Kickstarting modern hobo coins

Artist Chris Ovdiyenko has created a series of modern hobo nickels based on "some of the most iconic coins," imagining what they would look like if they were overengraved by someone with a delightfully morbid sensibility.

He's fully funded and has unlocked a lot of high-ticket stretch goals. The coins start at $14, and he's successfully shipped three other kickstarters -- all custom decks of cards -- and, in another guise, was responsible for these amazing coins (which I own!), so he seems like a good bet for your crowdfunding dollars.

The ‘R.I.P.’ - 1922 Peace Dollar
Arguably the most beautiful coin ever produced, the U.S. Peace Dollar was originally produced to commemorate the peace that followed World War One. My rendition features a skull portrait (keeping the radiant crown) on the front (obverse), and two skeletal hands breaking a rifle on the back (reverse). Interesting to note that the ‘broken rifle’ was abstracted into the Peace Symbol we know today. Rest in Peace! Aged with an antique silver-finish. As with all the coins, this is a 39mm die-struck, hefty 12 gauge coin.

The ‘Bad Mojo’ - 1936 Buffalo Nickel
My take on the classic buffalo nickel hobo coin (popular because it was a ‘soft’ coin to carve), features a skeleton Chief with a no-nonsense attitude on the front, and an intricately carved buffalo skeleton on the back. Aged with an antique silver-finish. As with all the coins, this is a 39mm die-struck, hefty 12 gauge coin.

The ‘Walking Reaper’ - 1936 Walking Liberty Half Dollar
Scares the sh*t outta me—and that’s a good thing! Based on what is considered one the most beautiful coins of all time, the Walking Liberty Dollar. Front side (obverse) features a grim reaper you never want to meet, and the back of the coin shows a Poe-esque scene with a raven. Nevermore! Aged with an antique silver-finish. As with all the coins, this is a 39mm die-struck, hefty 12 gauge coin.

The ‘Old Hobo’ - 1891 Morgan Dollar
Even hobos like a drink! The front face (obverse) of the coin features a hobo skeleton enjoying a pint. The back side (reverse) shows a skeleton hobo chilling in a box car with his loyal dog companion. Aged with an antique silver-finish. As with all the coins, this is a 39mm die-struck, hefty 12 gauge coin.

Hobo Coins [Chris Ovdiyenko/Kickstarter]

(Thanks, Joseph Francis!)

Notable Replies

  1. The coins are beautiful, I certainly do want them.

    just a note though, unlike real hobo coins, these are not legal tender and are not actually engraved, rather they are stamped "replicas" and would more accurately be described as commemorative reproductions of hobo style coins. They won't compare to the real carved coins on etsy, but they will still be cool to add to any collection.

  2. All I've got is a five.

  3. Love the designs, but I'd only buy these $14 coins if I could purchase them for 5 low, low monthly payments of $9.99, plus $5.99 shipping and handling. Franklin Mint for hipsters.

  4. Interesting to note that the ‘broken rifle’ was abstracted into the Peace Symbol we know today.

    That's one variety. I've also heard that it's an upsidedown cross that's been broken for good measure ( Thank you, Jack chick!)

    The most plausible origin story for this symbol I've heard, is that it's the superimposed semaphore letters, N and D for nuclear disarmament, that was later adopted as the peace sign.

  5. Meh-ers gotta meh.

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