Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

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Category Archives: Stories

The 1972 Sherlock Bones Hobo Dollar

The 1972 Sherlock Bones Hobo Dollar

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!'”

– The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)

Back in 1992, the Original Hobo Nickel Society was formed to promote the collecting of engraved buffalo nickels that had been produced prior to 1980. Most of these “original” nickels were engraved with nails, knifes, files and perhaps some punches. In the years since the OHNS was founded, there have been many modern hobo nickels (and not just nickels, almost any coin) created by talented artists using microscopes and power tools. Depending on the quality of the work, these modern hobo nickels can cost many hundred of dollars.

Pictured above is an engraved 1972 Eisenhower Dollar, with all of the original obverse removed except for the 1972 date. Engraved by Luis A. Ortiz, an engraver based in Easton, Pennsylvania, he calls this design “Sherlock Bones.” Ortiz engraves a “catalog” number on the reverse side of the coins he engraves and signs his name. He assigned the catalog of S1186 to this work – using the “S” prefix for his work on silver dollars. Unlike many other modern engravers, Ortiz also colorizes his artwork.

The design features Snoopy, from the classic cartoon strip of Peanuts, walking towards the left and wearing a deerstalker cap and a pipe in his mouth. Snoopy has passed the character of Freida.

Freida was a regular character in Peanuts during the 1960’s, but was phased out in the years that followed. Her last apperance in a strip was in 1985. Freida was “naturally curly” red hair and would not wear a baseball cap while on Charlie Brown’s baseball team, as it would cover her hair.

For those that would like to view more of Luis A. Ortiz’s work, click HERE. Warning – many of his engraved works are NSFW and should be viewed privately.

Data! Data! Data! – The Retired Colourman

Data! Data! Data! – The Retired Colourman

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’” – The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP) This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college.  It… Continue Reading

B. Max Mehl Offers a Brief Review of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Other Works

B. Max Mehl Offers a Brief Review of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Other Works

“My collection of M’s is a fine one.” – The Adventure of the Empty House (EMPT) Noted coin dealer B. Max Mehl published the following in the March 1918 of his house organ Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly: The Black Prince, What Coins Did He Strike? “An American boy” asks: “Are there any British coins of the Black Prince, and… Continue Reading

Greece Issues Two 2017 Coins Honoring Diogenes

Greece Issues Two 2017 Coins Honoring Diogenes

“Well, in the Diogenes Club, for example.” – The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (GREE) Earlier this year, the Greek Ministry of Finance authorized the Bank of Greece to issue two “collector” coins featuring the philosopher Diogenes. Many of you are probably familiar with the mention of the Diogenes Club, the familiar haunt of Mycroft Holmes, in… Continue Reading

The 17 Steps: The Retired Colourman

The 17 Steps: The Retired Colourman

Seventeen thoughts for further ponderance of the case at hand – The Retired Colourman (RETI) AND NOW, THE END IS NEAR . . . Sherlock Holmes begins this last tale with a sad soliloquy: “But is not all life pathetic and futile? Is not his story a microcosm of the whole? We reach. We grasp.… Continue Reading

The 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

The 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

“‘Then he paid up his two guineas…“ – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) In 1952, Thomas L. Stix, Sr. started the New York Silver Blaze at the Jamaica Raceway in honor of the story of the same title by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The race was an annual (well, almost) race at various tracks around… Continue Reading

Sherlocko the Monk: The Adventure of Tightwaddo and the Missing Penny

Sherlocko the Monk: The Adventure of Tightwaddo and the Missing Penny

“It was like some strange caricature …” – The Adventure of the Priory School (PRIO) There are a few Sherlockians that might be familiar with the works of cartoonist Gus Mager. From December 9, 1910 until February 1913, Mager drew Sherlocko the Monk for the Hearst newspaper syndication group. He would draw over 270 strips under… Continue Reading

Data! Data! Data! – The Silver Blaze

Data! Data! Data! – The Silver Blaze

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’” – The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP)   This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college.  It is… Continue Reading

The 17 Steps: Silver Blaze

The 17 Steps: Silver Blaze

Seventeen thoughts for further ponderance of the case at hand – Silver Blaze (SILV) HIS OWN PERSONAL CNN “Fresh editions of every paper had been sent up by our news agent,” Watson writes. We all know London had a lot of papers in those days, but did everyone have a newsagent to deal with their newsprint… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box: The Yellow Face

From Watson’s Tin Box: The Yellow Face

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares… Continue Reading