Obverse Design

Indian Bust facing left with the legend "WOODEN NICKEL" above. Circle around the Indian Bust and legend. This design is apparently the "1. Indian head without U.S.A." design on the Old Time Wooden Nickel Company's museum page.

Reverse Design Legend "ISTHMIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY" above. Legend "Balboa, Canal Zone" below. The center has the legend "COIN WEEK April 17-23 1966 COIN SHOW".
Color Black print on natural wood.
Material Wood. Weight About 2.5 grams. Size and Shape Round, 37.5 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued April, 1966.
Issuer Isthmian Numismatic Society based in Balboa, Canal Zone. This numismatic society also issued medals in 1968 and 1975. The INS was started around 1957 and folded around 1979. On the Pacific side of the Canal Zone INS monthly meetings were held at the Jewish Welfare Board in Balboa and on the Atlantic side at the YMCA in Cristobal. Besides regular meetings the Isthmian Numismatic Society also held auctions and coin shows such as the one advertised on this wooden nickel. The coin shows were held at Stevens Circle in Balboa. Please e-mail me if you have additional information about this society.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Probably the Old Time Wooden Nickel Company. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's FM-8.
Varieties There are two varieties for the 1967 coin show with different obverse designs, but with reverse designs similar to this one.
Function The piece was either an advertisement for a coin show or a souvenir from it. It may have functioned as both.
Population Count Three specimens in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Private sale in February 2003 for $5.

Crossroads Coin Show at Stevens Circle in 1975
Crossroads Coin Show at Stevens Circle in 1975
Photo courtesy of Robert Karrer. All Rights Reserved.