From this excellent art and design site that I stumbled upon recently, this is colossal, comes a post about hobo nickels. The history of these objects is quite fascinating and they make gorgeous little folk art pieces…




“Although the history of carving miniature bas relief sculptures into coins stretches back to the 18th century if not earlier, it was greatly popularized in the early 20th century with the introduction of the Buffalo nickel. This particular coin was minted using soft metal and was imprinted with the portrait of an indian with bold features, making it easier to deface and transform into the portraits of other people, animals, or even scenery. Add to that the idle hands of unemployed artists during the depression (thus, “hobo”) and soon a flood of curious numismatic treasures were born…”


For the complete piece click here. For more about hobo nickels click here to visit the Original Hobo Nickel Society.