Introduction the OHNS

Thank you for your interest in the Original Hobo Nickel Society! We would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the society.

We all share an appreciation for Hobo nickels! These unique pieces of metal combine the fields of numismatics, folk art, and history. The Indian head nickel is one of the most admired of all U.S. coins. Its design is true Americana! The years of its reign, 1913 to 1938, takes us through some of the most memorable periods in the history of the United States; the first World War, Prohibition and the Roaring 20's, and the Great Depression. These are times we must not forget. Each hobo nickel is unique as they were all individually hand carved, using the design of either the Indian or the buffalo as a base, and altering it to another design altogether.

The OHNS was formed at the 1992 ANA Summer Conference in Colorado Springs, after Bill Fivaz presented a slide show on hobo nickels. The goals of the Society were to start a newsletter (BoTales, now published quarterly), begin a hobo nickel evaluation service, educate numismatists and the general public about hobo nickels, and conduct an annual auction of hobo nickels to raise money to sponsor ANA scholarships for young numismatists.

In the early 1980's, after articles and the first book on hobo nickels appeared, several people began creating copies of the old hobo nickels. These are fairly easy to recognize as modern. But since 1995, some very talented engravers have been producing beautiful original design carvings, some of which are worth as much as the nice old original specimens, which they may resemble. The OHNS is devoted to collectors of all hobo nickels, both old and modern.

Member Benefits

Included is a subscription to our quarterly journal BoTales and the annual auction catalogue. Each issue of BoTales (except for the December auction catalogue issue) contains news, illustrated articles on hobo nickels and the artists who made (or currently make) them, articles on hobo history and related collectibles (such as old hobo postcards and modern struck hobo tokens), historic old hobo cartoons, recent sales information, and more! Members may participate in our auction, submit articles, and buy our annual hobo tokens and publications often at a discount. We have about 300 active members, and welcome more. The club is educational, service oriented, charitable, and fun!

We hope you will become an involved member of the Original Hobo Nickel Society!


Code of Ethics


Archie Taylor Scholarship

Del Romines Summer Seminar Scholarship

ANA Life Membership Certificate