Photo credit: Roman Booteen
Russian artist Roman Booteen specializes in the art of the hobo nickel, or to be more specific, the sculptural art form involving the creative modification of small-denomination coin. He’s known for several pieces, including a Gold Bug that was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Gold Bug, and one of his newest pieces with a hidden gold chalice. Many of his coins have been sold on auction sites online (eBay, WorthPoint, etc.), and have fetched as much as $3,100. Read more for a video and additional information.
“Roman Booteen makes hobo nickels, or carved coins. He takes it to the next level by adding hidden mechanics. Roman learned to carve on Zippos by watching YouTube tutorials. He uses the silver US Morgan dollar for its size and thickness. Each image is carved freehand. Plans are only needed when designing moving pieces. Mechanical parts are small and custom-fitted. Springs, gears, and levers trigger doors and traps,” said Insider.