Obverse Design

Buffalo facing left with the legend "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" above. Legend "WOODEN NICKEL" below the buffalo. Circle around the buffalo and the legends.

Reverse Design Legend "ISTHMIAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY" above. Legend "Balboa Canal Zone" below. The center has the legend "ANNUAL COIN SHOW April 22-29 1967".
Color Red print on natural wood.
Material Wood. Weight About 2.5 grams. Size and Shape Round, 37.5 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued April, 1967.
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-10.
Varieties There are two other varieties, one from the 1966 coin show and one from the 1967 coin show. The 1966 variety has a different obverse design but a similar reverse. The other 1967 variety has the identical reverse design as this one but a different obverse design.
Function The piece was either an advertisement for a coin show or a souvenir from it. It may have functioned as both.
Population Count Four specimens in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Private sale in February 2003 for $5.
  2. Auction sale on October 13, 2003 for $6.50 plus $1.00 shipping.

A Coin Show at Stevens Circle in March, 1975
A Coin Show at Stevens Circle in March, 1975
Fritz Karrer (age 11) with his display of coins and bills
Photo courtesy of Robert Karrer. All Rights Reserved.