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Two Cent Pieces - Two Cents

Two Cents - James Longacre designed the two cent coin. It was the first United States coin to have the IN GOD WE TRUST motto. The design is similar to the shield nickel of the same time period that was also designed by Longacre. The obverse shows a large shield with a ribbon at the top on which the motto is inscribed. Behind the shield are two arrows, and an olive branch. The date is below. The reverse shows a wreath surrounding the denomination that is written as 2 CENTS. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are around the coin near the periphery.

When Longacre first came to work at the Mint in 1844, he was opposed by Franklin Peale, the Chief Coiner. Peale was probably responsible for some blundered dies that Longacre was criticized for making. Peal was involved in a private, illegal medal manufacturing business using Mint facilities. He was concerned that this new political appointee would interfere with his business, and he resisted Longacre’s appointment as Chief Engraver. In the end Peale was found out and fired in 1854. Longacre flourished in his position and was responsible for creating many new designs including the Indian Head cent, the two-cent piece, the Shield nickel, the Liberty Head gold dollar, the Indian Princess gold dollar, the three-dollar gold piece, and the Liberty Head double eagle.

Two Cent Pieces - Two Cents (1864-1873)

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