Two-cent piece (United States)
The two-cent piece was produced by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1864 to 1872 and for collectors in 1873. Designed by James B. Longacre, there were decreasing mintages each year, as other minor coins such as the nickel proved more popular. It was abolished by the Mint Act of 1873.
The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused government-issued coins, even the non-silver Indian Head cent, to vanish from circulation, hoarded by the public. One means of filling this gap was private token issues, often made of bronze. The cent at that time was struck of a copper-nickel alloy, the same diameter as the later Lincoln cent, but somewhat thicker. The piece was difficult for the Philadelphia Mint to strike, and Mint officials, as well as the annual Assay Commission, recommended the coin's replacement. Despite opposition from those wishing to keep the metal nickel in the coinage, led by Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1864, authorizing bronze cents and two-cent pieces.
Although initially popular in the absence of other federal coinage, the two-cent piece's place in circulation was usurped by other non-precious metal coins which Congress subsequently authorized, the three-cent piece and the nickel. It was abolished in 1873; large quantities were redeemed by the government and melted. Nevertheless, two-cent pieces remain inexpensive by the standards of 19th-century American coinage.
All two-cent pieces were minted at the Philadelphia Mint, and bore no mint mark. Proof mintages are estimated.
Year Proofs Circulation strikes
1864 100 19,822,500
1865 500 13,640,000
1866 725 3,177,000
1867 625 2,938,750
1868 600 2,803,750
1869 600 1,546,500
1870 1,000 861,250
1871 960 721,250
1872 950 65,000
1873 Closed "3" 500
1873 Open "3" 600
Small / Large Motto 1864 2 Cent
Your 1864 2 cent coin value changes dramatically depending on the size of the Motto. The Small Motto is the more rarer of the two varieties, minimum value $144 in good condition. Its popularity to collectors has stood the test of time.
The distinction between the Small Motto and Large Motto at first is hard to detect.
Starting with the Small Motto image. A few features to notice are, the lettering is not very bold. Spacing between letters is a little wide. Evident in the "WE" of the motto. The "T" in TRUST is very close to the fold in the ribbon.
The Large Motto lettering is more bold compared to the somewhat frail Small Motto lettering. The spacing is tighter, "WE" fills more of the ribbon. The "T" in TRUST is noticeably distant of the fold in the ribbon.
With the 1864 2 cent coin value ranging from $10 into the hundreds and all depending on the size of the motto. Put your coins under the magnifying glass. Don't let these slip by you.
To quickly understand some of the differences that gives the 2 cent coin value, as well as all coins, visit rare coin dealer sites. Look for and compare coins similar to yours. Their descriptions are quite telling.