Estate Jewelry Spotlight!
We want to start giving you some more information on our beautiful estate pieces. We will be posting on social media about these stunning pieces, however we will be using the blog to dive more into the details.
For our first estate spotlight we will be talking about one of our lovely coin pendants, the two cent piece pendant.
The two cent piece was produced by the United States Mint from 1864 to 1873. While the coin was used primarily for circulation purposes, those minted in 1873 were produced with collectors in mind.
1864 is the most common date to be found on the two cent piece. 1864 was the first year of the coins mintage and the US Mint made over 20 million of these two cent pieces. There were two varieties produced, large motto and small motto with the small motto being less common of the two varieties.
Thee two cent piece was designed by James B. Longacre and the idea of the two cent piece was proposed by Uriah Tracy, a Connecticut senator in 1806. The bill Tracy wrote for the two cent piece said, that they were to be made of bullion, or debased silver. However the bill was opposed by the Mint Director at the time Robert Patterson, because it would be difficult to refine the silver from melted down pieces, also he thought it would be hard to prevent counterfeiting.
They finally landed on producing the two cent piece made of a copper-nickel alloy. The coin was in circulation and commonly used until all federal coinage seemed to vanish from circulation in much of the United States around 1861 and 1862, this was during the economic turmoil of the American Civil War. The main reason for this turmoil was because Northerners feared that if the war ended poorly than paper money and government bonds might become worthless. To fill the gap of not using government money many things such a private 'tokens' were used. The government officials at the time took notice of this, so in 1863 they attempted to restore coins to circulation.
The 'IN GOD WE TRUST' motto was first seen on the two cent piece. Reverend Mark R. Watkison of Ridleyvill, Pennsylvania wrote to the treasury secretary at the time, Salmon P. Chase, saying that making a reference to God on the coinage in the time of war would me keep the people calm about their fear of money becoming worthless. Chase then wrote to the then Mint director Pollock, "you will cause a device to prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest tersest terms possible this national recognition."
There were many designs presented but Chase landed on IN GOD WE TRUST and OUR GOD OUR COUNTRY. Chase said "The devices are beautiful and appropriate and the motto on each such as well who fear god and love their country will approve". The motto became so popular and loved by the country as Chase said that in 1865 congress passed legislation for "In God We Trust" to be put on all coins.
The front of the coin says IN GOD WE TRUST which is displayed on a ribbon above the shield and arrows on the obverse with the date appearing directly below the shield. The reverse side bears a simple wreath surrounding the statement of value 2 CENTS and encircled, in turn, by United States of America,