The two-cent piece was introduced in 1864. Made in bronze, it was designed by Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, and was the first circulating United States coin to bear the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. At the time, coins were scarce in circulation, and silver and gold issues were entirely absent. It was felt that the two-cent piece would prove to be very popular as a companion to the Indian Head cent. However, the introduction of the nickel three-cent piece in 1865 negated much of this advantage, the production of two-cent pieces declined, and by 1873, when the denomination was discontinued, their only coinage consisted of Proofs for collectors.
A full “type set” of the two-cent piece consists of but a single coin. Most available in Mint State are the issues of 1864 and 1865, often seen with original mint orange color fading to natural brown. Proofs are available for all years.