Precious Metals

Osborne Coinage introduces hobo nickel silver

Limited-edition die-struck .999 fine silver medals that are reproductions of hand-carved hobo nickels are being produced by Osborne Mint in Cincinnati and marketed though major numismatic retailers.

The retail network for Osborne's five-piece 2016 Silver Hobo Nickel Series is formed by APMEX, SilverTowne, Littleton Coin Company, JM Bullion and Provident Metals.

The designs for the five silver medallions are the work of modern coin carver Paolo Curcio from Spain, known in numismatic circles as Mr The.

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The first design released, dated 1937, is titled "The Fisherman." It depicts on its obverse a struck reproduction of a portrait of a wandering fisherman hand-carved from the original Indian Head on the 5-cent coin and on the reverse a reproduction of the bison that had been transformed into a mountainous landscape with a hobo fishing from the lake's edge.

The second release in the medal series, "The Train," is dated 1913, and depicts a train engine with three cars encircled by railroad ties. The reverse features a hobo with walking stick and stippled field. 

The third release, to debut May 31, is "Skull & Scrolls." It is dated 1936. The Indian Head design has been morphed by Curcio into a skull facing right with scrollwork around.The bison has been converted into a hobo with walking stick and bundle, with the hobo's head being skeletal. 

July 26 is the release date for "Green Fairy & Fishbones." The design, dated 1937, depicts on the obverse a naked fairy holding a goblet. The reverse shows a skeltonized fish.

"Jefferson Skull Scroll" will be the final release, set for Sept. 27. Dated 2005-D, the medal has reproduction of Thomas Jefferson's portrait from a Jefferson 5-cent coin transforned into a skull with scrollwork in the field. The reverse has a hobo with bundle and walking stick, with a train on a trestle in the background.

The medallions are produced in 39-millimeter 1-ounce sizes, in two finishes —  Mirrored Proof and Antiqued Proof. A 63.5-millimeter 5-ounce Antiqued Proof version is also available.

The two versions with Antiqued Proof finish are limited to a mintage of 1,000, whiles the standard Proof in 1-ounce size has a production limit of 10,000 coins per design.

The edge of each medal is reeded, except for a smooth gap to accommodate the incuse edge inscription. The edge inscription appears as 1 OZ 999 FS (for Fine Silver) followed by a space and the serial number.

Each medaillion is then secured in a plastic capsule.

For more information, contact David Blumenfeld, Director of Business and Product Development, Osborne Coinage Co., 2851 Massachusetts Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225, email:, or visit the firm's website here.

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