Artist Hand-Engraves Elaborate Coin with a Mechanical Beating Heart

Beating Heart Coin Hobo Nickel by Roman Booten

Hobo nickel is a term used to describe the 18th century sculptural art form of hand-engraving coins, resulting in miniature bas-relief sculptures that you can hold in the palm of your hand. While the ancient art is rarely practised today, Russian artist Roman Booteen keeps the craft alive with his extraordinary coin carving designs. From a Gold Bug coin with mechanical wings to a coin with changeable faces, his work often features clever, integrated mechanisms that allow parts of the metal designs to move.

Booteen’s latest piece is no exception—it features a central golden heart that actually beats. With anatomically correct proportions and intricately carved veins, Booten’s heart-themed coin is already impressive as an unmoving sculpture. However, once the user starts turning the small cog at the bottom of the one dollar coin, the metal components come to life, mimicking a real heart beat.

Check out the incredible hobo nickel design below and see more from Booten’s portfolio on Instagram. If you love his coin designs, keep an eye on the artists eBay page for a chance to acquire one of his works.

Hobo nickel Artist Roman Booteen hand-carved this incredibly intricate coin that that features a mechanical beating heart.

Beating Heart Coin Hobo Nickel by Roman Booten

Beating Heart Coin Hobo Nickel by Roman Booten

Beating Heart Coin Hobo Nickel by Roman Booten

Beating Heart Coin Hobo Nickel by Roman Booten

Roman Booteen: Instagram | eBay
h/t: [Kottke]

All images via Roman Booteen.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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