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Magic Tricks With Coins
There's Money in Magic
Ever since coins have existed, they have likely been used for doing tricks. By their very nature as common items that everybody carries with them, they are a natural prop for magic. This means that, if you know a few coin tricks, you are always in a position to entertain people with magic.
Coins and money also have an intimate meaning for most people. Money is a product of people's hard work, and so it carries a certain emotional investment for most of them.
This is especially true whenever you borrow money from people to do magic, and there is always a question in their mind, however small, as to whether they will get it back!
Doing magic with money also speaks to a certain universal desire, since everybody would like to be able to make money magically appear or to catch it at their fingertips.
There are various feats that you can do with coins. These fall into two main categories: productions and vanishes. In some cases, one coin may be turned into another one of a higher denomination.
Some tricks involve plucking coins from the air or from audience members' hair, beards and noses.
The Miser's Dream, in which the magician seems to pluck an endless stream of coins from the air is one of the most famous and entertaining feats of magic.
Although money is a popular item with which to do magic, it is not always an easy thing to work with for the beginning magician. While there are lots of tricks with coins, probably about 90% of them require some form of sleight-of-hand. However, there are some highly entertaining and effective coin tricks that are relatively easy to do and require no sleights whatsoever.
The most important thing to remember is that the success of any trick falls upon the way in which it is presented. Often, the simplest trick can be turned into a veritable masterpiece with effective presentation.
With that in mind, here are a few simple but effective coin tricks that, with a little practice, can be done by the beginner to great effect.
The Coin Through The Hat
You borrow some coins from a member of the audience. Have them choose one and mark it with a permanent felt tip pen or crayon. You drop the coins into a hat and place the hat onto a drinking glass. Say a few magic words and, lo and behold, the selected marked coin passes through the hat and falls into the glass with a loud "clink!"
What you need:
A hat, some coins and a drinking glass. A somewhat rigid, flat bottomed hat, such as a top hat from a party supply store, works best for this.
How You Do It:
Borrow some coins from a member of the audience and have them mark one of them, Then place the marked coin onto the rest of the coins in your hand.
Next, apparently drop the coins into the hat. What the audience doesn't know is that you keep hold of the marked coin rather than dropping it into the hat with the rest of the coins.
With both hands, placed the hat on the rim of the drinking glass. The hand holding the marked coin secretly wedges it between the hat and the rim of the glass when balancing the hat there. When you want the marked coin to fall into the glass, all you need to do is say a few magic words and secretly tilt up the back of the hat, allowing the coin wedged there to drop into the glass!
A different way to do it:
After you have collected the coins in your right hand with the marked coin on top, dump them into your left hand, secretly keeping the marked coin in your right hand with your thumb.
Now balance the hat on top of the class as described before, wedging the marked coin between the hat and the rim of the glass. Hold the hat steady with your right hand as if to balance it on the glass while you drop a handful of coins into the hat with your left hand. At the same time, lift up slightly on the hat, allowing the marked coin to drop into the glass.
If you time this correctly, it will look as if the marked coin fell right through the hat into the glass!
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The Vanishing Coin
You place a coin on the palm of your hand and then drape a handkerchief over it. You invite several members of the audience to reach under the handkerchief and feel the coin to make sure it is still there. After the last person feels the coin, you whip off the handkerchief and show that the coin has vanished!
What you need:
A coin, a handkerchief and a confederate who is trained in the secret.
How you do it:
The last person to feel for the coin is your confederate. When they do so, they secretly remove the coin and pocket it. Now you can whip off the handkerchief and show that the coin has vanished!
Important: When you do this trick, don't make the mistake of the fellow I saw perform this trick! He used as his confederate his brother, who had been helping him throughout the show! Since the audience knew that he was his assistant, it was pretty obvious that he removed the coin. The confederate you use should appear to be an ordinary member of the audience.
Other ways to do it:
Instead of an ordinary coin, you can do this trick with a medallion, a Chinese coin or some other mysterious-looking small object.
Nickel To Quarter
You show a nickel at the tips of your right fingers and you wave your obviously empty left hand around in some mystical passes. Suddenly, you show that the nickel has vanished and a quarter has taken its place. Or perhaps the nickel magically changed into the quarter. Who knows?
This trick uses the coin with a piece of elastic attached to it as explained in the next trick. However, for this trick, the coin attached to the piece of elastic must be a nickel, not a quarter. Before the trick, pin the safety pin inside your right sleeve up just high enough so that when the coin is released and your arm hangs at your side, the coin will hang just above the lower edge of your sleeve.
How you do it:
You have a quarter hidden in your right hand. Obtain the coin with the elastic attached and display it at the tips of your right fingers, the quarter palmed in the same hand.
Wave your left hand over your right hand in the form of magic passes (which also shows the audience that your left hand is empty). Jerk your right hand so that the coin with elastic attached flies up your sleeve. Now show the quarter at the tips of your right fingers, the nickel apparently having vanished.
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The Coin Through the Trousers
You show a coin to the audience, then bend over slightly and cover the coin with a fold of your trousers. When the fold is opened, the coin has vanished. You show that the coin has traveled to your pocket, previously shown empty.
What you need:
A safety pin, a 1-foot length of black elastic and a coin with a hole drilled near one edge. You can obtain such a coin from a magic shop if you are not able to prepare this yourself.
Attach one end of the black elastic cord to the coin through the hole of the coin and tie it there with a knot. Tie the other end of the elastic to a safety pin (see the photo for Nickel To Quarter above). Pin the safety pin inside your jacket sleeve so that when your arm hangs down, the coin hangs above the bottom edge of your sleeve. Place The duplicate coin in the upper corner of your pocket.
How you do it:
Obtain the coin pinned in your left sleeve with your right hand. You can do this behind your back while the audience is distracted. Next, pull out your left pants pocket and show it empty. The duplicate coin remains hidden in the upper corner of the pocket.
Display the coin attached to the elastic in your left hand, being careful to keep the elastic concealed. Bend over slightly and place the coin inside the fold of your trousers.
When you are ready to vanish the coin, release your grip on your trousers and straighten out your arms suddenly. The coin will fly up your sleeve and will appear to have vanished. With your obviously empty left-hand, reach inside your left pocket, grab hold of the hidden coin there, and produce it.
Coin Through the Table
You show your left hand empty and place it under the table. You then show a coin in your right hand and rap it sharply against the tabletop. Suddenly, the coin in your right hand has vanished, and you show it unmistakably empty. You draw your previously empty left-hand from underneath the table and show that it now has the coin!
What you need:
The gimmicked coin with the elastic attached, as used in the previous two tricks, an extra coin matching the gimmick coin and a bit of sticky magicians wax or rubber cement.
Attach the duplicate coin underneath the table with the wax or glue before the trick begins.
How you do it:
Obtain the gimmicked coin in your right hand and display it clearly to the audience. Show your left hand empty and place it underneath the table. Now rap the coin in your right hand against the tabletop and, while doing so, allow it to fly up your sleeve. Suddenly show that your right hand is empty!
Under the table with your left hand, you obtain the hidden coin, which you can then draw out to show to the audience. The coin has apparently passed right through the tabletop!