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The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 37, September 7, 2014, Article 24

A SOLID GOLD FAKE HOBO NICKEL

In the Fall 2014 issue of BoTales, the official publication of the Original Hobo Nickel Society (OHNS), editor Ralph Winter wrote the cover article about a very unusual item - a Hobo nickel made of gold! With permission, here’s the article. -Editor

“Daddy” Comes Home
By Ralph Winter, HLM37

In the spring 2011 issue of BoTales (Vol. 20, Issue 1), I shared that in December of 2010 I had bid on and won an unusual lot in a mail bid sale. The catalog had a so-so photo of the item described as, “Unusual original carved likeness of a shortened profile man in a round top derby with bow & band, modified ear, hair and features as well as collar and lapel. All fields nicely smoothed and entire coin has been gilt or gold plated.”

When I received the coin, I immediately determined that it was not a hobo nickel but was a cast fake of a hobo nickel. I initially was a little upset that I had paid so much for a “gold plated” cast fake. I was ready to return it to the auction house and get my money back.

I showed this golden fake to friend and OHNS member Art DelFavero. He immediately noticed how heavy it was, most unusual for fakes of this kind. I was really surprised when I had it weighed and the gold tested. My cast fake weighed 7.1 grams and was solid 22ct gold. The gold content alone was worth the price I paid in the mail bid auction. I brought my fake hobo with me to the 2011 FUN Convention and showed it to my fellow OHNS members.

In March or April of this year, OHNS member Chris Dempsey bought ten hobo nickels from a pocket coin dealer and collector of hobo nickels who lives in California.

One day Chris was looking through some old BoTales issues when he saw my original article. He said, “I own the nickel from which the fake was cast.” It was one of the ten he had bought. At some point after that, Chris made me aware he had acquired the “Daddy” to my golden cast fake.

Over the years I have collected several counterfeit or cast fake hobo nickels. Occasionally one shows up in our annual auction. I like showing them when I give talks or to new collectors to see how they differ from a genuine hobo nickels. It had always been my hope that I might someday fine the “parent” of one of my cast fakes.

Last month I was finally able to talk Chris into selling me the “parent” of my solid gold cast fake. I really do appreciate him doing so. Here it is pictured below. The gold fake is pictured left.

Daddy fake Hobo nickel Daddy original Hobo nickel
Gold fake, Original Hobo Nickel

For more information about the Original Hobo Nickel Society, see:
www.hobonickels.org



Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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