The 1873 Two Cent Piece (Buy on eBay) represented the final issue of the short-lived series. This date was only produced in proof format for collectors and not struck for circulation. Similar to other 1873 proof coinage, the issue comes in two distinct varieties. These are denoted as “Close 3” and “Open 3”, indicating the shape of the number “3” within the date.
The Close 3 variety is believed to have a mintage of approximately 600 pieces, of which some were melted after the discontinuation of the denomination. The Open 3 variety is believed to have been produced at a later date as a restrike, with an estimated mintage of 500 pieces.
The issue shows elevated demand as a proof-only issue. Gems with original red surfaces are rare as most show scattered brown toning on both sides and are graded as such by the major grading companies.
- Designer: James B. Longacre
- Composition: 95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc
- Weight: 6.22 grams
- Diameter: 23 mm
- Edge: Plain