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Hobo Life

 


Hobo Nickels

Hobos altered buffalo nickels by carving new faces into the metal where the Indian head was stamped. Sometimes they changed the buffalo, too—for example, into a man with a pack and walking stick.  These little works of art were well received during the Great Depression, and hobos used them as a currency that bought them more than a nickel’s worth of something.
 

Original hobo nickels are highly prized today, and a subculture of contemporary carvers still carry on the craft today, using “good” nickels from the first three decades of the twentieth century. Like their predecessors, today’s carvers command a lot more than a nickel for their coins.

The coins pictured above are by contemporary carver Owen Covert.


Click the link below to view a showcase of hobo nickels by other carvers.

www.hobonickels.org/showcase.htm