Glass coin

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 02/14/07 03:43 AM

Hello to all the magician of this board. This is my 1st post on the genii forum and I got a question about a gaff coin (if it is a gaff coin)

I am right now I have started on the Harlan Tarbell's magic course, and I can't start on the 1st lesson.

It calls for a gaff coin or a piece of glass that look like coin, and I checked out a few magic shops and nothing came up. As Mr.Tarbell said every lesson have a reason to be there, so I really want to master this trick before I move on the other lessons. Therefore I need the coin! :)

So does any magician here knows where can I get glass coin?

Thank you
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 01:10 PM

You could also use a clear plastic disc, if I'm not mistaken.
Read through the full effect description and explanation and decide if this particular trick is that important to hold you back from moving forward with the others that follow.
Good Luck with your studies.

Mike
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 02:17 PM

You can buy this item in a magic shop, packaged with the cup. Many are cheap plastic which isn't has good as glass. Glass makes a "clink".

Many years ago I was in the same situation you were so I went to a local glass shop and had them cut me some glass disks. They made up about 20 of them. It was very cheap.

I'd give you one day when I was cleaning out my magic drawers I threw them away - which was stupid becuase they take up no space whatsoever and I ended up needing them!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/14/07 04:26 PM

There is subtlety to doing the Vanishing Coin using a glass disc.

First, yes, the disc should be glass. You can go into any glass-cutting shop in your town and explain that you want a glass disc cut to the size of a half dollar or quarter.

Second, you need to find a small glass with a flat bottom that is the same diameter as the glass disc. And here's why. After the spectator drops the disc (which he's holding through the handkerchief) into the water, you make your magic pass, then he can remove the handkerchief and the coin is gone: then he can turn the glass over and pour OUT the water. If the glass disc and bottom of the glass are almost the same size, the disc will remain in the glass due to the suction caused by the water retained between it and the bottom of the glass!
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/14/07 04:59 PM

U.F. Grant has an even better version that doesn't use any gaffs at all.

Three different coins are held under a cloth and dropped into a glass of water. You hear them drop in. The cloth is removed briefly so the three coins can be seen IN the glass.

The spectator holds the covered glass and picks a coin. He removes the cloth to find it has vanished. It appears elsewhere.
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Postby CardFan » 02/14/07 05:20 PM

Is the water gaffed?
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 05:50 PM

There's one with a clever gaff where you have to be the one who removes the hank. You get the noise of the drop, spash etc but not sure if they can peek after they drop the coin(s) into the glass.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/14/07 06:36 PM

To save glass cutting you might look for cheap flashlights with the glass matching the size coin you want to use.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 07:23 PM

I just recently read the bound Richard's Almanac, and I recall reading of one where you drop in a piece of ice. No peek in this one, obviously, but you don't have to carry around a gaff.

Or you could throw in a large diamond, which, unless the movie Sleuth lied to me, would be completely invisible in the water.

Wouldn't it be cool if you have a diamond in the shape of a number, say, and somehow suspend that in the middle of a glass. Fill the glass with seltzer, and let the bubbles cling to the invisible number, forming the image of the number in the bubbles. Or would the bubbles not form on a diamond surface? I'll have to dig through my large diamonds drawer and give it a try.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 07:45 PM

That sounds like Geoff Latta's item.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 07:57 PM

Yes thank you Jonathan. The trick is "Iced" on page 86 of The Collected Almanac. A wonderful improvised trick for the right situation.

BTW I second Mike's suggestion. You will get much more benefit from moving on to the next trick in the series than in waiting for the props to do this one. I think you can read the entire book and pick the earliest trick that sounds like fun to you, and start with that.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/14/07 08:36 PM

The Vanishing Coin, performed properly, is one of the greatest tricks in magic. Learn it and do it.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 08:52 PM

Hey Corpus: you made me guffaw from 3,000 miles away. Gracias!

I tended bar for a decade, and used Mr. Latta's "Iced" repeatedly.
Given the right circumstances, the slam-dunk vanish of the ice-cube leaves people slack-jawed: it looks like their coin or ring splashes 1/2-way down into the drink, and...disappears.

But holy crap, McCabe! "...bubbles clinging to the invisible surface of..." THAT ALONE is worth a rum and coke! --See you in a week. :D
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 09:06 PM

I forgot to mention that as much as I have, in the past, enjoyed using ice cubes as easy-to-vanish-dummies, I would LOVE to have a beautifully nesting glass disc and tumbler, as mentioned by Richard.
--I read about those when I was a kid. DOES anyone make them now-a-days? Weren't the glass discs concave on each side to aid in the adhering to the glass-bottom?

It is such a simple, old-fashioned thing it would undoubtedly blow away modern spectators.

People SO expect to see their coin in the glass that when it isn't there, they freak.

Thanks for reminding me of this trick. My circumstances have changed so much since those old days when I performed it, that I completely forgot how good it is.

And my mind used to--literally--be a steel trap!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/14/07 09:17 PM

When the spectator lets go of the coin himself and hears it plop into the water, then pulls away the hanky himself, and THEN turns the glass over and spills out the water himself--that's magic.
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Postby Guest » 02/14/07 09:23 PM

O.K.--I'm getting all worked-up.

WHO HAS 'EM?

OR, who do we know that can start makin' 'em?
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/15/07 12:51 AM

Flashlight lenses!
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Postby Guest » 02/15/07 01:12 PM

About 8 years ago I went thru this process of trying to find the glass coin and Richard is right you have to have the correct glass. Couldn't get glass shops to make the discs and George of Viking Magic suggested (as Pete as) flashlight lens. I tried Home Depot, Tru-Value, and local hardware stores but none of the newer flashlights had the glass dics you really need. I was lucky to have Chris Smith of Magicsmith send me two Half-dollar glass discs because he was working on an unrelated coin trick that used them. Don't think he would have any today.

Then I set about to find the correct glass. After many experiments that failed (disc won't stay adhered to the bottom when glass is emptyied),I permenently glued one of the glass discs to the bottom (same diameter as the disc) of a small glass and this works fine. This whole process took me about 3 months. You would think someone would sell a quality product for this effect but I haven't been able to find it via internet searches. I think if you can find a glass shop to cut some for you you have it solved. But the three I tried said it wasn't worth the set-up.

Arnie
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Postby Guest » 02/15/07 01:36 PM

Maybe the routining would take care of it, but wouldn't the spectator want a closer look at that glass? After all, once the water is poured out, there's no where else to look...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/15/07 02:44 PM

The glass is clear. Spectator glances at it and it's done. The idea of a glass disc would never enter his mind and a glass is an innocent and familiar object.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/15/07 02:45 PM

arnie, thanks for your tips!
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 02/15/07 05:42 PM

Anybody tried Adams? I think they still sell the trick with a plastic disk... or maybe Robbins? It's been almost a slum magic item for a while. - Mitch Note: Try Royal Magic - Vanishing Coin in Glass.
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Postby Guest » 02/15/07 06:58 PM

while reading this thread, I had next to the keyboard a bunch of stone disc pendants with holes in the middle that I had just bought from bead and jewelry suppliers on ebay (to wear), among which was a clear quartz crystal disc

(the keyword to use while searching is "donut", although of course they are flatter than that implies -- you could also use the Chinese word "pi")

I gave it a try in a glass of water, but because of the way it's cut, it has a lensing effect and shows its edges too readily -- too bad, because otherwise it might have been a good substitute for a "chinese" coin through the cloth that the spectator could feel and drop ...

on a tangent, though, these mineral discs might make nice props in place of chinese coins or coins in general for various effects

maybe dip some opaque one on a string into a glass of water and have it come out clear

or use different ones instead of coins of different countries, so that international trade relations do not clutter the stage of the effect

btw, I liked Pete McCabe's idea above about something invisible in water that could collect bubbles to appear
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Postby Guest » 02/15/07 10:23 PM

Folks:
In one week, after my trip to the Castle, I will be helping take care of my grandfather for a week or two.

Among (many) other things, he used to make stained-glass windows and lamp shades.

His amazing workshop has every glass-cutting tool known to man, including grinders, polishers, etc.
I haven't "played around with" those tools in years, but I bet that with enough experimentation I could make us some glass discs that work.
I will let you know in a couple weeks

That is a worthy goal for a time that loomed depressingly--Thank you. :)

P.S.: I am also willing to bet I know what thin plastic might be invisible in water and then attract bubbles to reveal something...That really is a great idea, Mr. McCabe.
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Postby Russell Davis » 02/16/07 07:26 AM

I think it was Dai Vernon or Al Baker who let the spectator clearly (ahem!) drop the (glass) coin INTO a tumbler. The coin seemed to penetrate through the bottom of the tumbler which was shortly thereafter (hint!) allowed to be examined.
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Postby Noel Grassy » 02/18/07 12:35 AM

Howdy All, When you say cut a glass disc, don't bother trying to cut a circle by hand and expect to have a uniform disc. Even grinding away the 'out-of-round' portions will be too time consuming. Instead use a glass 'tube drill' as they're known in the trade to bore the circles out of glass and the portion inside the tube drill is the keeper. Mearly tap it loose from the confines of the tube drill & you'll have what you need. I don't mean to contradict anyone but this seems so much easier as I worked in this trade for many years [although I never knew of this vanish until today]. Best of luck!
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Postby Guest » 02/18/07 11:29 AM

I'm pretty sure I once read a clever routine by Vernon for the disk, but never been able to track down where...
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Postby Guest » 02/19/07 11:23 AM

There are 100s of ways to produce the coin. My routine for this ends with the "Quarter Go" box sold by Viking Magic. It's in my pocket at the outset.

I have the spec sign the half dollar with a Sharpie, use the glass and hank to vanish it, and then with it finger-palmed reach into my pocket and produce the locked "Quarter Go" box. Spec then uses the key to unlock the box and inspect the signed half dollar inside.

Made slight modification to the "Quarter Go" box by lining the inside with thin felt so the half dollar loads silently.

Arnie
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Postby Guest » 02/26/07 04:08 PM

Make your own glass disc:

Here
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 03:08 PM

Bill, that's an amzaing post! Where do you get thin glass? The glass shop I used to make my disks were a little thicker than I like.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 04:46 PM

You should be able to get window glass at 1/8" thick or so at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware -- any good home improvement store.
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Postby Syd » 03/16/07 08:50 AM

I'm curious - wouldn't plexiglass work as well? It would be easy to make if so.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/16/07 09:15 AM

I think Plexi is too light to work properly. The trick depends upon the spectators hearing the coin go PLOP into the water.
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 04:45 AM

I've read in several books that you can actually cut thin glass with ordinary scissors under water.Don't get me wrong thow!You need only a basin!
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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 08:25 AM

Removed due to raising the ire of sensitive members.

John r
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Postby Matthew Field » 03/31/07 09:51 AM

Alakazam Magic (based in the UK, but also available in the US) has a product called "Ice Coins" which are 4 plastic coin-size discs and one jumbo coin-size disc with a DVD for a "Silver Extraction"-type trick. Available either in US half-dolllar or UK 2-Pound coin size, precision cut so a shell will fit.

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Postby Guest » 03/31/07 12:36 PM

Whoa ...
This is starting to look like a discussion on The Magic Cafe with all kinds of incorrect info and "suggestions". Someone is going to get hurt or waste a lot of money listening to such info.

I do not suggest trying to cut a glass disc under water.

A disc cut rom a solid rod (try to find someone with such a large diameter rod on hand) will be frosted on both sides and have a chunk out of the rim where the saw "broke through". It would not be cheap to have the frosting polished out by either flame or abrasives. Cutting a milled edge would be ridiculously expensive. If you do not know what you are talking about, it is fine to post NOTHING!

Now, what I am going to write is based upon my experience working for several years as a scientific glass blower and as an international award winning crystal engraver (since 1975). I do know what I am talking about.

The traditional method of cutting a glass circle is to score the glass with a circle cutter for glass - then score a series of radiating lines out from this round score. The glass is tapped with the ball end of a standard glass cutter to start the fracture and eventually the fracture works its way all the way through the glass. The resulting circle of glass has a rough and sharp rim - the pie shaped pieces are scrap. This cut circle is most often ground down with a wet belt sander ending up with a cork belt (embedded with pumice) for the final polish.

The next traditional method is by using a tube drill as shown in the link Bill Mullins provided. To prevent break through chipping, the glass to be cut can be temporarily attached to a piece of scrap glass with bees wax (melted and used like a glue). Both glass pieces need to be gently warmed to melt the wax without causing thermal shock to the glass. The glass must cool before drilling.

The next traditional method is to use a diamond coated core drill. This is what I use for such jobs. It is used like a tube drill except that no loose abrasives are used. Water is used as a coolant and to flush away the glass waste.

The latest methods are to cut the circle with an ultrasonic drill or a water jet.

All of these methods leave a glass disc requiring edge work. The wet belt sander is the most common method used in industry. I prefer to use lapidary grinding/polishing equipment. If well worn abrasive belts are used on such machines, the glass is left almost polished with the 600 grit belt. A rock hard felt wheel with cerium oxide or even tin oxide can quickly bring this to a polished rim. All of this is done wet to avoid dangerous dust and to prevent the glass from thermal shock.

The drinking glass to be used in this effect is critical. Normal drinking glasses will have a concave bottom inside. You want a drinking glass with a flat bottom. Such glasses are termed "shells" in the trade and can be found at glassware suppliers.

Any more ridiculous suggestions from anyone?

BTW - I do not do politically correct (especially when safety is involved).
Jim
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/31/07 01:46 PM

Jim, thanks for your great rundown of the methodology in cutting a glass disc.
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 12:27 PM

Thank you for all the excellent info above.

It has taken longer than expected, but I am making glass discs in quarter and half-dollar sizes, and soon will be able and glad to send a pair to interested parties.

But don't EVER compare this Forum to the MagicCafe--the Wikipedia of magic sites. :D
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 07:33 PM

Richard and castawaydave, you are welcome. I'd rather have no information than incorrect or dangerous info/suggestions from those only guessing; but writing like experts.

Castawaydave, are you using the tube drill (cheapest) method ? I still use this method for odd ball sizes. BTW - I would use 1/8" float glass for making glass coins.

Jim
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