Strange British Penny !!

Hi Guys, a month or so back i was out with my metal detector when i stumbled upon what i thought was a single coin, turned out to be a load of old coins in an old little metal box which was rusting and falling apart, probably about 1 foot down. I took them and thought no more about it until recently when i decided to examine them, some are really worn and date back to 1730, a half penny, there was also a number of threepence and sixpence coins. One coin stood out upon examination, at first i thought it might be the coin deteorating because of age, its a Penny coin dated 1914, King George, i goy excited when i examined George to discover he had what looked more like the kind of hair you might expect from a Greek bust, very odd, ive researched but found nothing of an official miss-press of a coin at that date, however i did find an article about coins known as Trench Art, i ssume thats someone thats modified the coin themselves, i havent even found anything about this coin on ebay, it appears to be a one off.

Ive included pics for you all to look at, can anyone on here shed any light on this coin, how it may have gotten like this, is it worth anything to anyone etc etc.

Many thanks as i wait anxiously for comments.

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  • This isn’t any kind of special variety of British penny, some guy though it would be funny, however, to mess with the coin.  I can tell that easily by the back of the coin.

  • Did someone seriously stamp tits onto a penny? What people do in their spare time amuses me to no end. The hobo-art on the otherside is pretty neat though, Wouldn't add any value I imagine, as you can create these today and claim they were made on the coin's date.

  • Carved coins are collectible. This one is not particularly well done, so value is low. I'd guess a collector might pay $10 US dollars for it, maybe more ...

    Akin to your coin are 'hobo nickels' in the US. These can be quite valuable, from $100 to $500 or more. To reach high value, they must be (1) genuine works known to be dated the same year (approx) as the coin, and (2) demonstrate true artistic skill by the carver.

    See our page on these coins here:

    Modern hobo nickels, carved today by artists, sell for $5 to $100, depending on quality.

  • Paul Richards  Thanks Paul.  Done a bit more research since and you are right, turns out they are collectible, even at low value, doing an Ebay search i found them selling between £5 to £15 GBP.  Obviously my thought was, considering they were underground for a long time judging by the state of the container i found them in, Was this an example of Trench art, created by a soldier in his spare time waiting on a whistle ordering him to his death, or was this done maybe later, its fairly cool what theyve done with the hair, even if it is crude, i think what i will do, is keep it in my collection considering its the first ive ever seen and may never see another.

  • Graham -- Yes. The possible stories are intriguing. To get more info you have to search out collectors who specialize in carved coins. There are such people, but not many of them. Good luck, and thanks for posting.

  • Could well be trench art . Coin fits timeline world war 1 soldiers in the trenches often bored with no fighting happening would curate new designs on old pennies. There is a market for them akin to USA hobo coins but Trench art was far more dangerous😀. Making that coin art could quite literally cost you your life

  • richard fox Thanks, yes i believe it to be that, strange artifact to find, ive never found a coin like this before, i have since posting done some research and i can see genuine ones, not factory reproduced art, actually sells quite well, saw a penny sell for £21 on ebay on Sunday, sadly im reluctant to part with it, its unique in itself and as we are celebrating Armistice day / week over here at moment, im thinking im going to hold on to it and maybe put it in a nice box, after all, if this really is 1st world war trench art. wow, it sends shivers down my spine just thinking about where the coin has been, and the brave soldier that did this, and then how it ended up underground near Gretna Green, its completely intriguing, i think its something id keep forever. Thanks for your input, much appreciated.

  • Graham German  I am from UK as well. was more than likely the home guard. they would of had plenty of time on their hands😀 No fear of the bosch invading. Yes I would keep something like that. Could of taken the guy the duration of the war . Something to keep his mind occupied. Unless he was knocking them out freelance lol

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