Hobo Nickels: Then and Now

Hobo nickels were born from the creativity of transient workers in the early 1900s. Inspired by the Buffalo Nickel, these coins were carved by men looking to pass the time or create something to trade.Now, hobo nickels are considered folk art and can be valued at hundreds of dollars.

For decades, carvers have tried to emulate the work of artists such as Bertram “Bert” Wiegand and George Washington “Bo” Hughes. However, the coins altered by Bert and Bo hold special value considering the quality of their craft and the fact that these two men truly lived the hobo lifestyle.

Now, artisans create hobo nickels to maintain the tradition. These new craftsmen may not use the Buffalo Nickel that inspired Bert and Bo, but their carvings on modern coinage are certainly inspired by the two fathers of the hobo nickel.

If you’re interested in modern day hobo nickels, check out these silver rounds that honor the tradition:

  • 1 oz Silver Fisherman Hobo Nickel
  • 1 oz Silver Train Hobo Nickel