This is an example of the 1836 two cent design in billon. The obverse die shows the 'A' in 'States' punched over an erroneous 'E' .
Restrikes were made starting in the late 1850s and probably later as well with the latest examples struck after the obverse die shattered.
They exist in the following combinations:
Billon with plain edge J52/P55 with about 2 dozen or so known.
Billon with reeded edge J53/P54 also with about 2 dozen or so known. Some of these were struck from a different reeded edge which Alan Meghrig describes as a broached edge.
Original pieces in billon were supposedly 10% silver and 90% copper. The illustrated example, believed to be a later restrike, is from the Bryon Reed collection and was determined to be 42% silver and 58% copper.
Copper with plain edge J54/P57 with about 2 dozen or so known from a broken state of the obverse die. According to Judd, some of these were silver plated or pickled (mercury plated or dipped).
Copper with reeded edge J55/P56 with about a half dozen or so known. According to Judd, some of these were silver plated or pickled (mercury plated or dipped).
Copper-nickel with plain edge J54A/P55A/AW56. Judd believed these were misdescriptions of the billon coins. This is believed to be a restrike made in the late 1850s or early 1860s on cent planchets of the period. An example was in Bowers and Merena's 8/95 sale and another is in the Byron Reed collection.
Copper-nickel with reeded edge J54B/P55B/AW57. Judd believed these were misdescriptions of the billon coins. This is believed to be a restrike made in the late 1850s or early 1860s on cent planchets of the period. An example was in the Eliasberg sale. These were possibly reeded after striking.
White Metal (or tin-washed copper) with plain edge J56/P59 with only 2 or 3 known. See note below.
White Metal (or tin-washed copper) with reeded edge J56A/P58 with only 3 or 4 known. See note below.
Note: These last 2 may be tin-washed copper. Researcher Craig Sholley has a letter dated in December of 1836 which notes that "Peale prepare new dies send him samples struck in copper, billon and tin-wash copper". Analysis and specific gravity tests are recommended for any piece described as white metal.
Adams and Woodin listed one in silver AW59 but this is believed to be either a billon or copper piece which was silver plated.
Photo from the Byron Reed Collection; owned by the City of Omaha, Nebraska; on loan to The Durham Museum.