This year marks the return after 27 years of the 2 cent piece. It also marks the use of aluminum, tin and the 75% copper, 25% nickel alloy which we are familiar with today. It also marks the beginning date of more mint shenanigans.

The Mint made its first tests to remove copper-nickel from the one cent piece using bronze on J299/P359. The Mint also produced reeded edge cents J300/P360-P362.

As mentioned above, the 2 cent pattern returned with 2 major obverse designs, George Washington J306/P371

and a shield J312/P377

A bronze three cent pattern using the old large cent obverse design was produced J319/P384

The bronze one cent, 2 cent and 3 cent pieces making a new minor set weighing about 48 grains per cent of copper. The 2 cent would be approved for the next year, the 3 cent was rejected as being too large or too much like the old large cent.

"Token" 10 cent pieces for the redemption of fractional currency notes were made in various compositions including aluminum, tin and copper-nickel. J328/P398 Those proposed in silver were worth only about 6 cents.

The half dollar and dollar "God our Trust" patterns were repeated again J338/P410 with the 10 dollars also struck in gold J350/P422 and J352/P424.

1863 dated quarters, half dollars and dollars with the reverse design with "In God We Trust" above the eagle's head as used from 1866-1891 are known and were actually struck circa 1869 and into the early 1870s deliberately for sale to collectors.

As part of the sale of these, the mint also produced backdated "trials" of the cent (1863-L), 2 cent, 3 cent, half dime and dime to include them with the above as needed. These backdated dies were made from hubs having the open "D" in "United" for the 3 cent and half dimes, the broken "S" in "States" for the dime, which are hubs from circa 1869, and a large motto obverse with "In God We Trust" J316/P381 for the 2 cent which is illustrated below.

These shenanigans would be repeated for 1864 dated coinage as well.

Photos used courtesy of Teletrade, the Durham Museum, Heritage, David Cassel and Superior.

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