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

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Category Archives: Sherlock Holmes

Howard Thomas’s “Elementary My Dear Watson” Hobo Nickel

Howard Thomas’s “Elementary My Dear Watson” Hobo Nickel

“You can’t sit there and play with me like a cat with a mouse”

– The Adventure of the Abbey Grange (ABBE)

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.

This example was carvved by Howard Thomas, a prolific engraver of hobo nickels since 2009. Thomas was a regarded scrimshaw artist, but as the laws and regulations regarding the buying and selling of ivory began changing, so he switched over to carving nickels.

This particular design is on the obverse of a 1936 Buffalo Nickel and was done before 2014. I asked how this carving came to happen and Thomas responded that he and his wife were watchiing one of the old Basil Rathbone films on Turner Classic Movies and just ran with the idea.

You can keep up with Thomas on his Facebook Page or on his Twitter feed.  In addition, over 200 of his works can be seen over at The Hobo Nickel Archive with separate boards for his profiles, human portraits, birds, cats (lots of), dogs, mini-men reverse carvings and various other designs.

The Medals of the Hansoms of John Clayton

The Medals of the Hansoms of John Clayton

“We hired a hansom …” – The Adventure of the Naval Treaty (NAVA) Recently, we posted a HolmeWork Assignment asking about the 1997 DISI Award Medals, and Brad Keefauver, the 41st Garrideb, was quick to respond that DISI was the Downstate Illinois Sherlock Invitational that took place for two years, starting in 1996. Brad then posted on… Continue Reading

Sherlockian Themed Geocoins – Part 2

Sherlockian Themed Geocoins – Part 2

“… something precious, something which he could not bear to part with, had been left behind.” -The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (WIST) Back in August 2018, we first posted about Sherlockian themed Pathtag Geocoins. We now have learned of two more pathtag geocoins along with three other totally different geocoins. First, let’s update you on the two… Continue Reading

Some Mistakes Were Made

Some Mistakes Were Made

“Possibly there is some mistake.” – The Advenure of the Creeping Man” During the process of striking several thousand coins for circulation, it is quite likely that few error coins will slip through. One of the most common errors to be found are incomplete planchet errors, more commonly known as “clips.” As the above illustration… Continue Reading

I Struck This 50 Pence Coin

I Struck This 50 Pence Coin

“… like any other tourist …” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) From June 28, 2019, until September 23, 2019, visitors to the Royal Mint Experience in Wales had the opportunity to strike their very own 2019 50 pence coin that featured Sherlock Holmes. Visitors were able to strike one coin per day and… Continue Reading

Wear a 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence Coin as a Ring

Wear a 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence Coin as a Ring

“… who came for the ring which I advertised?” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) For those who want to decorate themselves and share their love of Sherlock Holmes and numismatics, it is now possible to wear a ring crafted from a 2019 United Kingdom Sherlock Holmes 50 pence coin. Examples can currently be found avaiable on… Continue Reading

Sam Alfano’s Sherlock Holmes Hobo Nickel

Sam Alfano’s Sherlock Holmes Hobo Nickel

“It might be his portrait.” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) Today, we are featuring this 1913 Buffalo nickel that has been engraved by Sam Alfano of Louisiana. His biography, from his Master Engraver website, offers up this capsue: Sam Alfano began engraving in the early ’70’s with a set of engraving tools purchased from a… Continue Reading