The two-cent piece was first produced in the 1860s, but the idea for a 2-cent coin was derived well before that. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Civil War meant that any and all plans for the coin had to be bumped back. Even when the coin did finally go into circulation, it was quickly taken out after only ten years. As a result, the two-cent pieces that have survived the years are sought after by all types of collectors.
As you could have probably guessed, collectors want these coins, but only so long as they have been preserved in great condition. With that being said, it almost goes without saying that most of the two-cent pieces that have survived the years are in anything but great condition. Though there are exceptions, a majority of these coins will very much show their age. This does nothing to reduce the collectability of these coins.
As for the design of the two-cent piece, it is rather simplistic. The obverse side of the coin is dominated by the image of the US Seal. The Seal takes up a majority of the obverse’s face, however there is still room above the seal for a waving banner which features an inscription reading “In God We Trust.” Below the image of the seal will be the 1869 year of minting. The reverse side features a wheat wreath. In the center of that wreath is the 2-cent face value while the words “United States of America” arch overtop.
When it comes to a coin like the 1869 two-cent piece, the condition is something that is very important. Though you, I, or any other untrained person can look at one of these coins and tell you whether it is in decent shape or not, collectors prefer to get the opinion of experts. When we have experts look at the condition of a coin, they will assign it a grade that is nothing more than the official designation of the coin’s condition.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated 1869 two-cent piece is one that was basically taken from the mint in which it was produced and placed into a safe place for the next century plus. These coins will see all of their raised imagery and lettering intact and the only noticeable signs of damage will be nothing more than faded colors as a result of age. In all, these coins are about as perfect as you will find.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine coin, at first glance, will look exactly like an Uncirculated coin. Under closer inspection by an expert, however, these coins will show small signs of damage and wear. Despite this, Extremely Fine two-cent pieces are amongst the most sought after by collectors.
Fine: If a coin is awarded a Fine grade, it is a coin that spent some time in circulation, but is still in decent shape. So while these coins might show visible signs of wear and tear, including some smoothing, they will still have withstood the test of time effectively.
Good: Good is the lowest grade a coin can receive. These coins will show plenty of damage, including scratching, chipping, and smoothing. While some of these coins will see their images almost completely worn away, others will see them remain decently intact. Despite their condition, these coins are highly sought after still.
If you want to know how much a graded 1869 two-cent piece will cost you, or how much yours is worth, this is something that will depend entirely upon the grade it receives. It goes without saying that the most well-preserved coins are also those that are worth the most. The chart below should help you gain a better understanding of how much a coin is worth based upon the grade it has received.
1869 Two Cent
|1869||$25||$40||$80||$125||Source: Red Book|