Introducing Lucky Strike

By Art DelFavero RM522

It was Thursday the 22nd of April 2010 and I had family and work obligations that kept me from going to the Michigan State Numismatic Society (MSNS) Spring Convention until Saturday the 24th. By Friday, my good friend Ralph Winter had already nabbed eight hobo nickels. It was also brought to my attention that a few other collectors had been seen searching the floor and having some success. Thoughts of failure and lost opportunity were flowing through my head. Was everything gone? Was it even worth going at such a late hour?

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

Now at the show, at the third stop down the first aisle, I was heavily engaged in a conversation and another dealer that was in close proximity overheard us. He chimed in “I have a hobo nickel but I may have sold it. I just can't remember. I'll look around.” At this point, the dealer, a huge man named Coleman Foster, left the scene without hardly making a noise. Just two booths away, again in conversation, I was approached by the aforementioned dealer's helper. She said to me, "Coleman found this and he wants $345." In total concealed hysteria I calmly asked, "Is that the best you can do?" and she replied, "Yes!" To that I said, "I guess I can do that."

Click to view enlargment. After receiving this superior hobo nickel, which depicts a man smoking a cigarette, I felt compelled to locate other similar carvings. Steve Alpert came up with a match that he purchased for $450 in September of 2001. This same carving was also used as the model on one of the OHNS pin-back buttons. About nine months after my purchase, while searching our club's website, I spotted an amazing two-sided specimen with a matching obverse and a pig carved on the reverse. Thinking to myself, it hit me what a lucky strike this has all been. "Lucky Strike" is the name I have chosen for our newest nicknamed carver. Not only does it represent the way this all came about, but it also alludes to the name of a nostalgic brand of smoky treats.

The Carving Characteristics for "Lucky Strike" are listed as follows:

  1. Nice sculpted derby hats with bows and turned down brims.
  2. Click to view enlargment.
  3. Modifications to the profile.
  4. All are smoking cigarettes with smoke trail.
  5. All have complex collars, bow ties, and an attached lapel that leads to the coins rim.
  6. All have shoulders.
  7. Dates and Liberty have been removed.
  8. Graved hair, beard, and moustache.
  9. Altered eyes.
  10. Nice clean fields.
  11. Long ears.
  12. Peening and liner graver work used.