Introducing Dots Beautiful

By Fred Avan RM908, Art DelFavero RM552 and Max Zalkin RM961

In an eBay auction in October of 2006, Art DelFavero won a nice hobo nickel, which was eventually nicknamed "Squiggly" (see BoTales Vol.17 No.3). In November of that year, the same seller contacted Art offering him another coin which the dealer had purchased from a friend. After meeting this dealer, and giving him $350 in cash, Art became the proud owner of the first "Dots Beautiful" specimen shown. Fast forwarding to the O.H.N.S. 2008 FUN show auction, which featured a "Dots Beautiful" as lot #58 gave us our second example shown. This lot sold to Max Zalkin for $577.50. Our third and final rendering came by way of eBay in October 2008, and was won by Fred Avan for the sum of $367. Average price for each was $431.50. Our personal quality assessment of each of these hobo nickel carvings is above average (high).

In the Summer 2007 issue of BoTales, Art wrote an article entitled "Bert Prisoner Nickel or Unnamed Talent?" That article compared two of these nickels to a specimen featured on page 54 of the Romines second book. Authenticator Steve Alpert stated this in Auction 16 about lot #58, "This specimen is illustrated in the summer 2007 BoTales, but is only slightly similar to the carvings attributed by Romines as Bert prisoner nickels."

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

The carving characteristics for "Dots Beautiful" are listed as follows:

  1. A heavily dotted field made by way of jewelers beading tool, "LIBERTY" and date remain intact.
  2. All are carved on 1913 coins.
  3. All have a lightning bolt shape under top collar line.
  4. All have a curved wide brim high dome derby hat with similar bows and band.
  5. All have nearly identical ears.
  6. Beard and hair is formed by using a crescent shaped punch rotated back and forth to create a wavy feel.
  7. All have slight amendments to the profile and nostril.
  8. All features are engraved and punched.
  9. All eyes are enhanced with a punch mark.