The two-cent piece was the first coin to incorporate the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST.” Originally issued in 1864 with a mintage of 20 million, the coin decreased in mintage every year, finally ending its short run in 1873.
Three-cent pieces, also known as trimes, are the smallest U.S. silver coins, and were also the first coins to be issued without a depiction of Lady Liberty. First appearing in 1851, trimes consisted of low-grade silver, but they became 90% silver in 1854. A shortage in silver during the Civil War period resulted in the hoarding of these silver coins, and trimes were ultimately retired by the Coinage Act of 1873.
To bridge the gap during wartime silver hoarding, the U.S. Mint issued 11 million three-cent copper-nickel coins in 1865. This coin was exactly the same diameter as the dime, which led to confusion upon the introduction of mechanical vending machines. By 1889, the demand for this denomination declined significantly due to the postage rate dropping to two cents.