Coin magic

Coin magic

Coin magic is a general term for magical performances employing one or more coins which are manipulated to deceive and baffle the audience.[1] Because coins are small, much coin magic is considered close-up magic or table magic, as the audience must be close to the performer to see the effects. Though stage conjurers generally do not use coin effects, magicians sometimes perform coin manipulations on stage using large coins. In another type of performance setting, a close-up coin magician (or 'coin worker') will use a large video projector so the audience can see the magic on a big screen. Coin magic is generally considered harder to master than other close-up techniques such as card magic, and is one of the least performed forms of conjuring. Coin magic requires great skill and grace to perform convincingly, and this takes a lot of practice to acquire.



Coin effects include productions, vanishes, transformations, transpositions, teleportations, penetrations, restorations, levitations and mental magic — some are combined in a single routine. A simple effect might involve borrowing a coin, making it vanish, concealing the coin, then reproducing it again unexpectedly and returning it to the owner. More complex effects may involve multiple coins, substituting or switching coins and other objects or props can be employed (i.e. handkerchiefs, glasses) as well as the coins. However, the power of most coin magic lies in its simplicity and the solidity of the object; the basic skills of sleight of hand and misdirection [initiation of trains of thought] often appear most magical without complex equipment. Almost any audience will be amazed by the simplest mystery, such as passing a coin through a table.

Sleights and tricks

A Sampling of classic coin magic plots:

  • Coin vanish - vanishing a coin then reappearing it somewhere.
  • Miser's Dream - Grabbing multiple coins from thin air.
  • Coins Across - Transfer of four coins from one hand to another.
  • Three fly - A coins across type effect involving three coins visually transferring from one hand to another.
  • Matrix - Impossibly moving four coins under the cover of playing cards.
  • Chink-a-chink - A bare-hand Matrix.
  • Coins Through Table - Coins penetrate through the surface of the table.
  • Coin Bite - Taking a bite out of a coin then visually restoring it right in front of the spectator.
  • Spellbound - Visually changing one coin into another, while only showing one coin at all times.
  • Coins to Glass - Coins transfer from one hand to a glass.
  • Tenkai Pennies - A two coin routine where one coin travels from one hand to the other.
  • Coin to bottle - A coin is slammed into a sealed water bottle.

A sampling of coin sleights and moves:

  • Palming - A form of concealment.
  • Sleeving - A form of concealment.
  • Lapping - A form of ditching a coin.
  • The French Drop- a retention of vision coin vanish involving the Passing of a coin from one hand to the other than making it disappear.
  • The Muscle Pass - Shooting a coin from one hand to the other, this can be done in such a way that can make the coin look as if it’s defying gravity

Coin Magicians

Some magicians widely known for coin magic include:

  • Thomas Nelson Downs (considered, along with J.B. Bobo, one of the magicians key to the development and teaching of modern coin magic)
  • J.B. Bobo (author of Modern Coin Magic, a core reference and starting point for coin magicians)
  • David Roth (most important developer of coin magic in the twentieth century and inventor of the standard plots common in current coin magic)
  • Larry Jennings
  • Leonard Rangel(A well know close up Venezuelan´ magician, point of reference of standard coin magic in center and south america)
  • Michael Ammar (one of the most prolific publishers and teachers, an experienced all around magician, including coin work)
  • Dean Dill (well-known coin magician and inventor who has appeared on television and also works as a barber)
  • [Michael Vincent]
  • Shoot Ogawa (Last Vegas restaurant performer known for highly stylized, high-difficulty, impressive coin magic)
  • Apollo Robbins (contemporary of Shoot Ogawa and co-contributor to a number coin teaching materials)
  • David Stone (extremely talented performer and teacher of fast-paced, flashy coin magic)
  • Dai Vernon
  • Paul Saulsbury
  • Rocco Silano
  • Jay Sankey
  • Ponta The Smith


Although some coin magic depends on the use of a gimmick (e.g. modified coins, oversized coins or trick coins), such gimmicks do not entirely automate a magical effect. Gimmicked coins are made by several major manufacturers, Sterling, Johnson, Sasco or Tango Magic. Producing a memorable mystery requires significant skill in presenting the effect and utilizing misdirection to distract the audience from the secret of the gimmick. A performer who relies entirely on special equipment may not impress an audience. Many people are more impressed by an effect which depends (or seems to depend) entirely on skillful manipulation and misdirection than by an effect which appears to depend to some extent on specially made props. A performer who has mastered the basic skills can nonetheless use gimmicks to powerful effect without it being obvious to the audience. Some magicians prefer not to use gimmicks at all, though most well-known coin magicians do utilize simple coin gimmicks.

In Literature

Canadian novelist Robertson Davies devotes a good part of his Deptford Trilogy to the art of coin magic. All three novels follow in part or wholly the career of a fictitious magician, Magnus Eisengrim, who was abducted as a boy by a traveling circus and learned his craft while concealed in a papier-mâché automaton. The descriptions of coin magic throughout are remarkable for their clarity. The final novel in the series in particular World of Wonders details his life and career, and is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best literary depictions of a coin magic virtuoso.

In the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods, the main character, Shadow, is an experienced coin magician, and many different tricks and aspects of coin magic are discussed in the book.

In the Dean Koontz novel From the Corner of His Eye, a police officer uses coin magic to interrogate suspects.

Thieves, wizards, and jesters, in historical and fantasy literature are often depicted as being skilled in legerdemain, and are often depicted doing standard coin magic. Rolling a coin across the knuckles is a popular image. Silk in David Eddings's Belgariad, and Mat Cauthon and Thom Merrilin in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, do this frequently. Johnny Depp's whimsical character Jack Sparrow coin walks in the end of Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, Vila Restal in the BBC science fiction television program Blake's 7 mixed his skills as a thief with such tricks.


  1. ^ Wilson, Mark (1988) [1975]. Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic. Courage Books. ISBN 0894716239. Money Magic, pp. 175-221.

External Links

Visual Guide to Fundamental Coin Techniques

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coin snatching — Coin snatching, often nicknamed the Chinese elbow trick, consists of a simple trick in which coin(s) are placed on the elbow and the hand is placed on the shoulder and the hand swings forwards to catch the coin(s). If done correctly, the trick… …   Wikipedia

  • Coin manipulation — is the art of manipulating coins in skillful flourishes, usually on or around the hands.[1] Although not always considered coin magic, the tricks are sometimes used in magic shows. The difficulty of the trick ranges greatly, from some that take a …   Wikipedia

  • Magic (illusion) — For other varieties of magic, see Magic (disambiguation). Illusionist redirects here. For the artistic tradition, see Illusionism (art). For other uses, see The Illusionist (disambiguation). Magic The Conjurer (painting), 1475 1480, by Hieronymus …   Wikipedia

  • Magic conventions — are gatherings of professional magicians, magical hobbyists, dealers, collectors of magical apparatus, books and ephemera, and other students of the art of magic. They provide a place for lectures of subjects related to the craft, as well as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Magic Mansion — Title Card Opening Title Card for Magic Mansion Series …   Wikipedia

  • Magic (magazine) — MAGIC, also known as The Magazine for Magicians, is an independent magazine for magicians that is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. A creation of Stan Allen, magician, it debuted in September 1991, with its first issue featuring Lance Burton on the… …   Wikipedia

  • Magic: The Gathering (MicroProse) — Magic: The Gathering Developer(s) Atari Publisher(s) MicroProse Platform(s) Windows …   Wikipedia

  • Magic Sword — Heroic Fantasy Developer(s) Capcom Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Magic: The Gathering rules — Magic: The Gathering is a playing and collectible card game with extremely detailed and, at times, complex rules. A very good knowledge of the game s rules is absolutely necessary to play the game. The most important rule is that if the text on a …   Wikipedia

  • Magic Johnson's Basketball — Cover art Developer(s) Arcadia Software Creations Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”