Login

CC's Blog

25 May 2022

The History of Two and Three Cent Pieces

Coins | CC

The History of Two and Three Cent Pieces

Two and three cent pieces played an important role in our nation's coinage, and are classified as "obsolete coinage" by collectors. The first two cent coins were struck in 1864, and were the first American coins to feature In God We Trust on the obverse. They were made out of bronze, and were one of the most short-lived types of United States coinage. The shield design on the obverse is very similar to the design of the Shield nickel from 1866-1883. A portion of the 1864 two cents were struck with a Small Motto, which created a rare variety. Two cents were minted until 1973, but all 1873 were proofs, and are extremely valuable. They are a fun addition to any collector's type set. There were two types of three cent pieces minted—the silver "trimes" and the nickel three cents. The silver "trimes" were minted from 1851 to 1873, and were minted because of the cost of postage stamps—three cents each. By using these "trimes," citizens could buy a postage stamp with one coin-instead of using three cents of six half cents! Unfourtinetly, there coins were hoarded by the public, and so were very short-lived. The "trimes" were the smallest American coin ever issued, and the design is like no other. It features a six-pointed star with the legend "United States of America" and the date on the obverse. On the reverse, it features a curved crescent moon with the number three in roman numerals. Varieties 2 and 3 feature an olive sprig above III and a bundle of arrows below. Nearly the entire production of these non-proof silver three cents from 1863 to 1872 was melted in 1873. Nickel three cents were the government's solution to the hoarding of the silver "trimes." They were minted overlapping with the silver trimes, because all silver coins were being hoarded during the war, and people needed coins to buy stamps and other such things. They were minted from 1865-1889, and were discontinued in 1889 along with the gold 3-dollar coin. Not many noticed the change, and the coins soon faded out of circulation and became history. The design features Lady Liberty of the obverse with the legend "United States of America" and the date, and the Roman Numeral III surrounded by a wreath on the reverse. I have a worn example of all of these in my collection that are in the pictures, and these are a very fun type of obsolete coinage to collect! I hope you enjoyed! (If you guys notice any editing mistakes please post the m in the comments:)

Sources: The Red Book,http://www.acoincollection.com/history-of-the-three-cent-nickel/,https://threecentnickel.com/

Comments

Long Beard

Level 5

We live at a time when both of these obsolete denominations should be reissued to replace the costly cent. Sad that the Treasury Department has yet to realize as much.

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

Coins that really tell the history of the country. Imagine who might have held them?

Jackson14

Level 4

Great blog! Thanks I enjoyed reading it!

CheerioCoins

Level 5

Great blog! Very informational and interesting. Thanks!

Kepi

Level 6

Nice blog! Cool coins! Thanks for the information. ; )

Longstrider

Level 6

Nicely done. I also like "obsolete" cons. Thanks .

CC

Level 4

also I just realized the 3 cent nickel in the pic is actually a 1867

CC

Level 4

yes I agree with MoKe about the In God We Trust:)

It's Mokie

Level 6

I particularly like the two cent piece, it's standing as the first coin to state In God We Trust and its birth during our Civil War give it great meaning along with an excellent design. Thanks for sharing your research.

Mike

Level 7

Good information. Some of those obsolete coins in high grades go for good money! Its all condition. Thanks for the blog.

AC coin$

Level 6

Great blog . Interesting coins . Thanks for sharing .

Tags
    No tags are attached to this post.
We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.