The term “Hobo Nickel” describes any small-denomination coin (though, normally soft nickels) that people carve to create miniature reliefs of…well, all sorts of things. It started sometime in the 18th century but continues to this day; There’s even an entire society dedicated to the art of nickel carving.
This all sounds stimulating, I know, but have a little faith. As with all types of art, something that seems simple in explanation is made beautiful and complicated in the hands of right artists. Check out a few of these “Skull Nickels“, a very surface view of just what carvers do with these “Hobo Nickels“.
Source – Colossal Art & Design