US Coins

1872 2-cent piece last sold for $12,925 goes unsold at ANA auction

1872 was the last year of regular issue 2-cent pieces. This MS-65 red and brown example with CAC sticker went unsold at the auction but later sold privately for an amount in excess of $10,000.

Images courtesy Heritage Auctions

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Sept. 15 issue.

Major auctions like Heritage’s U.S. coins auction at the recent American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money are composed of many different collections. These collections have often been put together over the course of decades and can provide guidance on specialized areas of the market. 

One such collection offered was the James E. Blake Collection of 2-cent pieces, each graded Mint State 65 red and brown by Professional Coin Grading Service. The consignor (who prefers to remain anonymous) started collecting Liberty Head 5-cent pieces as a child and he eventually formed high-grade collections of the same coins he enjoyed as a young collector. 

His advice to collectors: Buy the best grade you can afford and “buy the key dates first whenever possible since they likely will have gone up in value by the time you complete the set.” 

Regarding quality, he reminds collectors to buy the coin and not the holder, meaning that collectors should make evaluations on quality for themselves, although he does recommend buying coins with Certified Acceptance Corp.stickers that indicate quality within the grade when possible.

He further suggest that to maximize enjoyment, “don’t focus on the potential profit that your collection might yield when sold, but instead focus on the enjoyment of collecting and learning as much as you can about the coins in your collection.”  

Here is one of three analyses of the recently sold 2-cent coins:

The coin: 1872 2-cent piece, doubled die obverse, MS-65 red and brown, CAC

The price: Unsold (at the auction)

The story: The 1872 2-cent piece is notorious for its small mintage of just 65,000 pieces. This example has the prominent doubled die obverse that is listed in The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties and is most prominent on the D of GOD in the obverse motto. 

The surfaces were described as showing “some sandy-tan remaining in the fields, mainly closer to the rims, and bright reddish color within and surrounding the devices.”

While it did not sell at the auction, the consignor confirmed that it sold after the auction, privately, for a five-figure sum.

It had last sold at Heritage’s Jan. 14, 2013, auction where it brought $12,925.

The 2-cent piece would be discontinued in 1873, when Proof examples were made for collectors, but no business strikes were produced for circulation.

Read the rest of Steve Roach's Sept. 15 Market Analysis: 

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