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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Some 'antique' foreign coins for a prop - What would you need? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

NinoL
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Hi guys!

So we're putting together a Kickstarter campaign for a deck of playing cards (bear with me) and one of the rewards is geared specifically towards Magicians.

As the deck is based on an old Italian folk legend, I thought it would be great to provide a coin prop that could be used to transition between a card trick and a coin trick whilst continuing the theme of the deck.

Italy, where we live, changed to the Euro in 2002 so the old Lira coins are quite abundant in second hand shops, usually in collectors condition. I use 100 lire coins myself for some coin tricks as they're about US quarter sized and I thought a nice presentation for the Kickstarter campaign would be to include three of these coins in an old fashioned leather pouch.

However I've now thought, what if they need more? Especially for US backers, it's not going to be easy to obtain more coins.

So I'm here to ask - if you were to obtain a prop like this, what would you need it to have to cover all your bases and be useful?

Currently it has 3 x US quarter sized (ish) coins. Is this enough? Would you need 4, 5, 6?

Would you need a smaller/larger coin? Perhaps in a different colour? How many?

Would this even be a good idea?

Thoughts welcomed and appreciated Smile
funsway
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There are several International matrix type routines documented, so four mixed coins might work, your lIra being one.

Would a quarter EXP [ fit? What about a C/S type gaff for the Lira and quarter?

If the pouch was double sided ...
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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magicalaurie
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I think it's a lovely idea, as is! I could, however, as you suggest, see 4 to 6 coins being especially useful.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
pabloinus
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Ninot, great idea, however most people use Half dollar and dollar size coins for better visibility on the tricks, mostly UK Pennies. Of course few others use quarters because provides a more impromptu feeling, people carry quarters and not half dollars.
Also if I recall some Lire coins are attracted to magnets, which could also be a good property for magic.

So whatever you decide, the minimum should be 4, better 5 (Three fly, matrix and others)

Let us know when your kickstarter campaign starts, I am interested in old italian decks. I have a minichiate Etruria deck that has tarot, zodiac and others cards and it is beautiful

Pablo
NinoL
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Thanks for the kind words guys!

I think increasing to 4 coins shouldn't be a problem. I had limited the reward originally to 20 backers as finding 60 coins seemed a tall order, but just yesterday we found 30 without even trying. The tricky part is organising them into sets of identical dates. That said, out of those 30, 18 were immediately put into groups of 3 by date. I assume this would be an important factor, to keep them all identical?

4 is probably doable without altering the price (if you find them and they aren't of a particular vintage, they're generally €1 a piece) but six would be more difficult to put together regarding dates. That said, if there are plenty of common tricks using six this would be a better number. I'll take from this '3 is good, 4 is better, 6 is ideal'.

Pablo I love Italian decks and collect them myself. It's such a shame that they're generally plastic and difficult to do much with in terms of magic. That said, one of my dream future projects is a proper Sicilian deck (my wife/designer is Sicilian) in poker size on quality card stock but I think that'll be once we've got more of a following or perhaps if we can tag it onto a successful Kickstarter campaign to reduce costs and sell through our website.

This will be a 'poker' deck as we call them here, ie, 52 cards and two jokers. But there will be references to the classic Sicilian suits of coins, wands, cups and swords as it's a Sicilian folk tale, and there should be plenty of nice symbolism for card lovers Smile

Regarding the double-sided leather pouch... I'm excited but don't get me started. We're having them custom made by an artisan leather crafter here in Italy who generally makes props for re-enactments and folklore groups. Everything's made to spec so... hell, I just need to know the ins and outs and he could in theory make anything...

Regarding coin sizes I'm yet to find anything bigger than the 100 lire unfortunately. (On the magnetic note you should be correct - as far as I know they're simply stainless steel). While I was searching the racks of coins I found an old Irish coin that was a decent size that I wanted to take for a future project, but for now I'll do some research regarding potentially larger coins.

EDIT - I've just found on google that the old 500 lire and the old 10 lire (by old I mean they stopped making them in the sixties) are 29.5mm and 27.8mm respectively compared to the Kennedy half dollar's 30.8mm This could be a good one to chuck in - 1 would be good enough perhaps? I didn't see any yesterday, suggesting they may be slightly more valuable. However most of the coins I did pick up are from the sixties and seventies so I don't think we're talking more than a couple of euros a piece. It could be really nice to provide a set of usable Lire coins that could work as some part of themed performance.
magicalaurie
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Some like to have matching dates, while others have said they're not necessary. So, that could be a toss-up, I think. Smile If you've got them, fantastic, if not, as a performer, don't emphasize the date. May depend on a spectator's careful scrutiny, but I think the opportunity for such scrutiny is to be guided by the magician. Smile
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
NinoL
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Cool thanks! It's given me a lot to think about.

Funny story, I was checking the dates and one seemed out of place - 1955. The rest were all late sixties and seventies. A quick google found that the coins were originally minted in 1955 and if you have one from that year it can be worth up to €1200 in mint condition!

It's not quite perfect, couple of dings in the rim, so not knowing the coin collecting world it might be the difference between a mint condition and a piece of crap, but let's see what happens. Even if I get €30 it would pay for the cost of the coins that I paid at least Smile
NinoL
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Thank you for your feedback those weeks ago guys. The project is now live and going well. If anyone's interested in the deck and the coins check out 'The Magician' reward tier here. Thanks!

http://kck.st/2Vp30us
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