US Coins

Market Analysis: 2-cent coin realizes $3,600 in Legend Regency auction

Two-cent pieces were struck starting in 1864, and the short series ended in 1873 with Proof-only issues. William Bierly’s book for Whitman Publishing titled In God We Trust: The American Civil War, Money, Banking, and Religion provides a good history of the series.

The 2-cent piece is noteworthy as the first circulation coin to use the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, a motto which Bierly explains in the context of the Civil War and beyond, concluding that it “has become an iconic element of American culture.”

Legend Rare Coin Auctions offered a choice collection of the odd denomination at its March 26 Regency Auction 37.

The first year, 1864, saw two subtypes — the Small Motto and the Large Motto, of which the latter is much more common. That it’s a high-mintage, first year of issue, and a Civil War date makes the 1864 Large Motto 2-cent coin of interest to a broad range of collectors.

Legend offered one graded Mint State 65 red and brown by Professional Coin Grading Service, praising its bold strike and the generous amount of red color on both sides, with only a few light specks of toning noted that might limit the grade.

It sold for $3,642.50 at the auction, which had been moved from Las Vegas to a webcast format due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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