Have you ever emptied your pockets at the end of the day only to find you accidentally spent your “cigarette thru quarter” quarter? Sucks doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it is still a problem that we magicians have to be mindful of what coins we spend. It has gotten easier over the years, especially since half dollars are no longer really in use. We know right away that if it’s a half, DON’T SPEND IT! I guess that once coins become completely obsolete that the problem will correct its self. Of course we will still be using our out-of-date halves and silver dollars. See Stuff Magicians Like No. 2.
In the mean time, here are a few steps you can take to help insure that your “unspendable” coins are safe.
1. Take a look at the coins: many times you can tell one of your “unspendable” coins just by looking at them. Telltale signs of cuts or ridges will let you know right off that it’s not to be spent.
2. Feel the coin: if you can’t see one of the “tells” immediately, run your fingers over the coin and you might be able to tell by touch alone.
3. Drop the coin: if worse-comes-to-worse, you can always tell which coins not to spend by sound. Just drop it on a counter top and if you get a nice normal-sounding ring, you’re good to go!
I hope this helps. Oh, and isn’t it great that I got through this entire post without saying “trick coin?”