Learn Magic With Money
Money magic has a built-in desire for most people: we tend to watch it not only because it’s flashy, but because it has WORTH. It has meaning. To watch a magician pluck coins from the air is a great metaphor, because it’s something we all wish we could do.
Doing money magic is also great because it’s easy to follow along with. Coin plots usually are quite direct, and don’t even require much talking.
In this article we’ll take you through all the best coin effects, and things to keep in mind when you perform coin magic.
Because so many coin effects are fast and visual and over quickly, it’s best to consider coin routines as part of a “set.” How will you get into the routine? What will you do afterward? Will you end clean or with gaffs? These are important considerations.
Some coin effects require a coin gimmick - very often a shell. You might learn the routine expertly, but how are you going to end in a way that allows your audience to examine the coins? Sometimes this can be done with apparatus and sometimes with sleight-of-hand. For example, if you wish to do it with a coin purse, Dean Bill's Coin Wallet is an excellent one.
How to Carry Your Coins
You’re going to need a great way to carry your coins, and we have it for you. Jeff Copeland has created a beautiful coin purse alternative call The Traveler.
If you wish to carry everything together in one place--including your cards, packet tricks and more, the answer is Joshua Jay’s outstanding Pro Carrier Deluxe. This is made of high quality leather and will last you a lifetime if you take care of it.
Five Incredible Coin Effects
Let’s go through five incredible coin effects now. Notice that the list we’ve curated doesn’t overlap much. The idea is that you could learn all five and there would be very little overlap.
Charming Chinese Challenge by Troy Hoser
Perhaps the greatest coin trick of them all, you cause three Chinese coins to penetrate a red ribbon. Everything starts and ends clean, no table is required, and near the end you throw a coin in the air and cause it to link IN MID AIR. It doesn’t get any better than this.
The coins you receive with this package are of the highest quality, and if you put in the time to learn this routine, it will serve you throughout your whole career.
Imagination Coins by Garrett Thomas
There are two moments in this routine that make it ASTOUNDING and magical. In one, a spectator invisibly hands you a coin from her hand and you make it VISIBLE. It’s incredible. What’s nice about this coin routine is that it’s done with quarters--something we all carry every day, instead of half dollars which are far less common. And the plot of the trick is that coins travel from the spectator’s hand into your hand by magic.
Puncture 2.0 by Alex Linnian
This is a highly visual method for pushing a pen through a coin. When I first saw this, I thought I was witnessing real magic. I couldn’t believe it. You push a coin THROUGH a coin and cause tear marks. This is NOT the standard Presley Guitar-created cigarette through coin gimmick. This involves a switch, but the visual is EXPLICIT and gorgeous.
Klink by Rune Klan
Silky smooth. This Coins to Glass is a lovely thing to behold, and you can use basically any glass and any three coins, so long as you also have a shell. What’s nice about this routine is how playful it is. Rune has essentially assembled some of his favorite moves and woven them together into one slick little routine. You purchase it as a download and can learn it instantly.
Triad Coins by Joshua Jay
Our own Joshua Jay presents this PHENOMENAL three-coin production and vanish. It’s a utility gimmick that can do many things, but the best one is this: you show three coins and cause them to disappear one by one. BOTH hands can be shown otherwise empty after each vanish, and you end COMPLETELY clean.
To end clean you’ll use Jay’s watch vanish, which has applications far beyond this specific trick. But this is really the perfect place to use it. Triad Coins is something within the realm of a total beginner, but it’s also a professional caliber routine.
Five Money Tricks that Don’t Use Coins
Not all money magic uses coins. Using dollar bills (or foreign currency equivalent) is a great way to build interest in a show. Here are five of the the best money magic tricks WITHOUT coins.
Cornered by Joshua Jay
This is one of THE most overlooked gems on our site. You cause a borrowed bill to appear in a SPECTATOR’S wallet. Think about that. That is exactly the kind of memory you want to leave a spectator with. It’s easy to perform and you can set it up just seconds before you perform it.
Phase by Josh Janousky
This download will show you how to do an extremely cool effect with two apparently normal objects: you push a credit card through a bill. The bill is prepared but you end clean. Once you make the simple DIY gimmick, you’ll be able to even perform this with a borrowed bill.
400 Lux by Kyle Littleton
There are a bunch of versions that we could have selected to change a series of ones into a series of hundreds. This one has many advantages: it’s COMPLETELY ungaffed (and not many can boast that claim). It’s not terribly hard to do, and the advantage of an ungaffed version is that you can assemble it (and then spend it) whenever you like.
This is “the” classic of money magic, and it’s a trick you ought to know. You borrow a dollar bill, fold it up, and when you unfold it, it’s $100 bill. There are versions explained with a thumbtip and other “tipless” switches are discussed, that can be done impromptu. This book provides not only all the technical details you could want, but also dozens of PRESENTATIONAL angles you can use when you perform.
This is an impromptu pen or pencil through bill. It’s a lovely penetration effect that can be done without any gaff at all. It will take practice, but it can be performed in all sorts of situations.
Five Parlor Money Magic Tricks
We usually think of money magic as being the exclusive domain of the close-up performer. But doing money tricks on stage can be a great addition to your show. Let’s explore some of the best parlor tricks you can do with money.
Bill to Lemon
This is a classic routine and one that you SHOULD consider adding to your repertoire. There are many versions you can learn. Good ones are taught by Bill Malone and Paul Potassy. But this one by Chris Randall was worked in by hundreds of performances on the Las Vegas streets.
This is “the” parlor money trick: making coins appear at will. And there’s nobody better on earth to teach it than the masterful, hilarious Chris Capehart. He covers all the basic and advanced moves to make this effect a mainstay in your next parlor show.
Catch 23 by Asi Wind
This is a BLOCKBUSTER mentalism routine in which you predict the decisions of four onstage spectators, and it culminates with a check made out in EXACTLY the amount of money they name. You seem to know in advance every decision they will make. This is a download AND it comes with a special gimmick.
Blank Night by John Archer
This is the FIRST EVER routine to fool Penn and Teller. You show several envelopes and allow various spectators to choose one each. They all end up with funny messages on them except for yours...which contains a large sum of money.
What you receive with Blank Night is the special envelopes required for the routine, but also the intriguing presentation. This routine is HILARIOUS and there is so much room for personalization and innovation. It’s a fantastic opener because it showcases your personality in a likeable sort of way...and it has a climax that ends with you holding on to your money!
Paper Money Box Production
This isn’t of the same caliber or sophistication as the other items mentioned on the list. However, if you’re performing for kids or at a fundraiser or you’re looking for something totally unique and visual involving money, this is it. You reach into an empty paper sack and produce what appears to be an endless stream of colorful, decorative boxes filled with money.
The prop is high quality, durable, and works itself.