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Introducing “Wrinkles”     −by Don Wolfe RM981
{ from  Summer 2011 BoTales }
   The first coin of this carver has been in my collection for a few years. I was able to purchase the second coin from Owen Covert when I saw the distinctive resemblance to the coin I already had. I talked with Art DelFavero about the coins and sent him pictures. He was able to locate a match for the third one. After looking at the coins, I decided that I liked the name “Wrinkles” because of the lines in the face are so similar.
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   The Carving Characteristics for “Wrinkles” are listed as follows:
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Additional “Wrinkles” Carving
    1) High domed hat with the brim that comes to a point at the front and back. The brim may or may not have horizontal lines cut into it.
    2) The hat band does not have a bow but has horizontal lines cut into it for shading.
    3) Liberty and dates are still on coins, but various dates were used.
    4) Hair and beard are punched.
    5) Profile is altered at the bridge of the nose.
    6) The collar is comprised of two slightly curved but parallel lines with interior lines cut in for shading.
    7) The ear is in the approximate center of the head and has the center cut out.
    8) The field has been smoothed.
    9) And of course the wrinkle lines cut into the forehead, at the corner of the eye, and at the side of the nose and mouth.
Introducing “Diamond Jim”     −Marc Banks RM538 with Warren Stabler RM848
{ from  Summer 2011 BoTales }
   Among several original hobo nickels I purchased at the ANA show in Boston this past year was a carving of a bearded man wearing a derby with a stick pin by an unknown carver. Lines emanating from the stick pin suggest a diamond. Having seen this attribute before, I began looking through old auction lots and guide books for similar carvings possibly done by the same individual. I was lucky and found a match on page 34 of Steve Alpert's Guide Book. This same nickel was Lot #76 in the 2001 OHNS Auction. Pictures of the two nickels appeared in the “Three is a match” column in the 2011 Volume of BoTales. Art DelFavero located another example in the OHNS Archives. This third specimen is in the collection of Warren Stabler. I am naming this carver “Diamond Jim” after the distinctive stick pin.
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   In addition to the distinctive stick pin, carvings by “Diamond Jim” possess the following Carving Characteristics:
    1) An altered profile, eye and nostril.
    2) An ear that extends up into the brim of the hat, the ear has a thick outer edge.
    3) A domed hat with a brim that is upturned on the side and rounded (three dimensional) front and back.
    4) A narrow hat band formed by two lines − two examples also possess a small rectangle and a feathered edge.
    5) The beard and eyebrow are punched different sized punches and/or a multi-pointed graver/liner tool were employed.
    6) The beard ends in a point in front of the chin.
    7) The collars have a triangular fold.
    8) Accent lines are found to varying degrees on the hat, collar, lapel, jacket and the field behind the head on the three examples. The Stabler coin also has cross-checking on the jacket. The specimen from the Boston show also displays a button hole on the lapel.
Introducing “Lucky Strike”     −by Art DelFavero RM522
{ from  Summer 2011 BoTales }
   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?
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   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.”
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   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) Modifications to the profile.
    3) All are smoking cigarettes with smoke trail.
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    4) All have complex collars, bow ties, and an attached lapel that leads to the coins rim.
    5) All have shoulders.
    6) Dates and Liberty have been removed.
    7) Graved hair, beard, and moustache.
    8) Altered eyes.
    9) Nice clean fields.
   10) Long ears.
   11) Peening and liner graver work used.