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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Why are coins so enchanting? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Signet
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What is it about coins and the manipulation of them that is so freaking awesome! I can't put my finger on it, but it's definitely pulling at me. They're shiny for one. When they catch the light, it's kind of magical. They're personal for another. If you can take a coin that's someone has been carrying around in there pocket and do something magical. How can you beat that? Even if you switch in a gaffed, they still think it's their coin.
Signet
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Coins have history. Very often, they are decades old. They depict historical figures or events. This gives you cool stories to add to the patter. They've been many places and passed through many hands. They are strong candidate have a feeling of permanence. I don't think the average person suspects the existence of gaffed coins. I know I sure didn't, before I started learning magic. Many of the gaffs are pure genius. These are just more things that add to coins appeal.
ZachDavenport
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I think it is their simplicity coupled with inherent interest. Its an easily understood prop. Its just a metal disc. But its a metal disc that people care about.
Reality is a real killjoy.
Signet
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You make a good point, Zach. They have value to people. Rare coins can be very valuable, but even common coins have some value. They are kept safe in a wallet or your pocket, then some magician comes along and does something wild with them. Psychology, this adds to their Mystique.
Mb217
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And y'know, they just feel good and are ready to go at a moment's notice. I have loved them since peering at the tricky lot of them as a young boy through the lighted glass showcases at the world famous, "Lou Tannen's Magic Shop" near Time Square in NYC. Man, those were the days. Smile
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jefkve
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As an amateur numismatist, I can attest to all that has been said so far. History, simplicity, etc.. Furthermore, ITS MONEY. There will always be a fascination with money in all its forms....The fact that they make it in a medium that lends itself so neatly to slight of hand, et al, is just a bonus!
fonda57
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Coins are fun. I love rolling them around my fingers and making them vanish, all kinds of stuff.

When someone sees you make a coin vanish, they have seen magic right then and there. Smile
simplymagicweb
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Coin magic is usually highly visual and fast paced, and is different. There are lots of magicians who perform card trick after card trick - so adding some coin magic too will help to make you stand out. As a working pro, that’s important for me. I believe Magic should be like a diet - balanced and full of variety!
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On Oct 20, 2017, Signet wrote:
What is it about coins and the manipulation of them that is so freaking awesome! I can't put my finger on it, but it's definitely pulling at me. They're shiny for one. When they catch the light, it's kind of magical. They're personal for another. If you can take a coin that's someone has been carrying around in there pocket and do something magical. How can you beat that? Even if you switch in a gaffed, they still think it's their coin.


Just don't make the mistake that many magicians do.... thinking that your audiences will feel the same way you do about your props.
To your audience, they are just coins. Nothing to wax poetic about, nothing to marvel at, etc.
They don't entertain and they don't create gasps.....on their own.
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Signet
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Many great responses. I'd have to say, I agree with them all. Maybe I'm getting a little of the numismatic bug. I went to the coin shop to buy a couple walking liberty half dollars. Looking around at all the coins on display, I was in a trance. Then I did the Lethal Tender trick for the owner, he looked like he was in one.
fonda57
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Awesome. Doing magic on the spot. That's the best kind of magic.

i love coin shops, too
daniel116
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They also make really distinctive clinking sounds.
Silver coins hitting each other create very distinctive sounds that we rarely hear on our day to day lives, they don't sound anything like the irritating sound of lose change.
I think another interesting question is why are rare coins so amazing while fancy cards will automatically register in a layman's mind as "trick cards"?
I look at shiny, rare coins the same way I look at nice wrist watches; each set of coins or even each seperate coin has it's different characteristics, they are nice looking, they look impressive and expensive, they complete your hands!
JoeHohman
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There is also a learning opportunity. Many people under the age of 25 have never seen a Kennedy half dollar. Many people under the age of 40 have seen the Kennedy, but have never seen the Franklin half that preceded it.

Then you can talk about how the half-dollars were larger than the old Susan B. Anthony, how people often mixed up the SBA with a quarter, how nobody knows who SBA is anymore, etc.

I find that many of my under-40 audience members do not recognize Eisenhower, either....
Signet
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The Eisenhower or Ike's are really great for magic. They're an inch and a half in diameter. If you make a coin that big disappear, it really looks magical. That's another quality about coins. They come in different sizes. If you're working with a deck of cards, they're all the same size. The different sizes lend to shrinking and growing effects.
funsway
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Years ago in a college "Money and Banking" course, a girl noted (paraphrasing)

"A bit of metal or a scrap of paper can have an international value based on trust and faith alone. That is magical.
I guess that is why magicians like to use coins to do impossible things. We all pay attention because part of the magic is us."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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CarpetShark
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As mentioned, coins are familiar to everyone, making them an ideal prop for magic. As a kid I used to love watching tv specials by Copperfield, Henson, etc. What I remember most is not their big flashy escapades, but tricks involving hankechiefs in bottles, or the card trick where the chosen card ends up on the outside of a moving train's window. What I am trying to explain is the more equipment used, the less impressive it is, as we 'know' the props themselves are the key. With coins, everyone knows them well, and expects them to behanve normally... I'm not making myself clear, but I hope you get my drift.
daniel116
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CarpetShark you were quite clear and on the money"!
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