Hobo Nickels ... First carved in 1913, the heyday of hobo nickels was back in the 1930s, used as a way to pass the time during the Great Depression. Some of the original coins still exist today, while the practice itself has survived into modern times; ironically making some nickels worth hundreds of dollars.
Coin collectors today consider the hobo nickel a numismatic treasure, a tribute to long- forgotten folk artists who often literally carved for their supper. The Buffalo nickel debuted in 1913, but it wasn’t until the Great Depression struck that hobo nickel carving reached its peak. During this period, buffalo nickels were the most common nickels in circulation.