US Coins

Market Analysis: 1872 2-cent coin a key to the series

Just 65,000 1872 2-cent pieces were struck, marking the final year that the denomination was produced for circulation. The issue was first produced largely to help alleviate a shortage of cents during the Civil War, and by 1872 the circulation of cents had improved, and the denomination would conclude in Proof-only format in 1873.

The obverse Shield design would be adapted by James B. Longacre for his Shield 5-cent piece in 1866.

The 1872 2-cent piece, along with the 1864 Small Motto coin, is a key to the series, and nice Mint State examples with full red color are particularly elusive. Legend presented one graded Mint State 65+ red by Professional Coin Grading Service, with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, that is one of just two in this grade, with four finer — each MS-66 red — at PCGS. The cataloger praised the rich color and luster, writing, “Every detail is sharply struck, crisply rendered by a precision blow from the dies. Even with a strong glass we are hard pressed to find a single mark, fleck, or line of any consequence.”

It sold for $29,375 in Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ March 26 Regency Auction 37, offered in a webcast format due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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