Hobo Nickels

Hobo Nickels


Hobo nickels are coins that have been altered, usually by engraving. Since we started using coins for currency, humans have altered them. In 1913 the art form of altering buffalo nickels took off. The term “hobo nickel” was coined because Hobos in particular enjoyed this art form. Nickels were easy to come by, cheap and engraving on them passed time in the jungles along the track.

I call these earrings “Hobo nickels” in honor of the art form, but also in honor of my time spent along the tracks & on trains. I have always found solace in the sound of a freight trains, and since a young child I have altered coins for jewelry along side my Grandfather.

Flattened by the Norfolk Southern line in Athens, Ohio; I’ve drilled holes and sterling silver ear wires, making these one of the most perfect earrings. Each nickel is its own unique piece of art.

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