Stretch Goals #1 & 2 & 3 have been reached! In addition to Antique Silver, the following metals/finishes have been unlocked:
Antique Brass-Plated Steel NOW UNLOCKED!!
Antique Bronze NOW UNLOCKED!!
Antique Copper (1 Troy ounce of solid copper) NOW UNLOCKED!!
What are Hobo Coins?
Throughout time, people have modified coins by hand-carving or engraving their own designs into existing coins. This form of folk art really took off during the Great Depression, and has been popular ever since. Over time, these 'Hobo Coins' started to incorporate skeletons or skulls, while keeping aspects of the original coins (usually the identifying text and coin date) intact in the final design.
This project is the third in my series of Hobo Coins—and this time there's a unifying theme to all the designs. Each of the coins was inspired by classic rock songs from the late 60s and early 70s. I designed each of the coins to fit the lyrics of the songs, and the year of the coin is also the year of the song's first release (more on each below). I should probably mention that the songs only served as the inspiration for these new, original artworks and this project is not associated with any of the song creators—other than that they inspired me to create these designs.
While I'm on the topic of disclaimers, it's also important to note that Hobo Coins are not actual US currency or modified US currency coins. They are die-struck new coins at different sizes, weights, and (clearly), different art than actual US coins.
Each coin comes wrapped from the mint in a protective plastic bag, which we then place in a protective coin envelope. All coins (and finishes), are brass-alloy, solid metal coins that are die-struck with over 100 tons of pressure. The coins are also finished with a lacquer that protects the coins over time. They will patina, but much slower than most coins. This also protects the antique finish for longer.
Taking on something as rich and varied as "classic rock" as a theme was a little daunting - there so many amazing songs, legendary bands, and creative options! I realized early on that I couldn't aim for anything close to being comprehensive, but I did have some help picking the songs along the way.
First off, I focused on "1st Generation" songs and bands. That helped narrow the field to songs released in the late 60s to early 70s.
Second, I thought about songs and bands that meant a lot to me personally.
Lastly, and most importantly, the lyrics of the songs had to lend themselves to powerful visual representations. There's some great songs from the time, that mean a lot to me personally, but whose lyrics don't translate easily to a coin design. So I ended up with a list of about 8-10 front-runners, but was able to narrow it down further to these four.
I know if you like the project, you'll probably be thinking "why didn't he pick *THIS* song?" Fair enough, but I figured I would at least tell you a little about the process that went into the decisions. And hopefully this is just the first of these types of coins, I'd REALLY like to design more. All that said, here are the coin designs.
The White Rabbit | 1967 Nickel, 39mm
The song was first released by Jefferson Airplane in 1967, and quickly became synonymous with the growing San Francisco counter-culture. Featuring a skeletal, bohemian 'Alice' on the front, and the namesake White Rabbit on the back. Like a certain Doctor said, when that note peaks, throw the radio in the tub!
The Midnight Rider | 1971 Silver Dollar, 39mm
Of course it's a silver dollar, I mean, come on! This coin practically designed itself, with a Midnight Rider on the front being pursued by the police on the back—because, you know, they're never going to catch him! Why the Macon Police? Though originally from Florida, the Allman Brothers lived in Macon, Georgia at the time of this songs composition and release.
The Watchtower | 1968 Half Dollar, 39mm
Originally written by Bob Dylan (off John Wesley Harding, amazing album in its own right), this coin was inspired by the much better known 1968 Hendrix cover of the song. Even when playing his own song, Dylan has said "I always feel it's a tribute to him in some kind of way." Designed with the Joker on the front, and backed up by the Thief and the Watchtower on the obverse side, this is my tribute to one of the defining songs of the era.
The Hammer of the Gods | 1970 Quarter Dollar, 39mm
I would gladly mortgage my house (and maybe sell an organ or two), to go back in time and be front-stage at one of their concerts. Led Zeppelin set the bar for classic rock, so of course I had to design a coin inspired by them. Immigrant Song tells the tale of nordic conquerors, and that's the inspiration for the The Hammer of the Gods quarter dollar with an skeletal overlord warrior on the front and Mjölnir (the literal hammer of a god), cracking the coin's back. If you can't die with a sword in hand, this coin could help get you to Valhalla. (full disclaimer—it won't).
The 'Biker' Limited Edition Print
As I've done with each Hobo Coins project, I've again designed a limited edition print to complement the coins. Going with the Classic Rock theme, I designed this print to be a 'concert poster' of a sort. I drew inspiration from the early 60s op-art works of Bridget Riley and merged that approach with my own engraved style. Type-wise, I married that up with a Lance Wyman inspired typeface. Tying it together is a main figure of a proud 60s biker. Each print is 18” x 24”, signed, and numbered, and printed on museum-grade, archival stock.
All Add-ons are immediately available (including Solid Silver coins). Additional coins or posters can be added to any base pledge as needed. Simply click on ‘Manage My Pledge’ and manually increase your pledge amount by the following:
Coins - add $14 (in the US), 15$ (international) to your pledge amount per additional coin, feel free to add as many as you would like. After the project closes you’ll be able to specify which design(s) you’d like.
Limited Edition 'Biker' Print - add $50 (in the US), $60 (international) to your pledge amount per print. This limited edition Hobo Coins print will be signed and numbered.
Solid Silver Coins - add $60 ($65 international) to your pledge amount per solid silver coin. These coins are one troy ounce of solid .999 fine silver and will come with a Certificate of Authenticity card that is signed and numbered. The final quantity will be determined by the number ordered, feel free to add as many as you'd like.
Hard Enamel Pins - add $9 (in the US), $10 (international) to your pledge amount per pin. I've created 2 hard enameled pin designs that complement the project and are miniature works of art in their own right. Each pin is a 1.5" circular pin with two pin posts.
2, 3, and 4 Coin Acrylic Displays - add $12 ($16 international) to your pledge amount per display (displays come as 2, 3, or 4 coin displays, you'll be able to specify which after the project closes). Show off your coins in style! Comprised of 3 acrylic panes with embedded magnets, this is a simple, elegant, and easy to open-and-close system for displaying Hobo Coins.
To add items to your pledge: Manually increase your pledge amount by the cost of the add-on items. After the project closes, I'll send you a link to make your final selections. For now, just click "Manage My Pledge" and add on the amount of your coin or print add-ons.
Here's a quick video on how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak8SWlMeIoo&app=desktop
10K - In addition to Antique Silver finish, Antique Brass-plated Steel is now available for all coins—NOW UNLOCKED!!!!
14K - In addition to Antique Silver finish, and Antique Brass-Plated Steel, Antique Bronze is now available for all coins—NOW UNLOCKED!!!!
18K - In addition to Antique Silver finish, Antique Brass-Plated Steel, and Antique Bronze, Antique Copper is now available for all coins—NOW UNLOCKED!!!!
26K - NEW 5th Coin Design!!!—LOCKED UNTIL 26K
Risks and challenges
I've created 6 fairly successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past—so I know there are always curveballs that challenge the best of plans. However, I have a lot of confidence about fulfilling this project. I've worked with the company who's making the coins many times in the past, for projects that were a lot like this one. From manufacturing turnaround time, to the experience of shipping literally thousands of coins to every corner of the world — I've got a good grasp of the complexities and the watch-outs along the way. I've made good on every project in the past, and no matter what it takes, this one will be no different. Also, if you've backed any of my past projects you'll probably agree that I communicate pretty regularly on the status of everything and i communicate any hiccups immediately so you always know what's going on. It's important to me as a project creator that you, the backer, the one making it all possible, know exactly where everything stands. This project will go the same way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)