Have you ever wondered what the two cent penny is worth? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are curious about the value of this seemingly small piece of change.
In fact, it may surprise some that there even was a two cent piece in American history. And still others will be excited to learn that the two cent penny can actually be quite valuable and even rare in certain conditions!
In this blog post, we will explore the different factors that influence the value of a two cent penny and provide an overview of its current market pricing. We will also discuss how collectors and investors can benefit from owning these coins as well as other important facts about them. By understanding all aspects of these coins, you can make informed decisions on whether or not they are right for your portfolio or collection.
Ready to learn more? Then let’s get started!
History of the Two Cent Penny
First, let’s take a look into American history and learn all about the two cent penny and how it came about.
The two cent penny was first introduced in the United States in 1864. It was created as a means of making small change more accessible to the public and helping to put an end to hoarding of coins that had become common during the Civil War. It also held symbolic value, as its design featured a shield, arrows, and sheaves of wheat, symbolizing strength and bounty.
The designer was none other than James B. Longacre, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. He also designed many other coins that are still well known today, such as the Indian cent and the Shield nickel.
While it served its purpose as a coin during the war, the two cent penny was not a popular coin overall and its mintage only lasted for nine years, until 1872, and then one more year (1873) for collectors. With decreasing demand and rising production costs, the coin ceased to exist. As such, it is one of the rarest coins in American history and one that is highly coveted by coin collectors today.
Features of the Two Cent Penny
Now let’s move on to the features of the two cent penny. There are a few key elements that make these coins special and attractive to collectors. Let’s learn more about this interesting coin.
The US Mint location that produced the two cent penny was Philadelphia. Throughout all its years of production, this was the only minting location used.
The two cent penny is composed of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc – a combination known to many of us as bronze. This is the same metal makeup as the one cent penny, so as you can imagine, the two cent penny is also that familiar coppery red color as its one cent cousin. In addition to this, the diameter of a two cent penny is 23 millimeters with a weight of 6.22 grams.
Each two cent penny features beautiful designs on both sides—the obverse (front) displays an encircled shield with arrows, foliage, the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” written across the top (for the first time on any denomination), and the date across the bottom. The reverse (back) features a wreath of grains around the phrase “2 CENTS” in the center, with the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” written around the edge.
Two Cent Penny Values and Varieties
Now let’s discuss the values of these coins and the varieties available to collectors.
1864 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
This was the first year that the two cent piece was minted. There were 19,822,500 made that year, at least. Many of these were a “Large Motto” variety, meaning the font of “IN GOD WE TRUST” was larger than those on the “Small Motto” variety.
The “Large Motto” variety is worth about $23 in “Good” condition, and they are worth around $28 in “Fine” condition. In “Extremely Fine” condition, these coins are worth about $64, and in “Uncirculated” condition, they range in worth from about $134 to $203! There is even a Proof version, which has a value of about $1,161.
The “Small Motto” variety is worth quite a bit more. In “Good” condition, it is worth about $292, and in “Fine” condition, it is worth around $465. “Extremely Fine” examples are worth about $868 and “Uncirculated” specimens range in value from about $1,421 to $1,754.
The Proof is even more impressive, coming in at a stunning $28,880!
1865 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
The second year of production saw a total of 13,640,000 of these coins produced. This time, there was only one variety available for this date.
The 1865 two cent piece is currently worth about the same as the “Large Motto” variety from 1864, with coins in “Good” condition being around $23, worth around $28 in “Fine” condition, around $64 in “Extremely Fine” condition, and valued at approximately $134 to $203 for an “Uncirculated” grade. The Proof coin is worth about $572 – not bad for a two cent piece!
1866 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
In 1866, a total of 3,177,000 two cent pieces were produced. Again, there was only one variety available for this year.
Just like for the year prior, for coins in “Good” condition, this variety is worth around $23 and it increases to around $28 in “Fine” condition. The value then jumps up to about $64 for an “Extremely Fine” grade example, and ranges from approximately $135 to $203 for an “Uncirculated” version. As you may have guessed by now, the Proof version is worth even more – about $572!
1867 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
Another year of the two cent pennies is the 1867 “no mint mark” two cent piece. Around 2,938,750 of these coins were produced.
This variety is worth slightly higher than the previous years, at around $28 in “Good” condition, and $40 in “Fine” condition. An “Extremely Fine” grade would be worth about $68, and an “Uncirculated” example ranges from approximately $152 to $209 for the 1867 two cent piece. The Proof coin has a value of around $572 as well.
1868 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
The two cent penny coins from 1868 was minted 2,803,750 times, so a little less than the year before. It has an estimated value of over $28 in “Good” condition, and around $64 in “Fine” condition. In “Extremely Fine” grade, it is worth about $85, with an “Uncirculated” version being valued at approximately $173 to $292. The Proof coin is the same value as years past, clocking in at around $572.
1869 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
The year 1869 is when the value of two cent pieces begins to shift and increase. As we alluded to earlier, the mintage numbers continue to drop each year, with 1869 producing 1,546,500 two cent pennies.
The 1869 two cent piece is worth about $35 in “Good” condition, and around $57 in “Fine” condition. An “Extremely Fine” grade example is valued at around $96, with an “Uncirculated” version ranging from approximately $181 to $292. However, the Proof coin continues to hold its value of around $572.
1870 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
With only 861,250 of these coins minted, the 1870 two cent piece is worth even more, being valued around $46 in “Good” condition and $75 in “Fine” condition. If you find a two cent piece in an “Extremely Fine” grade, it will be worth about $233, and a coin at an “Uncirculated” version will range from approximately $673 to $1,052 – slightly higher than the year before! The Proof coin remains at its value of around $572.
1871 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
The third to last year of production for the “no mint mark” two cent piece is 1871. With only 721,250 coins minted this year, the mintage numbers are significantly dropping.
The 1871 two cent piece has an estimated value around $52 in “Good” condition, and $68 in “Fine” condition. An example in an “Extremely Fine” grade would be worth about $173, with an “Uncirculated” version ranging from approximately $322 to $380! The Proof coin still continues to hold its worth at $572.
1872 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece
The final rare two cent penny that was produced for the public is the 1872 “no mint mark” two cent piece. This variety is considered to be one of the most valuable and rarest of all the two cent pennies, with only 65,000 of them made!
This variety is worth a higher amount of money depending on its condition. A coin in “Good” condition would be worth about $57, and can increase to around $85 in “Fine” condition. At “Extremely Fine,” a coin will be valued at around $180, and the “Uncirculated” version ranges from $322 to $380, just like the 1871 two cent piece.
Once again, the proof coin remains worth $572.
1873 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Piece – (Proof Only)
The very last of the “no mint mark” two cent pieces is actually a Proof-only year, so no coins were produced for business circulation – only for collectors.
There were actually two varieties this year, which makes them even more valuable, as only about 1,100 two cent pieces were produced in total. Those with a “Closed 3,” with only approximately 600 Proofs struck, and those with an “Open 3,” resulting in about 500 Proofs struck. Those with a “Closed 3” had a tighter font for the “3” on the date than the “Open 3” font coins did.
“Closed 3” Proofs were worth $1,108 in “Good” condition, $1,754 in “Fine” condition, $1,972 in “Extremely Fine” condition, and then jumps to $3,736 in mint Proof condition!
“Open 3” Proofs had a value of $931 in “Good” condition, $1,564 in “Fine” condition, $2,028 in “Extremely Fine” condition, and finally a whopping $3,577 in mint Proof condition!
Two Cent Penny Error Coins
Although the two cent piece was only made for a limited amount of years, there are still a couple of valuable errors that exist with this coin. Let’s look at a couple:
1867 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Penny with Doubled Die Error
Some of the 1867 two cent pieces can be found with a doubled die error, meaning the design was accidentally stamped twice on the coin. This causes a side of the coin (in this case, the obverse side) to appear as if it had a blurred or doubled image. It is especially noticeable on the banner at the top of the coin that states “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
This error is worth more than an average two cent piece in any condition. Coins in “Good” condition are $144, in “Fine” condition are worth about $233, and in “Extremely Fine” condition, they are valued at about $803.
“Uncirculated” condition are estimated to be worth a whole lot more – between $2,332 and $3,393!
1872 “No Mint Mark” Two Cent Penny with Doubled Die Error
The 1872 two cent piece also had a doubled die error, which is worth way more than the regular “no mint mark” coin no matter the condition. The estimated values for this rare error are as follows:
In “Good” condition, it is valued at around $465, in “Fine” condition, its value goes up to about $738 and in “Extremely Fine” condition, it increases to an impressive $1,298!
And lastly, an example in “Uncirculated” will be worth an amazing range of between $3,800 and $4,362! There is even a Proof version of this mint error, valuing at an impressive $1,161!
With its rich history and wide range of values, collecting two cent pennies can be a rewarding and exciting hobby. If you’re looking to start your own collection or add some amazing coins to your existing one, consider adding a few two cent pieces to your collection today! Who knows—you might just find that rare gem that turns out to be worth thousands of dollars!
Have you ever collected two cent pennies before? What’s been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments below!