Introducing Harpoon Collar

By Don Wolfe RM981

I saw a coin in the 2014 FUN auction that resembled a nickel I had in my collection. What caught my eye was the distinct jaw line of the nickel. I won the mail bid for auction Lot #95 for $258.50. When I finally received the nickel, I did a side by side comparison of the two and saw then that the most distinct feature was the way the collar had been made. I felt I had a match so I sent pictures to Art DelFavero for his opinion. He agreed and soon found a similar one in his collection. Art said he purchased his nickel at the 2012 FUN show for $175. I felt all were done by the same carver and the most prominent feature on all three was the collar. The lines of the collar are cut in a way that it looks like the tip of a harpoon or arrow.

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The carving characteristics for "Harpoon Collar" are as follows:

  1. The collar is open at the front forming a V. It is well developed and the most distinctly common feature on all three. The lines on the collar are cut so that the collar of the coat and the collar of what would be the shirt forms a shape that resembles the point of a harpoon or arrow, thus the name "Harpoon Collar."
  2. Hat has slightly rounded top but straight sides. Hat band is on all three, but only two have a carved bow. The straight brim of hat is slightly angled downward on two of the three.
  3. Punched hair, beard and eyebrows.
  4. Distinct jaw line on all and a well-made ear.
  5. Two examples have little or no alteration to the profile. The third example has some modification and a slightly enlarged nostril.
  6. LIBERTY has been removed, but dates are still visible; fields are clean and relatively smooth.
  7. All are done on early date coins, 1913 and 1915.