0 higher. Deep golden red color with the fields spectacular in their spot-free originality. The state of preservation of any "red" Two-center is difficult to imagine, since copper by its very nature tends to show fingerprints and tarnish quite readily. This 1864, the scarcer of the varieties and a coin that happens to be the rarest variety in the entire short-lived series, is just such a tarnish-free specimen. In addition, is boasts needle-sharp devices, with the shield especially impressive when viewed under magnification. The entire coin, in fact, is impressive to examine as well as to ponder, as any "Finest Known" is destined to be. It resides in PCGS holder 2575127.  The alloy of 88% copper and 12% nickel, authorized for the Cent by the Act of Feb. 21, 1857, had been found to be hard and difficult to work. Therefore, on Dec. 8, 1863, James Pollock, Director of the Mint, asked for a new alloy consisting of 95% copper, 3% tin and 2% zinc. Along with the change in metal alloy, Pollock requested permission to issue a new denomination. In a letter of the same date, he writes, "I also propose for your consideration the coinage of a two-cent piece, same material and double weight of the cent, and with such devices and motto as may be approved by you. This piece would be a great public convenience, and its coinage, in my opinion, should be authorized. The devices are beautiful and appropriate, and the motto on each such, as all who fear God and love their country, will approve. I prefer the "shield and arrows" to the "head of Washington," on the obverse of the coin. They are submitted for your consideration. If you approve the change of material, and the coinage of the two-cent piece, or either, I will, if you direct it, prepare a supplement to the existing laws, to be by you submitted to Congress for their action."  Patterns were quickly prepared in 1863 and early 1864, with the first production being a limited run of Small Motto coins."

PCGS Proof-65 Red and Brown.  Offered by Kagin's (Tiburon, CA) in the October 2003 issue of THE NUMISMATIST for $57,500.00 (no prior pedigree).

PCGS Proof-65 Brown (illustrated below).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4166, "Small Motto", illustrated, sold for $25,300.00

Recent appearances:
Very Choice Brilliant Proof.  Ex- Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 244, "Small Motto", plated, sold for $20,700.00   Ex - Superior Stamp & Coin's session of Auction '80, Lot 16 (part of a complete set) 

NGC MS-65 Red.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4167, "Small Motto", illustrated, sold for $3,105.00

MS-65, Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1446, "Small Motto", illustrated, sold for $1,035.00  Purchased from Ira S. Reed, 2/16/1945 for $22

MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 115, sold for  $2,070.00

PCGS MS-64, Brown.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 1447, "Small Motto", illustrated, sold for $834.00  Purchased with a set 1864-1873 from J.H.N. 8/30/1944 for $65

MS-64 Red.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5454, "Small Motto", not plated, sold for $1,495.00

NGC MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4168, "Small Motto", not illustrated, sold for $902.75

Very Choice Brilliant Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 245, "Small Motto", not plated, sold for $460.00

NGC MS-63 Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1292, sold for $529.00

NGC MS-62 Brown.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 1293, sold for $414.00

MS-60 Brown, Cleaned.  Ex-  Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale", October 5-7, 2000, Lot 6686, "Small Motto", not illustrated, sold for $414.00

AU-58.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 357, not illustrated, sold for $368.00

About Uncirculated.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 246, "Small Motto", not plated, sold for $575.00

Choice Very Fine.  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 247, "Small Motto", not plated, sold for $172.50

VG-8.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 358, not illustrated, sold for $69.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Obverse of 1864 Two Cents - Small Motto     Reverse of 1864 Two Cents - Small Motto

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries