Introducing Needle Ear


By Arturo DelFavero RM552, Owen Covert RM686, and Ralph Winter LM37

The nickname "Needle Ear" was selected for this early artist based of the shape of the ear, narrow at the bottom with a loop at the top, somewhat resembling the top of a sewing needle.

Click to view enlargment. Click to view enlargment.

The diagnostic characteristics of a "Needle Ear" hobo nickel are:

  1. The distinctive narrow ear.
  2. A bold hat with a narrow brim with blunt ends, and a hat band with a wide bow.
  3. A large area of punched hair and beard.
  4. A short collar created by two straight parallel grooves.
  5. An altered profile consisting of a deep notch at the top of the nose, an enlarged nostril, and enhanced mouth.

"Needle Ear" hobo nickels are found on 1913 nickels.

For additional specimens of nickels by "Needle Ear" see Joyce Romines' book, page 85, last coin on third row, and OHNS Auction 7, Jan. 1999, lot 41.