Chinese Colorchanging Coins


Performer shows sixteen gold coins. Upon command, they mysteriously change to silver coins, and finally to a variety of colors.


1--Sixteen Chinese Coins.

If you cannot secure Chinese Coins, you may use palming coins, pennies, nickels, or even round pieces of cardboard. The small round price tags with metal edges are fine for this effect also. These may be secured at stationery stores.


Start with sixteen coins. Four are left unprepared. The other twelve are prepared on ONE side.

Paint seven of the coins on ONE side with gold paint, leaving a margin around the edge of about a thirty-secondth of an inch or more.

Paint one coin red on one side, another green, another blue, and another black.

Divide one side of the remaining coin into four sections and paint the sections red, green, blue, black, respectively.

When the coins are stacked together, the edges show silver regardless of what color the surfaces are painted.

If you are using price tags or cardboard disks, you may paint the surfaces to make the silver ones with aluminum water color or leave them white, as you desire.

When the coins are prepared, lay them down on the table, four in a row in order shown in Figure 1. The bottoms of all the coins are silver. Now stack the coins with No. 1 at the top and No. 16 at the bottom, picking them up one on top of the other from left to right. Turn the bottom coin over so that gold side is at bottom. Memorize the order of the coins so that you will remember them and can stack them quickly in the right order—four gold ones on top, then four colored ones, the variegated one, two gold coins, four silver coins, and a gold coin upside down on the bottom. To help you remember the order, group the coins by the number of each color, thus: 4-4-1-2-4-1.

Figure 1 shows the order in which to lay the coins down before stacking them.

Figure 2 shows order of coins as stacked.

Carry stacked coins in a small purse so that they will not be disarranged in carrying.

Figure 2 shows order of coins as stacked.


Come forward and show coins stacked with top of No. 1 toward audience.

"This is an odd Chinese coin experiment. I am going to perform it just as the Magician does in China and so I shall use sixteen gold coins."

Show both ends of stack of coins, gold on each end. Place stack in right hand between thumb and fingers with No. 1 toward crotch of thumb. Under cover of right hand, which now completely screens coins, secretly reverse bottom coin with left hand so that silver side now faces bottom, Figure 3.

Without exposing bottom of stack, place coins on table, Figure 4.

Slide fifteen of the coins to the right, leaving bottom coin apart on table, Figure 5.

Audience now sees top of bottom coin to be gold. You have apparently shown both sides of this coin, but really have shown only one side. Now place this coin on top of stack.

Your movements now are done in a rather free and easy manner, as if merely to show that coins are gold.

With left hand remove the four top coins, one at a time, and place each on right fingers, gold side up, Figure 6.

Now you pretend to show other side of coins. Curve fingers inward and bring thumb up against edges of coins, Figure 7.

With aid of right thumb bring coins into position shown in Figure 8 and show top surface--G--again. To the audience it appears that you have turned coins over, but in reality you merely turned hand and changed position of coins to give that illusion. Be careful to keep under surface of coins concealed.

Spread coins out on table, overlapping each other, with gold surfaces up, Figure 9.

"Just gold coins. A little gold now and then is relished by the best of men."

Gather up the four coins and place them on the stack again. Pick up stack in left hand, Figure 10.

Place coins in right hand. Be careful not to expose the silver side of bottom coin as you place bottom of stack against crotch of right thumb. Under cover of right hand, reverse top gold coin with left hand.

"Chinese money is peculiar sometimes. It seems to change value. You never know how much it is going to be worth. You might have a million yen and yet be worth only thirty-nine cents. Sometimes you start with gold money, and suddenly find that it has changed to silver."

Show top and bottom of stack of coins by transferring from hand to hand. Replace coins in right hand again and reverse outer coin again as in Figure 3. Place stack on table again as in Figure 4, silver sides of all up.

With right hand. spread coins out in a row on table to show that they have all turned to silver, Figures 11 and 12.

"All silver!"

Bring coins up with stack again, being careful not to change order of coins.

"The Chinese have a peculiar system of counting money, too."

Starting with top coin of stack, lay the coins down one at a time in the order shown in Figure 13. Silver surfaces are up. Count each coin as you lay it down to form the figure shown in the diagram. Colors on diagram are for colors of bottom of coins to help you in checking up until you have mastered the trick.

Pick up No. 5, place it on 9, then both on 14, and all three on 3. As you pick up coins count—One - Two - Three - Four. In an offhand manner, show both sides of stack of four coins. This convinces audience that coins are silver on both sides.

Place coins in position A as shown in Figure 14.

Go through same routine with rest of coins, showing both sides of each stack as you pick it up.

"Here is another way that the Chinese count coins."

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