1864 Two Cent Piece, Small Motto

The 1864 Two Cent Piece comes in two distinct varieties identified by the size of the obverse motto “In God We Trust”. The “small motto” variety is the scarcer, while the “large motto” is more common.

The difference in size of the mottoes can be somewhat difficult to detect with the untrained eye. Certain points of comparison can be used for identification. The letter “D” within the motto appears the most comparatively smaller and has a narrower font on the small motto variety. Additionally the first “T” in the word “Trust” appears very close to the ribbon crease on the small motto variety, while there is a more noticeable gap on the large motto variety.

The 1864 “Small Motto” Two Cent Piece trades for a premium in all grades, but is especially difficult to find in uncirculated condition with original mint red coloration. Both varieties are also known in Proof condition where the 1864 small motto is the absolute key date of the two cent piece proof set.