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Topic: Soft coins or slicks?
Message: Posted by: SIX (Jun 24, 2004 12:28PM)
I need worn coins. Is there a way that I can make coins worn so they stay silent and don't talk?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 24, 2004 12:39PM)
Go to a coin shop and ask for the kind you want.
Message: Posted by: Dave1216 (Jun 24, 2004 01:09PM)
Go to any coin show or coin shop and ask them for slicks. The will usually just give you a bunch of them (because they are usually worthless to a coin owner.) If they don't give them to you for free, they shouldn't charge you more than a few pennies each.

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 24, 2004 01:18PM)
Old worn coins are still made of silver, and have significant value above pennies per coin.
Message: Posted by: Randy Sager (Jun 24, 2004 01:34PM)
Old silver halfs can be bought at coin shops or shows for around $2 each or so and up. I have gone to coin shows and have been able to buy eight or more for about $20. A lot of the time the dealer will give you a discount on them if you are buying that many. I really doubt he will just give them to you.
Message: Posted by: Justin Hart (Jun 24, 2004 01:59PM)
I doubt it too and for the simple fact that the coins can be melted down and then crafted into whatever...even jewelery.

P.S. Soft coins is the term used by magicians...slicks are used by the collectors. Use the term slick please when speaking to them, it will make things easier for you.
Message: Posted by: Dave1216 (Jun 24, 2004 04:50PM)
I have been to several coin shows and received dozens of "slicks" for free. Sometimes they are dirty, but all you need to do is bring them home and clean them up a bit.

Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 24, 2004 07:40PM)
Dave, please send me some of your free coins. I have to pay quite a bit for the ones I use. :)
Message: Posted by: markyeager (Jun 24, 2004 10:39PM)
Todd Lassen told me that slicks in dollars are getting rarer. An Illinois coin dealer recently priced me 6.50 for slicks. Todd looks for matched sets. In the coins that I'm looking through. Matched coins are hard to find, matched sets even harder. I love the fact that his sets are hand picked, for looks as well as performing ease.
Message: Posted by: Richard Lucas (Jun 24, 2004 11:28PM)
Can I have an opinion on which is best, the half dollars or dollars? A set of four with an Ex****** ***** is very pricey compared to the Kennedys.
Message: Posted by: Mediocre the Great (Jun 25, 2004 01:35AM)
Some people are passionate that you should use the largest and most shiney coin possible. I say use what fits your hands and that you can manipulate best.

I use silver dollars for some effects, but in general I'm better off with halves. I also have some foreign coins that are in-between U.S. halves and silver dollars.
Message: Posted by: joeKing (Jun 25, 2004 10:12AM)
How does one make new coins feel old (soft)?
Message: Posted by: Curtis Kam (Jun 25, 2004 05:23PM)
There are a couple of threads on this, as the topic comes up every couple of months. There is a Café member, Kirk G, who is in California and will "soften" coins for you. His process leaves you with a coin that slides silently, looks worn, but has a sharp edge, provided the coin had a sharp edge to start with.

On the other hand, you could also purchase slicks, and have Todd Lassen re-edge them.

In the end, the result's the same.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with learning to handle "hard" coins silently, or "slick edge" coins with certainty. We're talking advantages here, not necessities.
Message: Posted by: waveman (Jul 7, 2004 10:58AM)
Any one ever try a rock tumbler?

I'm thinking about trying this, logically it would produce a more natural wear than grinding.

just a thought
Message: Posted by: Justin Hart (Jul 7, 2004 02:51PM)
I have thought of the tumbler idea personally, however, because of a coin's shape, you'll probably just smooth down the edges.

Never tried it because I ruled it out as a possibility. If you consider that a tumbler is just that...basically a pill shaped container right, well if you look at the shape there is in no way that if you sit a coin flat on the tumber that the surface will touch evenly over the coins face or back let alone hitting every spot of the coin during the tumble. If you try this and it works PLEASE let me know.

PS...Dave1216, why would you want to clean a soft coin? That dirt helps considerably to keep them sliding softly...and I'd like some of your free coins too. Is it easier if I PM you with my address? Thanks bud,
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jul 7, 2004 03:00PM)
My theory- In a tumbler the there would be several coins so they would land flat against each other approximating coins going through the ware and tear of circulation. I think it should work well. Please post your results.
Message: Posted by: waveman (Jul 7, 2004 03:46PM)
I have a couple candidates for the tumbler. I figure it's worth a try.
I'll post my findings in a few days.

Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jul 7, 2004 09:49PM)
A tumbler is not used empty. There is usually a medium that is chosen based on the effect that you want. This is not the method I use to soften coins.

Kirk G
Message: Posted by: Mike Wild (Jul 7, 2004 10:14PM)
I'm the IT Manager for a metal fabrication shop (day jobs come in handy sometimes :)) Anyway, I have access to a lot of industrial DNC machinery, and have tried a few of them to soften coins. I'll tell you that all things considered, unless you're a skilled craftsman, leave it to the pro's.

I've tried sand blasting - almost cut the coin in half

A grinder - disfigured and distorted the coin beyond any usefulness.

Metal Sander - not bad, but a real pain to get evenly ground down.

Some things that worked:

Press brake - to make coins for coin bend routines. Put's a 90 on the coin that you could set your watch to.

Strippit Punch - Makes Karate coins of professional quality.

You really need more jewelry grade machines to work with coins. Industrial strength is overkill.


Message: Posted by: Sirakor (Jul 8, 2004 07:33AM)
Sand blasting - have mercy with that poor coin!

you could try sand paper, but as has been said a coin shop will be the easiest place to get them, especially if you are looking for silver coins.
Message: Posted by: Justin Hart (Jul 8, 2004 09:04AM)
You should probably get an industrial tumbler also and not the hobby kiddie ones...just guessing though.
Message: Posted by: Sirakor (Jul 8, 2004 12:48PM)
Chuck em into a nearby river and collect them 10 years later...?
Message: Posted by: waveman (Jul 8, 2004 03:14PM)
They are going in the tumbler tonight.

I've done this with stones before, I'm changing the method a little for the coins.

I plan on tumbling them for a day at each stage so the don't get too worn.

The major concern of mine is that wet coins stick together, hopefully the spinning motion of the drum will prevent this.
Message: Posted by: CardiniMan (Jul 8, 2004 04:01PM)
Yikes. I cant wait to hear your findings on using a tumbler.

A long process is using a certain kind of sandpaper. I was able to soften four morgans that way. It wound up pretty good. The type of sandpaper came from a tip Scotty York once gave someone. I'd have to look in my notes the gauge of paper but if anyone is interested I'll post it here.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 8, 2004 04:16PM)
Sandpaper leaves you with sharp corners... which are less than forgiving.

What specifically prevents you from seeking out the coins that were prescribed for the tricks... well worn half crowns?
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 8, 2004 04:30PM)
I can vouch for KirkG's coins. They are very nice.

They're soft like pudding. And I'm talking pudding Without the pudding skin. Now that's soft!

A very good combo of soft + nice looking.

Message: Posted by: Dark (Jul 8, 2004 05:04PM)
Frank, do you have any pictures of Kirk's work?

I've tried coarse sand paper followed by a dremel tool with a cotton tip and polishing paste. It leaves the coin looking too shiny/polished looking and the coin lookes like something that was way over polished.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 9, 2004 01:39AM)
No I do not. Trust me. They look great. Significant detail. They are shiney but they do not look over polished.

PM kirk (he posted a few above) and tell him to photograph them. He's an expert photographer as well.

Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jul 9, 2004 11:25AM)
Thanks for the kind words Frank and Curtis.

I do polish my Morgans so they aren't the dull color spoken of on another thread. They are simply shiny silver coins with detail. "Too shiny" is a judgement call. I don't think something that is old has to look worn out or ugly. But you must loose some detail to get "soft" coins. It is inevitable.

Since I do the process by hand on each coin, I can control the amount of detail lost and the level of softness. Some of my magician friends like them more soft and some less soft. And since they are done by hand, one at a time, they aren't cheap. A set of 4 will set you back $100. While they are very similar in appearance, they are not exact matches with same dates etc. I have to sift through a lot of coins just to get to the level of similarity I have now.

I must admit though, that I have 4 beater coins that I carry in my pocket 24/7 for practicing and occasionally perform for people with them, and I have never had someone comment on the differences between these coins.

Frank is busy saving his money for a set, when he does he will probably post a picture for you all to see. But they will just look like coins. To really appreciate them, you have to hold them in your hand and feel them.