Tagged With coins

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Japanese artist Thumb Tani may have negotiated some deal with how gravity works on Earth for his coin sculptures. Or maybe he is somehow channelling Magneto's superpowers. No way could he just be carefully placing these coins on top of each other, because I struggle with making a a coin stand up straight.

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Video: It's more fun to believe in a world where magic can possibly exist, but then you see a different camera angle of a cool magic trick and realise it's all just misdirection, tricks and fantastic finger dexterity. But still it's worth it just for that brief moment where you absolutely have no idea how the magician did that. Here's Oscar Owen teasing you with three tricks you can do with a coin — making a coin teleport, disappear and switch hands — and then crushing you as he explains how he pulls it off (it can be as simple as pushing the coin off the table).

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Counterfeiting coins doesn't sound as exciting as pumping out ersatz $100 notes, but it is definitely a thing, especially in the UK where one in every 30 pound coins isn't the real McCoy. To battle this, over the next year the government will phase out the old coin for a shiny new one that incorporates "a high security feature ... to protect it from counterfeiting in the future".

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Coins are supposed to sink. When you toss 'em in a fountain, they drop right down to the bottom, right? Not always. There's a trick that can actually make metal coins float, and it's totally trippy to see. You carefully level the coin (which needs to be made of aluminium and not zinc) onto the surface of the water with a paper clip, and then slide the paper clip away. Boom! You've just become a sorcerer. The metal coin is floating.

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Video: One of my life dreams as a child was to be able to fool a vending machine with coin-like objects. I mean, how smart could a vending machine be, right? Wrong. More like how dumb a kid I was. Vending machines use light sensors to measure the size of a coin and electromagnets to detect the metal type to determine what kind of coin it is. If you're not shaped like a dollar and built like a dollar, you ain't a dollar in their book.

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Video: The British Royal Mint makes three types of commemorative coins: bullion, brilliant uncirculated and proof. Bullion is basically made to the same standard of regular coins in circulation, brilliant uncirculated coins (a real mouthful) are finished with more attention to detail than bullion coins and proof coins are of the absolute highest quality and care.