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−by American Numismatic Association
From... Ben Smith, Museum Assistant, American Numismatic Association
The History and Romance of Hobo Nickels Exhibit” ~ Excerpts
Hobo Nickels
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Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Hobo nickels are generally “Buffalo” nickels, issued between 1913 and 1938 that have been hand carved using the design of either the Indian or the Buffalo as a base. The big Indian head on these coins was a radical departure from previous designs, and provided a large thick planchet and high relief profile for artists to work on, which allowed for finer detail work.
Each hobo nickel is a unique work of art: the Indian has been converted into clowns, women, other Indians, friends and loved ones, bearded men,
ethnic figures, famous people, self portraits and, most commonly,
bearded men with bowler hats. The Buffalo has been turned into donkeys,
turtles, elephants, boxcars or hobos with packs on their backs, among others.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Collecting Hobo Nickels
From the collector抯 point of view there are three major categories in collecting hobo nickels: classic hobos, modern hobos, and hobo tokens. For the purposes of this exhibit, classic hobos cover the period from when the Buffalo nickels
first began to be carved into the 1950s, while modern hobos encompass those coins carved since then. Hobo tokens are a recent development created
first by Del Romines and since produced for the annual meetings of
the Original Hobo Nickel Society (OHNS).
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Click to view an enlargement of this photograph.
Modern Carvers
Today, engravers such as Ron Landis of the Gallery Mint Museum in Eureka Springs, Arkansas continue to keep the tradition of Hobo nickel carving alive with their spectacular modern works. There are a number of hobo nickel engravers/carvers still active today. In fact, over the past few years the number of “carvers” has increased. Unlike the “Classic carvers” of the early 1900s some of today's carvers use punches or hand-held electric engraving tools such as the Dremel. Many, however, still carve their nickels with hand tools.
Click on photograph to view all three exhibit panels.
From... Gail Baker, Manager of Market and Brand Development, American Numismatic Association
Click to view an expanded view of all three exhibit panels.
Click to view this anouncement.
Click to view this announcement.

As a part of its mission, the ANA Money Museum circulates a
number of small, easily transported traveling exhibits for circulation
to ANA member clubs, museums, schools, libraries, and banks.
The exhibits should be booked at least 6 to 8 weeks
in advance of the exhibit dates.
Loan periods are flexible.
Webpage last updated:   Tuesday, October 3, 2006