Borrowing Coins

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Sean Piper » 01/13/02 08:59 PM

I'm not sure about the situation in other countries, but lately here in Australia we've been bombarded with MANY special edition coins.

Within the last few years we've been provided with Sir Donald Bradman memorial coins, Millenium Year coins, Discovery of Bass Strait coins as well as many variations of the Centenary of Federation coins.

So the problem is this...

In doing an effect whereby you borrow a coin and switch it for a duplicate/gimmick, it's becoming increasingly difficult to prepare a coin that will match the one you borrow. Obviously it wouldn't be advantageous to repeatedely turn down coins offered, hoping to find one that will match.

Do any of you come up against this type of predicament, and more importantly, have you found a way around it??

Thanks in advance,

Sean Piper.
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Postby Adam Brooks » 01/13/02 10:39 PM

Although I've never used the technique myself, conceptuslly, it's quite good.

Say you need a matching 20 cent piece (or whatever) to switch in. Instead of asking one person for a coin, ask a bunch. Gather perhaps 5 or 6 coins, and then you could fake take the gaff from the pile, and call it one of the borrowed coins. It's a great idea, don't know who originated it...

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Postby Matt Sedlak » 01/14/02 03:20 AM

I believe i first read about that idea in Bobo. Im not at home to check but I believe it was called the bluff vanish or something to that nature where you just pretend to take a coin from a group of coins and then cause it to completely vanish. Of course using it as a switch is just a simple variation although im not sure whose idea either versions is. I know that sometimes I still do the bluff vanish in an impromptu situation when i want a super clean complete vanish and I have already demonstrated an ability to do coin magic
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Postby Guest » 01/14/02 08:05 AM

Sean, I perform with Morgan Silver dollars, or 1964 Kennedy halfs, and British Pennies, etc... basicly all coins that are not in circulation in the US.

I tend to start with a few routines where I am able to have spectator's handle the coins, or depending on the situation let them examine them before hand, or use a routine that ends with the coins in a spectator's hand. When you get coins into the spectator's hand, the suspected use of a gaff is virtually eliminated.

If you want to borrow coins in your environment, my suggestion would be to concentrate on effects that do not require a gaff.


Postby Matt Sedlak » 01/14/02 08:14 AM

Why do we have to quell the spectators suspicion that the coins are gaffed. I feel that the spectators dont even suspect such a thing could exist. Especially if they are coins that they know about. While half dollars and silver dollars are not common coins, laymen for the most part know what the coins are. English pennies and chinese coins are not something that they would know about but when used with half dollars they just accept the fact that you have a coin collection :) Basically I dont think that you have to prove a coin ungaffed because unlike cards (TV Magic Cards) gaffed coins are not really exposed to the public.
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Postby Guest » 01/14/02 09:09 AM

I have found often that when people are faced with something they cannot explain, their mind often leads them to think, "oh they must be trick coins". They may have no clue at all how they could be tricked, but I have seen it occur even on something as simple as a one coin flurry.

After making one coin disappear and reappear a few times, a spectator ask me - "is it real?". I said what other kind is there? And tossed him the coin.

I do prefer to hand the coins out within a routine so there is a reason to hand them out rather than say, "Here look at these".

Quiet honestly I believe spectator's come to one of three conclusions:

1. The guy really has supernatual powers
2. The guy has really good sleight of hand skill
3. The guy has trick coins.

Most people in today's society dismiss #1, and I would rather leave them with #2 by covertly dismissing #3.


Postby Matt Sedlak » 01/14/02 09:34 AM

When performing I try somewhat to make them believe I have supernatural powers. I never say this or make any claims towards it but I try to leave that as the only solution. I agree that if they handle the coins at some part during the routine then that eliminated the thought of a trick coin, however I'm not sure that this is ever even a thought in their minds. Maybe if you bite a piece off a coin they would but since I dont do it I would not know. I also am not really satisfied with them crediting me with excellent sleight of hand, even if it was a very technical routine. While I dont know if you can ever get that totally out of their minds, if the effect is so incredible and imposible (for example Card Warp) then sleight of hand really doesnt explain anything to them and they can see that the cards are normal then they have no explanation except real magic and since they know that there is no such thing as real magic their brains either ooze out of their head or they are astonished and don't attempt to figure it out (the situation I prefer)
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Postby Sean Piper » 01/14/02 05:15 PM

If you want to borrow coins in your environment, my suggestion would be to concentrate on effects that do not require a gaff.

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your help. But.... here's the second part of the Australian Coin Magic problem.

Down here, it's illegal to deface any form of currency, and the fines are quite hefty. This means it's virtually impossible to acquire Cig Thru Coin, Folding Coin, Double Sided, etc. in local currency.

Occasionally you'll find a friend of a friend who knows somebody whose willing to have a go at making a gaff, but let's just say that more often than not, the end result is less than perfect.

So... to do any of the above mentioned routines involves ringing in an American coin and trying to explain why you couldn't do the trick with a borrowed coin.

I guess it's quite a similiar situation to bringing out a packet trick during a set of card effects, the difference being that you'll generally have trouble borrowing a deck of cards from an audience member.

I've always felt that coin magic loses quite a bit of wonder if the coins are not borrowed. Nearly everyone watching will be carrying coins of some sort, and they're quite right in wondering why the magician doesn't perform these miracles with 'normal' coins.

Just something to ponder... ;)
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Postby Guest » 01/14/02 07:45 PM

I'm working on something that uses a quarter shell over a borrowed quarter, The thing is, the shell shows tail side...well, recently the US Mint put out these state quarters with different backs for each state. They're popping up everywhere so I have to be extra careful, or go out and buy a head side shell.

Postby Guest » 01/14/02 09:52 PM

To Sean, you wrote, "I've always felt that coin magic loses quite a bit of wonder if the coins are not borrowed."

If the performer is good, the routine is good, I don't think utilizing your own coins causes the magic to be any less powerful. I live in the US and choose to use real silver coins because I like how they look and sound. These coins are not in circulation, and when asked I just tell spectator's that I enjoy using shiney silver, and they are brighter and easier to see than clad coins.

And to ChrisDavid: The head side of the new quarters look different than the old head sides. Mabye not enough to tell the difference sitting alone by itself, but if you are performing with other state quarters next to it, you can see the difference plainly.

Postby Guest » 01/15/02 05:12 AM

You're right, Dan. It's terrible too.

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/15/02 08:17 PM

The tactic that I use these days is to ask for some “change” and not just for a quarter. This will usually lead to a handful of change being brought forth, from which I can choose what I want.

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