• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

What should I see, notice, think of and care about with this $.02 piece

7 posts in this topic

I see a very common date, well circulated 2 cent piece.


It's hard to give advice without knowing what you are trying to accomplish in your collection. Do you prefer circulated coins to MS coins? Are you looking to put together a very affordable 2 cent set?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first thing to check on this coin is whether it has a small motto (rare) or large motto (common). The latter has taller and thinner letters, most noticeable on the D and U in "In God We Trust". This coin is the common variety.


As for grade, this coin is probably a VG8 and looks to have artificial color, meaning that it was cleaned at one time.


These are readily available in nice circulated, and even low mint state grades. The latter will cost a little over $100. Definitely pass on the coin above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all very much.


My main goal with this is getting better at analyzing coins.


I have a website that shows pictures of different grades of most varieties of U.S. coins. It seems I can get reasonably close on grades of well circulated coins. MS60+ where a point or two makes a difference I need to work on!


The difference between artificial and natural toning gets me. I THINK I saw artifical toning on some Lincoln cents. If I run across more pics I might post them. Usually if it is subtle I think it is natural.


I was aware of the different values of the small and large mottos. I hazarded a guess the worn one here was the common variety.


When I do buy a coin it is usually to get a sample of a type I don't have. I'm relatively new and on a budget so that lets me skip the need to find an example of rare dates from any series. With my level of expertise and the other demands on my funds the $20 range for a coin is where I belong. Most folks seem to focus on one series or another. Right now there are just soo many I've never held lol.


Thanks for the education.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$20 per coin can still get you some nice type examples for a lot of US coins. I had a similar budget when I started buying coins around my senior year of college. I put together a complete set of silver Roosevelt dimes and started working on sets of Buffaloes, Morgans, and US Type. Obviously, at the higher end, all of those sets have much more expensive coins, but by then I had more to spend and I had learned a lot in the process. Of course, if I look back to my early Morgan purchases, I made a lot of mistakes!


As for artificial vs. natural toning, that usually refers to toned silver coins with rainbow hues. With copper coins, unnatural color is usually the results of a cleaning or dipping to make the coin look brighter and restore some of the redness. Fortunately with copper, it's fairly easy to tell the natural look from the unnatural, at least for circulated pieces. All worn cents and two-cents should be brown, almost without exception. A nice AU coin may still have traces of red, but that's it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sharpness grade for this piece is Good-4. It has been cleaned perhaps, long ago, and toned slightly. The 1864 Two Cent Piece was the first year of issue, and it is the most common date. It is the Large Motto variety, which is qute common. Here are photos of the two varieties.


Large Motto, first Small Motto, second




As for the color issues, here is an 1870 Two Cent Piece with the brown color that would expected for a circulated example of this coin. This coin is an "old time" EF. A lot of people here will say that it is an AU.




You can easily find a better example of the 1864 Large Motto Two Cent Piece than the one you are showing.


As a rule of thump, with Two Cent Pieces, the newer it is (The later date), the scarcer it is.


Link to comment
Share on other sites