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Introducing Zee Gouger


By Arturo DelFavero RM552

On May 10, 2009 I purchased a hobo nickel off of eBay for the price of $68 including shipping. As I remember, the photo for this auction wasn't the best which, in my belief, worked to my benefit by yielding me this better hammer price. Recognizing this artist's work, I was willing to pay much as $175 which was my bid cap for this auction.

Shortly after receiving my coin, Owen Covert contacted me and told me that he had a similar rendering that he had purchased for $57, and that he would be emailing me a photo for confirmation. Owen turned out to be correct and of course this prompted a massive search for the other specimen that I had remembered seeing. Frustrated and exhausted, after exploring all the usual avenues, our search came up fruitless. At this point Owen and I decided to submit our coins to the “Three is a Match” section in the upcoming Fall 2009 “BoTales.” This decision turned the tide, and shortly after receiving his “BoTales”, Don Wolfe produced two more matches, one of which he had purchased for $47, thus bringing our average price to $57.33.

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The carving characteristics for “Zee Gouger” are listed as follows:

  1. A gouged* or scooped out large ear.
  2. A running or lazy looking side ways Zee* on the collar (three specimens).
  3. Enhanced nostril.
  4. Minor changes to profile.
  5. High collars.
  6. A domed Derby hat with vertical lines on hat band (three specimens).
  7. Punched hair, beard and moustache with hair running atop of forehead.
  8. Use of gravers point, round, and liner.
  9. Liberty remains on all date removed on three.
  10. A wedge shaped head between hat and collar.

* “Zee Gouger” name was derived from the running Zee collar and the gouged out ear.