Introducing Franken Bo

By Arturo DelFavero, RM552

Back in 1997 the then editor would feature some of the stand out Quality Designation submissions in "BoTales;" this was the case with our first example shown below. Shortly after being showcased, an enamored member of our club took out a personal ad which publicly showed his interest in said coin. I myself was always drawn to this particular rendering that is also shown in the Joyce Ann Romines book on page 85. Not only was the workmanship great, but this coin had a certain feature, a mole or dot on the subject's neck.

Needless to say, I was very excited to win one for the price of $245 when another example of this coin finally surfaced on eBay in May of 2010 (second example shown). My example turned out to be gold plated and quite dirty from some exposure to whom knows what. After some careful cleaning, it was restored to a much crisper and original looking specimen.

Fast forwarding one year and much to my surprise, another example showed up again on eBay. This time "Guido," A.K.A. Fred Avan, recorded the win for the amount of $209. Now that the trifecta was complete, all that was needed was a name.

For nicknaming our new friend, my initial thought was "The Mole." During a conversation about the third specimen, Marc Banks pointed out that the mole or dot in the neck area resembled one of the electrodes on Frankenstein's monster. Marc then said what about "Franken Bo?" To this I replied, "It's Alive!" "It's Alive!" And now the rest is hobo nickel history.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.

The carving characteristics for "Franken Bo" are listed as follows:

  1. Mole on neck.
  2. Dot in the center of hat.
  3. Double Bow on hat.
  4. Cross hatching at base of neck and hat band area.
  5. On early dated Buffalo nickels.
  6. Field wiped clean.
  7. Pear shaped ear with inner detail.
  8. Collars and shoulder area enhanced.
  9. Pointy beard.
  10. Punched and engraved features.
  11. Slightly curved down hat brim.
  12. Nose enhanced slightly.
  13. Overall carving grade Above Average to Above Average (High).