Introducing The Mystic

By Arturo DelFavero RM552

In September of 2010, I had the good fortune of winning a beautiful hobo nickel on eBay. Instantly I recognized that there was a match to this coin on page 44 of book two (The Hobo Nickel by Joyce Ann Romines). Ultimately I found this plate coin belonged to Don Haley. At the time I was prepared to bid as much as $350, but it only took $256 with shipping included. It took a couple of years, but in February of 2014 two more showed up. Fred Avan had purchased one in a private sale, and Ralph Winter found a specimen in his collection that he purchased on eBay in 2005. If you look at the face of the coins subject, you will see a man that appears to be in a trance, almost as if he is gazing into the future. Over much pondering it came to me, this man was the fortune teller in the hobo jungle, and everyone called him "The Mystic."

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The carving characteristics for "The Mystic" are as follows:

  1. A face that appears to be in a trance, mostly because of eye modifications.
  2. A hat with blunt ends on the brim.
  3. A hat band that features a band with minor adornments.
  4. A longer engraved ear.
  5. Punched hair, beard, moustache, and eyebrow.
  6. Slight cut behind the nostril.
  7. Mouth end turned down.
  8. Wide and curved V collar.
  9. Early dated nickels for host coins.
  10. LIBERTY and Date left intact.