The two-cent piece was produced by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1864 to 1872 and for collectors in 1873. Designed by James B. Longacre, there were decreasing mintages each year, as other minor coins such as the nickelproved more popular. It was abolished by the Mint Act of 1873. Although initially popular in the absence of other federal coinage, the two-cent piece's place in circulation was usurped by other non-precious metal coins which Congress subsequently authorized, the three-cent piece and the nickel. It was abolished in 1873; large quantities were redeemed by the government and melted. Nevertheless, two-cent pieces remain inexpensive by the standards of 19th-century American coinage.