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[1863-1873] Two Cent Coins

Just as the British had issued Half-Penny, Penny and Two-Penny denominations so the United States had proposed to issue similar coins in Cent denominations. The first Two-Cent coin was proposed in 1806 and the denomination was proposed again in the Hard-Times of 1836. These proposed coins were to have been stuck in billon (a copper-silver alloy) but, as counterfeiting of such an alloy was deemed far too easy, the Two-cent denomination coins were never struck until the Mint director, James Pollock, himself proposed a design to be struck of French Bronze in 1863. This issuance was adopted and Longacre's Two-Cent pieces were minted the following year and continued to be minted until 1873. The Civil War and the demand for small denomination coins was the driving force behind the adoption of the unique denomination. Though they didn't actually attain full legal-tender status until 1865, the resolution of the Civil War also ended much of the demand for these minor coins and, once U.S. banks ceased requesting them, the series was discontinued.

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