I love coin magic and I think you are going to too. I think coin magic is as pure and organic as magic can get. Oftentimes it’s 100% impromptu which, I’m not going to lie, is pretty cool.
Here’s what we will cover, in today’s post:
- 5 easy coin magic tricks you can do today
- How to learn coin magic like a kung fu master
- Who did the very first coin trick (history of coin magic)
5 Easy Coin Magic Tricks You Can Do Today
Want to learn some simple coin magic tricks that will amaze your friends? Coin magic is awesome because almost everyone will have a few coins lying around the house that you can pick up and amaze them with. You can do coin magic at a cafe, a pub, or even a day out!
People are always going to be carrying a bit of loose change around with them so it’s about time that you learnt how to do some magic with it. Read on! Here are 5 super easy coin tricks you can learn for free today. Let’s get the ball rolling with…
Number 5: Make A Coin…Disappear
Yep. We had to start out this list with perhaps the most classic of all magic illusions- the vanishing coin!
If you want a reputation as a master coin magician, this is one trick you are going to NEED to know how to do well.
You can learn a really cool way to do this by watching Jay Sankey’s tutorial video.
Jay Sankey is actually a professional magician who has performed with the very best magicians out there, but he’s dropping magic secrets left right and center over at his YouTube channel (SankeyMagic).
One of those secrets is how to make a coin disappear using nothing but sleight of hand.
Actually, he gives out THREE methods to do this, but they all achieve the same effect.
First, he teaches you a ‘palm up’ retention vanish, then an ‘upside down’ retention vanish, and finally a ‘clipped’ vanish.
Retention basically means making it LOOK like you put the coin in one hand whilst you actually RETAIN it in the other hand. All three techniques Jay teaches involve a retention of some sort- just three different types of retentions.
Even if you’ve got this far, you probably wouldn’t understand the moves if I tried describing them, so here’s the video itself!
Feel free to rewind it as many times as you like until you understand the mechanics of the moves.
My thoughts: If you are having difficulties with one of the moves you don’t have to try learning all three of them! Instead, pick your favourite and work on really perfecting that one until you can do it nearly as flawlessly as Jay.
My personal favorite is the ‘clipped’ vanish because I could have sworn I SAW the coin drop into his hand. It’s so visual and fooling, I would definitely recommend staying around until the end of the video to learn it!
Of course, there are other ways to make a coin vanish but these are three of the most tried and tested ways of doing so. Now that you know how to make a coin disappear, let’s move on to some more complex but amazingly visual tricks!
Number 4: Coin Through Glass
The magician displays an ordinary coin and an ordinary glass cup (preferably an empty one). He taps the bottom of the glass with a coin to show that it is solid and there is no way the coin could possibly get through.
On the count of three he taps the coin against the bottom of the glass as hard as he can, and impossibly the coin travels THROUGH the solid glass.
The magician shows that both his hands are empty- the coin really is in the cup.
This is also a super popular coin magic trick, and there are loads of ways to accomplish the effect. Usually the method involves having TWO coins- one to hold in the hand and one to drop in the glass.
However, the one I’ve chosen is much better than these because it can be done with a SIGNED coin; only one coin is used all the way through this trick.
You can have a spectator sign the coin using a Sharpie or some kind of marker pen, and as for the cup, any glass cup will do. The reason you want it to be glass is so they can SEE the coin appear inside the cup as it happens.
Once they’ve signed the coin, you let it lie flat in your hand. With you other hand you grip the cup by the edges.
You tap the coin with the cup twice normally, but on the third time round you actually flick the coin up so that it bounces off the hand holding the glass and into the cup.
Number 3: Coin Through Glass (FULL OF WATER)
Before you tell me, I know I’ve already explained the coin through glass trick, but this one is actually a little different.
I learnt this awesome trick over at goodtricks.net, so be sure to check the site out for more great magic!
This time, the glass is full of water!
The magician shows the coin and the glass to the audience- they are both ‘legit’. He then slowly and visually ‘melts’ the coin through the bottom of the glass and into the water.
The best part is, the audience know that there is NO CHANCE you dropped the coin in since they word have heard the splash.
So how is it done?
Head over to the goodtricks website (link down below) for the full explanation along with a video, but here’s the basics.
This time you DO use a duplicate coin (so no signing this time!)
You put one of the coins inside the glass, so it is stood against the side. You cover it with your fingers as you display the glass as empty. Then you pour the water in- the way water refracts light means that you can now remove your fingers and display the glass as empty.
You take the second coin and hold it at your fingertips. You press your hand up to the glass and let the coin slide as you rotate the glass. The coin that was hidden should now be visible, making it look like the coin has traveled through the glass!
Number 2: Guess Which Hand
Chances are you’ve done this trick before without meaning to.
You put a coin in your hands, mix it up behind your back, and bring them back out, asking ‘which hand is the coin in?’
It’s a fun game, but it can become an even cooler magic trick if you know how.
You give someone a coin and ask them to put it in either hand behind their back and make a fist, so that you don’t have any way of knowing which hand it is in.
Even though they do that, you guess which hand the coin is in every single time!
There are some really complex ways to do this including magnets and expensive equipment, but honestly, the best way is just by observing someone’s body language.
Below is the thumbnail from a video from Chris Ramsay, who has a great tutorial of this effect on his YouTube channel!
For example, most of the time their nose will actually point slightly toward whichever hand the coin is in.
I know it sounds like I’m making this up, but that’s genuinely true!
Also, watch out for a small flicker of the eyes toward the hand that the coin is hidden in. I’m talking milliseconds, but it’s there.
If you guess it right the first time, I’ve found that 90% of people try to be clever and keep it in the same hand. That isn’t a guaranteed thing, but for some reason people do seem to get attached to the hand they picked first!
Another technique you could try is to ask them to cross their arms over each other. Most people tend to put the guilty hand beneath the empty one, as if they are ‘hiding’ it.
The most important thing is just to get out there and give it a go because honestly, you are going to get it wrong.
The more you do it, the better you’ll get at picking up on the little tell-tale signs that give away where the coin is.
And if worse comes to worst, you could just use the coin to do one of the other tricks we’ve discussed!
If you already have experience with coin magic, another great way to finish this trick off is with the ‘coin under the watch’ effect. Obviously, this only works if the person is wearing a watch.
I love this because the secret ‘move’ where you deposit the coin under their watch is a natural part of the performance and ties in very nicely with the ‘guess which hand’ trick.
I usually say something like: ‘Okay, how about you have a go? I’ll put the coin in one of my hands and you have to guess which one.’
I put my hands behind my back and drop the coin into my back pocket. When I bring out my hands, they are (of course) both empty. Once, the spectator realizes this, they might accuse you of cheating.
At this point I say: ‘No, watch. Watch. WATCH.’ and point at their watch. They discover that the reason the coin isn’t in either of my hands is because it is right beneath their watch!
This effect can get you some CRAZY reactions and is the perfect way to round off your trick.
Did you know?
Seven months ago, we decided to learn every single Which Hand routine we could find on the internet.
With the exception of routines that are out-of-stock or no longer available to purchase, we bought, studied and performed every single Which Hand effect on the market.
For 168 hours, we lived, breathed, and slept Which Hand routines.
While we did so, we also set ourselves ANOTHER challenge:
To create our very own original Which Hand effect by the end of the 7 days!
To our surprise, by the end of the challenge, we had devised not one but THREE original Which Hand routines.
We believe they contain some of the finest thinking that has ever been done on the effect, including 5 original effects, 3 original moves, and fresh handling on some of the most powerful existing principles.
Click HERE to view.
Number 1: Plucking Coins From Thin Air
There’s something really cool about this trick. I think it’s the fact that you’re LITERALLY pulling coins out of the air, with sleeves rolled up and nothing in your hands!
You grab three coins (in a row) out of the air, in the cleanest and most impressive way possible!
What makes this trick so good is the move it uses, called the ‘shuttle’ move. Even when you know EXACTLY what is going on, it still fools the heck out of you.
Here’s a brilliant tutorial for this trick by Jay Sankey (the same guy from Number 1, I know).
My thoughts: The most important part to practice is definitely the shuttle move. Once you get this bit down, the possibilities are endless! You could mix this routine up and have different types of coin appear each time, or even different objects!
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning these simple coin magic tricks; you might even be able to find a way to combine a few of them into a full routine!
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning these simple coin magic tricks; you might even be able to find a way to combine a few of them into a full routine! Coin tricks are awesome because unlike a deck of playing cards, most people will have a few coins handy whatever the situation. You can do this magic wherever you are!
How To Learn Coin Magic Like A Kung Fu Master
If I could recommend only one person, only one resource for learning coin magic it would be none other then, the one and only Danny Goldsmith.
Danny is currently the best coin magician in the world, and he’s rapidly shaping the future of coin magic!
Danny’s approach to magic and life is deeply rooted in the Buddism philosophy. In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to attain enlightenment, connecting deeply with the elements of the surrounding world. This serene, karmic mindset adds another dimension to Danny’s coin magic and brings a uniqueness that is hard to find anywhere else!
If you prefer visual instruction over dusty books, than you’re in luck, because Danny provides an amazing visual experience for learning coin magic and the tricks he teaches you are insane!
Here are my five favourite coin magic bundles made by Danny…
N1. Optical by Danny Goldsmith
Optical, is a variation on the retention vanish, and teaches three impossibly visual vanishes and explains the neuroscience that causes someone to see an object in your hand when it’s not actually there in the process.
What You’ll Learn:
- Flip Flop Vanish: A casual toss vanish that truly looks like the coin is being thrown into your hand. You’ll learn two variations of this visually deceptive move. The technique is surprisingly simple for how good it looks, making this an accessible move for all skill levels.
- The Ember Vanish: This is easily one of the most visual coin vanishes you’ll ever learn. Performed from the magician’s point of view, with the spectator looking over your shoulder, they’ll swear they see that coin firmly in your hand before it vanishes!
- DG Vanish: Danny’s signature retention vanish taught in precise detail. After years of working closely with his students and refining his teaching to help them get the best results, Danny has discovered new drills and exercises that offer you everything you need to truly master this technique. Even if you’ve learned this move through previous projects, these extra exercises are guaranteed to be a valuable resource in making your DG retention as clean and visual as possible.
+ Manipulating Light: Danny breaks down the neurological principle that causes your spectator to see a coin between your fingers even after it’s already left your hand. Knowing how to use this glitch in the brain is a superpower that every magician should know how to harness. Danny will teach you multiple exercises and drills too fast track your progress and master this technique. Learn how to apply this principle to techniques you’re already using and make your magic more deceptive and visual!
Click HERE to view Optical.
N2. The Pistol Pass by Danny Goldsmith
The Pistol Pass, is a variation of the muscle pass, that opens up so many possibilities! Many of these effects look like camera tricks, they’re not.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Pistol Pop Production – An insanely visual production of 1, 2, or 3 coins right at the fingertips.
- Glint Production – A way to use the Pistol pop production to make it look like you’re pulling a 2nd coin from the shine of the 1st.
- Touch Production – A coin instantly appears below the finger as you touch your palm or the table.
- Wipe Production – This is one of my favourites. This looks like you simply wipe a coin into existence with 1 finger.
- Cobb production – A new way to do the Korn production. No awkward or unmotivated movements. You simply close your hand around your finger tips and a coin appears.
- Catch Change – Exactly how it sounds: you toss a coin in the air and it visibly changes as you catch it between your finger tips. This move looks insane!
- Pluck change – Another insanely visual change right at the fingertips where the coin transforms as its grabbed from one hand to the other. This one really looks like a camera trick.
- Ring Pop Production – You blow into a ring and a coin pops out. Visual and super fun to perform.
- Coin Through Glass – A glass is placed on it’s side and a coin is visually thrown through the bottom of the glass. A new take on a classic idea.
- Pistol Shot – The inner child in you will love this! You make a gun with your hand, toss a coin into the air and shoot it (think ‘pew pew’), the coin goes flying. This is what we wish would happen when we were kids…now it’s a possibility!
- Bubba – This is an absolutely ridiculous routine that’s sure to get your audience laughing in amazement.
All from one sleight!
Click HERE to learn The Pistol Pass.
N3. Voyage by Danny Goldsmith
Voyage, is a variation of the coins across routine, that transcends the visual limitations of the plot and adds juicy layers of audible deception (all 3 routines are completely gimmickless and possible with your choice of coins).
What You’ll Learn:
- NAVI: 3 different coins fly through the air and into the awaiting hand, 1 by 1, without the hands EVER coming together. It doesn’t get cleaner than this!
- SILVER ECHOES: A 4 coin ‘coins across’ where the deception is layered with audible tricks, as well as visuals. You hear the coins leave one hand and arrive in the other, but with closed fists and nothing to see. The last coin vanishes so impossibly with COMPLETELY EMPTY HANDS to magically travel to the spectators hand! it just HAS to be magic.
- DRAGON FLY: A flawless 3-fly of silver coins that are shown cleanly the entire way through. This routine ends with all 3 coins jumping back ALL AT ONCE! You’ll never see a more deceptive, gimmickless 3-fly.
Click HERE to learn Voyage.
N4. Modus by Danny Goldsmith
If you want to learn some fun creative moves and establish a practice routine that guarantees your growth, then this is for you! 11 mind-blowing sleights to make your routines more powerful, visual, and deceptive.
What you’ll learn…
- 6 vanishes
- 3 changes
- 2 productions
And a deep dive into the neuroscience of building muscle memory and mastering sleight of hand!
You’re going to learn how to structure your practice so that you learn difficult moves more quickly and can execute them smoothly. When followed properly these techniques are guaranteed to help you grow.
Click HERE to view Modus.
N5. Mythos by Danny Goldsmith
This is Danny’s greatest work yet, his magnum opus!
If you want to:
- Create interesting presentations that truly captivate your audience
- Deeply understand the psychological principles that invoke wonder
- And uncover your own unique creativity to bring about your most powerful magic
…Then this is for you. Read on…
Here’s what you’ll get when you pick up Mythos:
- 3 mind-blowing talks
- 4 stunning routines…
- …and a BUNCH of bonus material!
Click HERE to view Mythos.
The Best Books on Coin Magic: Fundamental Coin Magic Tricks & Techniques
Danny Goldsmith is at the top, and he’s here to stay but if you’d like to supplement your learning of coin magic I’d be remiss not to mention some of the best books on the art!
If I could only recommend one, it would be ‘Modern Coin Magic by J.B. Bobo’ that you is available on Amazon for a few dollars…
This book features 116 coin sleights, and 236 coin tricks and you’ll learn almost everything about coin magic including: Basic Palms, Coin Vanishes, Coin Productions, Transpositions, Transformations, Coin Penetrations, Copper-Silver Routines, Expanded Coin Gimmicks, Coin Boxes, Table Coin Tricks, Coin Trick Plots, Coin Sleights, History and Presentation!
If you’d like a complete guide to the best coin magic books click HERE!
who did the first EVER coin trick?
But before we can decide when people started doing magic with coins, we should probably establish when people figured out they could stamp their faces on bits of metal and use them to buy goods.
The truth is that no one really knows when coins were first invented, but most historians think it was somewhere around the 6th to 5th century BC.
Fast forward a few hundred years and we come across the oldest known book with coin tricks in it— ”Tuhfat al-Ghraib” (or ‘The Gift of Wonder) by Muhammad ibn Ayyub Alhaseb Tabari, written between 978 and 1100.
(this might also be the oldest known book with magic in it, period!)
Another major milestone was the publishing of “A Discoverie Of Witchcraft” in 1584, which featured a number of coin tricks including one featuring what we now know as a ‘copper/silver’ gimmick.
(it’s crazy how this simple gaff has been fooling people for nearly 500 years now…)
But the real birth of modern coin magic could probably be pinned somewhere in the lifetime of Thomas Nelson Downs (1867 – 1938), a self-taught coin magician known as ‘The King of Koins.”
Coin tricks were a lot more rare at that time, and Downs quickly became the leading man in the field.
He could allegedly palm up to 60 coins at a time, and one of his most famous tricks was “The Miser’s Dream”, in which he seemed to pull countless coins out of the thin air.
Then came J. B. Bobo, who wrote what is now considered ‘the Bible of coin magic’—Modern Coin Magic.
Of course, we should mention Slydini—who showed magicians how powerful close up coin magic could be, especially with his pioneering ‘one coin routine.’
Enter David Roth…
Dai Vernon is reported to have called Roth the greatest coin magician he has seen, and it’s undeniable that coin magic today would not be what it is without him.
According to Jamy Ian Swiss, Roth “changed coin magic for all time”.
Roth’s virtuoso execution of a “persistence of vision vanish” led to tremendous interest in his handling of the move (which he referred to as “The Retention Vanish“), and – perhaps – to increased use of this move among magicians.
So that’s a brief summary of the history of coin magic—we’re sure we’ve missed plenty of incredible magicians and contributors, but for the sake of keeping things concise we only covered the basic points.
Who are the leading people in coin magic today?
There are a few names that come to mind.
In no particular order, here they are…
First, our friend Danny Goldsmith has made it his mission to change how modern magicians think about and approach coin magic—and we think he’s killing it.
Secondly, Eric Jones created it when he put out ‘Metal’, and then inspired thousands of coin magicians with his success on America’s Got Talent.
Thirdly, Rick Holcombe is helping shape the future of coin magic by producing some of the most high quality coin magic content out there.
And of course, no list of influential 21st century coin magicians would be complete without
Jeff Copeland. Jeff Copeland is the founder of Copeland Coins, a company he founded to create the coin magic products he couldn’t find anywhere else.
Today we’re featuring a classic episode of our podcast, Of Sleights and Men, where we sat down and had a conversation with Jeff. Jeff is a friend, creator, and knows what it takes to be a professional magician.
In this episode we had a fantastic discussion, touching on topics as niche as Christian magic and as basic as good practice techniques.
Click HERE to listen.
If you still have any questions, feedback or comments feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you, thanks for reading our complete guide to coin magic! We hope you enjoyed it!
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