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Topic: Foreign Exchange (early '80's trick)
Message: Posted by: Merenkov (Jan 28, 2008 11:29AM)
Does anyone remember Foreign Exchange, a polaroid money type effect performed/sold by Magic Christian (Christian Stelzel) back in the early eighties? Very magical, with numerous changes. What made it really visual was his use of different European currencies, all very colorful, for the various changes. Did anyone ever go to the trouble to make this up? And if so, with so many changes in European currencies, which ones would you use for it now?
Message: Posted by: Merenkov (Mar 11, 2013 01:59PM)
I'm resurrecting this thread, as I finally discovered the actual creator of this lovely Himber wallet routine. It was Swedish magician Tim Star, not Magic Christian (those Europeans, they all look alike to me). So back to my original question: Did anyone here ever go to the trouble of making up the bills for this routine?
Message: Posted by: motown (Mar 11, 2013 08:27PM)
I don't remember it , but I like the idea. Was it from a book or was it a marketed effect?
Message: Posted by: Merc Man (Mar 12, 2013 01:55PM)
Yep - I bought the manuscript around 1981/82 at The International Magic Day in London. The dem at the time truly blew me away - I'd never seen so many notes change country/denomination from one wallet. I think he was also selling a vinyl Himber Wallet - but unfortunately, not the currency notes.

It was a nightmare sourcing them - bear in mind this was two decades before the days of ebaY. Two of the notes I couldn't obtain, so simply replaced these with two noticeably different cheques from separate banks. These were copydex'd back to back (a lot of the notes were prepared as double-facers in this manner). There was also quite a bit of trimming involved as the various notes recommended were inevitably slightly different sizes. Heaven above knows where the routine went. I may even still have it in my loft somewhere.

Also, to the best of my memory, the dealer selling it was Swedish. I remember him telling people that he'd sold the T.V. Copyright to Fred Kaps, but Fred had passed away before ever presenting it. I can certainly imagine Kaps performing it but it was probably 'a load of old magic dealer twaddle' to make a sale. However, it didn't stop a number of people buying it (me included)! Some things in magic never change. ;)

Shot in the dark - but I'm trying to think back if the guy was sharing the same dealer stand as El Duco of Sweden? If memory serves me right, he also had a very impressive zig-zag note - whereby a borrowed 1 note was placed flat onto a large wallet, a clear, plastic frame put on top and the centre piece of the note slid out after imaginary cutting? It wasn't a gimmicked wallet but must have worked on some kind of black art principle for him to have used this as the base in the first place.

Please let me know if you have any luck sourcing this trick. It would be great to make it up again.
Message: Posted by: motown (Mar 12, 2013 07:28PM)
I'd love to get a hold of it myself.
Message: Posted by: Merenkov (Mar 13, 2013 09:41AM)
Merc Man, I actually exchanged emails with Swedish magician Tim Star, and he confirmed that he was the creator of Foreign Exchange. I had the very same problem as you sourcing the required bills, and I think it was because Tim made a mistake in the instructions! The instructions called for four Swiss 10-shilling notes, but such a thing did not exist. The notes I believe he actually used were Swiss 10-Franc notes. I only figured this out when he sent me a photo showing the actual bills that he used. The problem now, of course, is that those particular bills are probably no longer in use, and it would still take some effort to track them down. Tim is still a dealer, by the way, and does business at his website, Creations by Star.
Message: Posted by: motown (Mar 13, 2013 08:29PM)
Yes, I don't believe there is a Swiss Franc note any longer.
Is the routine not adaptable to other types of notes.
Message: Posted by: Merenkov (Mar 15, 2013 09:44AM)
In answer to your question, motown, the routine would of course work with other notes (in fact, Tim said he has adjusted his routine now using euro notes and others). It's just that the combination of the Swiss 10-franc and the Dutch 10-gulden called for in the instructions was particularly nice: two very different colored bills of approximately the same size that could be glued back-to-back. The various denominations of current euros would make for nice color changes, but the notes now are all different sizes. Perhaps a colorful Chinese note could be found close in size to one of the euro denominations, that would make for some nice patter ideas. It's just a matter of taking some time to figure out the right color/size combination of notes. If anyone happens to come up with a good combination, this would be a nice spot to share their discovery.
Message: Posted by: motown (Mar 15, 2013 02:31PM)
OK, I see what you mean.

I shot Tim an email to see if the routine was still available through him. Waiting for a reply.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Feb 16, 2019 10:25PM)
A similar effect is Foreign Affair, by G. Wilson. It is in the Switch book.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 17, 2019 04:08AM)
The currency bills routine is the standard effect that comes with most all Himber Wallets, or use to be supplied. It is also published in every Himber Wallet booklet. I did see Tim Star's routine when he lived in the U.S., at a magic convention, and worked for Ring's and Things. I did not notice the effect as a stand out presentation, in my opinion. He presented it down on the table, and did not elevate the wallet and emphasize the changes.

I have made up an American bill version, but never could find the foreign currency, especially the German 500 mark bill, at any coin collector's stores. In the U.S. it hard to find foreign currency, and even get a bank or travel agency to obtain the bills for me. Hopefully, some day the U.S. will catch up with the rest of the International World.