Daily Archives: May 30, 2012

Magicians! Just How Much Is A Quarter Worth?

I saw a tweet on Canada Magic’s site how someone was flipping coins and lost a double headed quarter. It brought me back to a time we first started out in the magic business. We were selling magic from our basement which had a separate entrance. It was set up like a shop, with counters and a cash register. This cash register had more compartments that were necessary and I noticed that one of the compartments had an American quarter in it. It was there for a long time. Nothing else. Just that one American quarter. I had no argument with it.

One day a kid came in and bought some magic, including a coin trick. Phil wasn’t there at the time. The kid said to me. “Now I have to get an American quarter to go with the trick.”  I said, “Don’t worry about it. I have one here. It’s been in the cash register for months doing nothing.” and I gave it to him. He thanked me  and left.

A few weeks later a man interested in coin tricks came in. This time Phil was there and at that time he was demonstrating. Now not so much. Phil went over to the cash register and said,”Evy, where is the American quarter that was here?” I told him I gave it to a kid.” His face went pale. “You what?” “A kid needed a US quarter so I gave it to him. It seems it was part of an expensive Johnson coin trick and had special features. The trick was useless without that coin. Of course he never bothered to tell me that little fact.

But the story has a happy ending. I knew who the kid was and I phoned him and asked him if he still had the coin I gave him, which he did, and I told him the situation. He promptly came to return it and I replaced it with another that I happened to have.

Over the years I have heard many magicians complain about spending their magic coins by mistake. It can be a costly mistake. The above mentioned coin trick was about $69.00 and that was over 30 years ago. So now we do not keep special coins in the cash register. For a magician coin purses are a good investment!

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Filed under Magic, Perfect Magic, Phil Matlin