I always thought Hobo Nickels were a bit of a punch line, but now that I've actually seen some, I'm thoroughly impressed. Apparently, the tradition of taking Buffalo Nickels and carving new designs into them began with hobos, who traded the beautifully altered coins for food, supplies and favors, but also carved them to commemorate the world around them. Interestingly, coin collectors do value modern versions of the folk art, though the older coins, which have been circulating since the Depression, seem to have "better stories to tell." I'm thinking, as long as they don't carry the fragrance of vagrants, I'd love to get my hands on 'em. Read more at the Original Hobo Nickel Society (via Pennylicious)