Stunning Coin Contains a Mechanical Beating Heart
A Hobo nickel might not be a “polite” term to use today, but it is still used to describe an 18th century form of art that involves hand-engraving a coin.
Artists would use their skills to create bas-relief sculptures that you could hold in your hand.
It’s an ancient form of art that we rarely see in practice today because of the laws in place that restrict money manipulation.
Roman Booteen is one of the few who works hard to keep this craft alive.
This Russian artist creates extraordinary coin carvings that include mechanical movement.
He gained worldwide acclaim with his sculptures that have changeable faces and mechanical wings, but it is his latest work takes this art to another level.
The One Dollar Coin Really Comes to Life
Booteen’s latest coin features a central golden heart with anatomically correct proportions.
It even includes intricately carved veins.
The piece would be incredible as it is without any movement, but then a small cog at the bottom of the section causes it to come to life.
The metal components mimic a real heartbeat.
When you see inside the heart component of the coin, which is a standalone piece that sits centrally on the display, you can see the mechanics that help it to function like a real-life organ.
As your eyes travel around the rest of the piece, the details of each person also come to life. Features, expressions, and additional environmental elements all give the coin an incredible level of realism.
You may never see another artist with the skills that Booteen has when creating a Hobo nickel.
How to Acquire More Intricate Coins
Unlike most artists that create stunning works like this, you can actually acquire his pieces personally because he lists them on eBay when items are available.
Many of the listings sell in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
A recent piece, which was a Morgan dollar with a gold and mechanical inlay, sold on the auction platform for over $5,600.
Another 1921 carved Morgan dollar with a gold core sold for over $10,000.
Although he hasn’t had a listing posted in more than 12 months, over 2,000 people currently follow Booteen on eBay, awaiting his next artwork.
Roman Booteen: Instagram