Ching Ling Coin Box Explained How It Is Done And More

This is Ching Ling Coin Box explained how the coin could apparently goes through the piece of glass trick.

In fact, I have mentioned the Ching Ling Coin Box and Coin Of Realm in the Steel Ball through Glass Revealed post.

In this post, I am going to delve a little more about this close up penetration trick.

I am also sharing with you other related magic wooden boxes which include Trapdoor by U. F. Grant, Lippincott Box, and the Strong Box by Joe Porper.

Ching Ling Coin Box Explained

First, let’s sort out the confusion over the names of these magic props.

I find there are websites which call the product names Ching Ling Coin Box, Coin Of The Realm and Lippincott Box as one and the same thing.

They are all wooden boxes for magic tricks, but are they different as I will elaborate them.

Ching Ling Coin Box

When I was exploring the magical prop, Ching Ling Coin Box online, I found there are a few versions.

First, there is this square-like wooden box which looks like the steel ball through glass prop.

But it comes with slots, instead of round holes.

Its approximate dimensions are: 3.15 x 3.15 x 1.77 inches.

Ching Ling Coin Box

This Ching Ling Coin Box also has the same features as the steel ball through glass box, exposed vintage hinges, and clasp.

There is another similar design of the Ching Ling Coin Box manufactured by David Robbins & Company (E-Z Magic), selling in Abbotts Magic Company.

Ching Ling Box Abbott Magic

Smaller Ching Ling Coin Box

There is another version of the  Ching Ling Coin Box which is smaller in size and rectangular in shape.

Ching Ling Coin Box Exposed
Let’s find out how does the Ching Ling Coin Box work.

Ching Ling Coin Box Explained

The secret of making the coin to drop through the two slots is the same as the steel ball through the glass box trick.

In fact, I discovered the secret working of Ching Ling Coin Box from a listing in eBay.

Secret Pivoted Door

The secret is a hidden pivoted door on one side of the wooden box, like the Lippincott Box.

To do the trick, use your thumb to press the top part of that gimmick side inward, and the door will swivel open, as illustrated below.

Ching Ling Coin Box Instructions

So this is how it looks like with the actual wooden box.

Ching Ling Coin Box Deluxe Secret

Tilt the box slightly to let the glass piece to slip out about half way through the opening into the palm of your hand.

Now the coin can penetrate through both holes without the glass obstruction.

After the trick, tilt the glass piece back into box and press the secret pivoted door to close it.

Let’s view some of the demo videos of the Ching Ling Coin Box.

Ching ling Box Magic Secret Exposed

You can see both his thumbs pushing in the pivoted door on the side of the box, as he closes the cover at: 0:06

At 0:09, he tilts and shakes the wooden box upward, to drop the glass piece out into his left palm.

puzzle wooden box with glass trick

After the penetration trick, at 0:14 he spreads out his left palm as he pushes the glass piece back into the box.

Then he uses his right thumb to close back the secret pivoted door.

From this Funtime Magic video at 0:30-0:31 the performer’s  right thumb together with his index finger pushing the pivoted door at the side of the box, before closing the lid.

After he has clasped the box, he discreetly tilts the box towards him.

Ching Ling Coin Box Secret Revealed

After the act, at 0:46, his right thumb closes the pivoted door back into the box, thus pushing the glass piece back into the box.

Ching Ling Box Glass Penetration

This is another Ching Ling Box demonstration, where you can see how the trick is done.

At 0:33, his left thumb pushes down the pivoted door, just before he brings down the cover.

Coin Through Glass Magic Trick

Then he tips the box downward to let the glass piece falls out into his palm.

To end the demo, at 0:57, his right thumb closes the pivoted door.

As a result, the door pushes the glass piece back into the box.

Box Glass Penetration Trick

From this video, at 0:38 his right thumb pushes down the pivoted door to open it.

Coin Penetration Magic Trick Secret

After he has closed the box, at 0:41, he tilts the box backward slightly to drop the glass piece into his hand.

Coin Box Penetration Trick

At the end of the act, at 0:54 he pushes the coin to his spectator to misdirect him, while he tilts the box forward slightly.

Then he uses his right thumb to close the pivoted door.

Ching Ling Coin Box Penetration Trick

The visual below is captured from the video called it “Melting Coin Box“.

Melting Coin Box Trick Secret

You can see the performer using both his thumbs ready to push down the pivot door, just before he closes the box at: 0:33-0:35.

Ching Ling Coin Box Name Origin

I do not know its origin and why it is called “Ching Ling Coin Box“.

To the Westerners, the name or the sound of “Ching Ling” is synonymous with almost anything Chinese.

There is even a vintage Chinese checker game called “Ching Ling Chinese Checker“.

Vintage Ching Ling Checker Game

I think the Ching Ling Coin Box is most probably inspired by those Oriental ornament wooden boxes.

wooden oriental ornament box

Chinese Magician Ching Ling Foo

I don’t think the name of this coin penetration wooden box has to do with the legendary Chinese magician Ching Ling Foo (stage name).

By the way, his real name is Chee Ling Qua.

RELATED: Ching Ling Foo was a the true Chinese conjurer from Peking, China.

Harry Houdini mentioned this China magician Ching Ling Foo in chapter five of his 1920 book “Miracle Mongers and Their Method“.

Miracle Mongers And Their Methods Houdini

Houdini complimented highly Ching Ling Foo for his fire-eating act.

There is this one-minute black & white film titled “Ching Ling Foo Outdone“.

Featuring a Chinese magician with a large piece of cloth, he first made a wooden tub of water to appear, then five live geese swimming in the water.

Finally a boy appeared on stage from the tub.

You can watch it over here or here.

Here is a video of a Chinese magician performing one of Ching Ling Foo‘s famous tricks.

Producing a bowl of water with gold fish, with a piece of cloth.

The secret is the magician has hidden a big bowl of water with gold fish that is lidded with an india-rubber cover.

Ching Ling Foo Gold Fish Bowl Trick

If you want to know how this magic trick in detail, click: The Gold-Fish Trick; Or, How To Bring Bowls Of Water In Which Gold-Fishes Are Swimming out Of An Empty Cloth

Read this free book about Ching Ling Foo, the Chinese Conjurer.

Ching Ling Foo China Magician

Ching Ling Foo: America’s First Chinese Superstar By Samuel D. Porteous
Click on this: Link (Pick PDF link)

Similar Coin Through Glass Tricks Boxes

Here are a few identical coin goes through glass trick boxes.

Coin Of The Realm Magic Trick

The Coin Of The Realm is like the Ching Ling Coin Box, but rectangular in shape.

Coin Of The Realm Owen Brothers

According to Martin’s Magic site, the first version of Coin of the Realm was said to be released by Owen Brothers back in 1956.

coin of the realm secret revealed

This rectangular wooden box approximate dimensions are: 4 X 3 X 1 inch.

In fact, it is similar to another glass penetration trick prop called Cabala by Dave Powell, as seen below.

Coin Of The Realm Cabala

The Cabala uses the steel ball, is identical to “The Ball Through Glass” box by John Snyder, Junior.

John Snyder Jr. Steel Ball Through Glass

There is a possibility the Coin Of The Realm idea was inspired by John Snyder, Junior’s “The Ball Through Glass” box.

How does Coin Of The Realm work?

There is no demonstration video clip of the Coin Of The Realm online.

Coin Of The Realm Magic Trick Revealed

After analyzing the Coin Of The Realm prop from various websites, I think this is how the coin seemingly penetrates through the sheet of glass.

Upon close scrutiny at the pictures of the prop, I suspected the bottom wooden panel under the glass sheet is a separate piece and it is movable.

Coin Of The Realm Box False Bottom

In other words, it is a false bottom which can slide in and out together with the glass sheet from the box.

false bottom coin of the realm box

This is a cutaway illustration of the Coin Of The Realm box with the false bottom out from the box.

coin of the realm glass penetration trick

The false bottom is almost undetectable, as it is well hidden or camouflaged next to the actual bottom of the box.

Furthermore, it comes with a locking mechanism.

I will explain how the trick is performed very soon.

To illustrate the false bottom, I use these five different Coin Of The Realm prop designs.

You need to pull out the bottom part as outlined in white color to let the coin to drop through.

This part is attached to the movable false bottom.

For this Coin Of The Realm by Milson-Worth, this is where I think the movable false bottom piece is attached to.

coin thru glass magic trick secret

This is another Coin Of The Realm design by Milson-Worth, Sun Valley, California.

Coin Of The Realm Closeup Magic

Below apparatus is by Owen Magic Supreme.

Coin Of The Realm Owen Magic

The box below is by Dave Powell Magic Company.

It uses a decorative design drawn with fine line to conceal the joint between the false and the actual bottom of the box.

coin of the realm dave powell magic company

This is another Coin Of The Realm box by Dave Powell.

coin of the realm secret exposed

You have to slide this false bottom panel together with the glass sheet out from the box.

Then only the coin can drop through the bottom hole.

As this closeup magic trick prop can be examined by the spectator, then this false bottom panel has to firmly locked before and after the penetration trick.

There has to be a built-in locking mechanism in the box.

After studying the pictures of Coin Of The Realm box, I think the brass clasp knob is the key to the locking mechanism.

It works like the crown of a manual watch.

Crown Of Manual Watch

You need to pull the pin of the knob gently to unlock the false bottom piece.

After the trick, you slide back the false bottom, and push the pin back in its original position to lock it.

Coin Of The Realm Trick Secret

 Coin Of The Realm Magic Trick Explained

I think this is how to perform the Coin Of The Realm trick.

To avoid the spectator caught sight of the false bottom panel protruding out from the box, you need to raise the prop to the spectator’s eye-level.

Realm Coin Through Glass Sheet Trick

I think the beveled box lid (raised sloping edge) is not the prop design feature.

The raised lid is meant to hide the false bottom panel when it is slide out from the box during the trick.

If you want to perform this trick at the table, then have your spectator seated.

First let him examine the box and the glass sheet.

Then give the spectator the coin to distract him for a moment; telling him to make sure that it is not one of those gaffed coins (shell coin or folding coin).

While he is distracted, you unlock the false bottom piece by lightly pulling out the clasp knob with your right hand.

Now rest both your elbows on the table, as you hold up the box at their eye-level.

Tell him to place the coin into the slot of the lid, and then get him to cup both his hands and place them under the box which you are holding.

To misdirect him again, instruct him to mentally concentrate hard on the coin.

Slowly you slide out the false bottom panel with both your thumbs, until coin drops through the bottom slot and lands on his cupped hands.

As he catches the falling coin, you quickly slide back the false bottom panel, and your right hand pushes in the clasp knob to lock it.

Now open the box to show the glass sheet is still inside, and let him examine the Coin Of The Realm box again.

Updated: Oct 2022

After I have published this post, I came across this used Coin Of The Realm apparatus selling in eBay.

It looks like my opinion of the method of the Coin Of The Realm trick is correct.

You can see from the picture below, the indicated side piece is not fixed to the box.

It is a false bottom where it can be pulled out to let the coin drop through.

Coin Of The Realm Trick Secret Exposed

Latest Update: March 2023

Yes, my guess how the “Coin Of The Realmmagic trick works is definitely correct.

Today I cam across this magic apparatus in the eBay listing.

As you can see the picture of the actual prop is uncannily similar to my illustration above.

Coin Of The Realm secret revealed

Trapdoor By U. F. Grant

Trapdoor is another version of coin through box trick.

It is by the legendary magic dealer and inventor Ulysses Frederick Simpson Grant (popularly known as U. F. Grant).

NOTE: To get free magic books by U. F. Grant, go to this blog post about free Paul Osborne Illusion Plans.
Vintage Trapdoor U F Grant

Trapdoor is a slim square box with slots parallel to the hinge.

The method of the trick is also the same as the Ching Ling Coin Box.

One side of the box, it can be pushed down to let the glass piece to slide out into the palm of the hand.

U F Grant Trapdoor Glass Penetration Trick

This is a closeup view of the pivoted door.

Trapdoor Coin Through Glass Trick

Watch the video of U. F. Grant Trapdoor here.

Randi Rain’s Magic Coin Box

This is an interesting version of the Ching Ling Coin Box by magician Randi Rain.

Her cool and rugged wooden DIY magic prop uses a gleaming brass plate instead of a glass or acrylic piece.

Randi Rain Magic Coin Box

The method of getting the coin to penetrate the solid brass plate is the same as the Ching Ling Coin Box.

On one side of the low wooden box, is a pivoted piece.

Randi Rain Coin Through Brass Plate Trick

Similarly, she presses on it, tilts the box backward to slip out the brass plate into the palm of her hand.

Watch this part of the video at 16:40, you can see the collapsible side of the box (pivoted piece) goes down briefly, as her left thumb presses on it.

To view it clearer, reduce the playback speed to 0.25.

Randi Rain Coin Through Brass Plate Trick

The picture below is also captured from her video clip.

You can see the ‘missing pivoted piece through the slot of the box cover at 16:35.

It is ‘missing‘ because it has being pushed downward, to let the brass plate to slide out.

Coin Penetrates Thru Brass Trick

To finish up the trick, she tips the box forward for the brass plate to drop back into it.


Lippincott Box Magic Trick

Lippinncott Box also uses the secret pivoted door similar to the Ching Ling Coin Box

What is a Lippincott Box?

Lippincott Box is a small wooden box is used for vanishing or producing a small item like a billet, a coin, a bank note, a ring, or a key.

It comes in various designs and sizes, built by different manufacturers.

Lippincott Box Quarter Go

It is reported this Lippincott Box was created either by a vaudeville magician by the name of Mal Lippincott or Jack Lippincott, an amateur magician.

Back in 1949, this box was marketed as “Lippincott’s Quarter Go“.

Lippincott Box magic trick

It is said that the idea of the Lippincott Box is based on the Watch Box.

Watch Box

It is a wooden box with lock and key, and the secret is one of its sides is movable, working on a pivot.

Watch Box Magic Trick

You can find the Watch Box in the Professor Hoffmann‘s book “Modern Magic: A Practical Treatise On The Art Of Conjuring“.

hoffmann modern magic pdf

The “Watch Box” is also found in this free 1902 magic book below.

Modern Magicians Hand Book William John Hilliar

Modern Magicians’ Hand Book: An Up-To-Date Treatise On The Art Of Conjuring By William John Hilliar
Click on this: Link

FREE BOOKS: Here you can find more free books by Professor Hoffmann.

Lippincott Box Revealed

How does the Lippincott Box work?

The secret of Lippincott Box revealed below together with accompanying pictures.

The hidden opening pivoted on one side of the box is like a mini trapdoor, where you need to give it a push to open it.

After you have placed the palmed item into box, you close it.

You can see the outline of the secret opening at one side of the Lippincott Box from the picture below.

secret opening lippincott boxYou covertly open the secret opening with your hand which has the palmed item.

lippincott box secret

After you have dropped it into the Lippincott Box, you close the tiny pivoted doorway.

lippincott box revealed

You can watch the secret of the Lippincott Box revealed in the video clip below.

By the way, here is another version of a Lippincott Box aka Watch Box by Mel Babcock.

It is bigger in size, which you can load a wrist watch.

The secret opening is also at the side of the wooden box.

lippincott box secret opening

Gimmick Matchbox By Professor Hoffmann

This is another utility box design by Professor Hoffmann featured in an old magic magazine.

It is a small wooden box which you can make small items like billet, coin or ring to disappear.

Again it used a small doorway at the drawer of the box as seen below.

Gimmick Matchbox Professor Hoffmann

MAGIC: The Magazine Of Wonder Vol. 1 No. 1, January 1910
Click on this: Link

The Enchanted Box

The “Enchanted Box” is another very old magical utility wooden box with a secret door at its side.

It can be opened and closed with your thumb.

Enchanted Box Magic Trick

You can find out more about this “Enchanted Box” in this old magic book.

The Secret Out One Thousand Tricks In Drawing-Room Or White Magic William Henry Cremer

The Secret Out, Or, One Thousand Tricks In Drawing-Room Or White Magic By William Henry Cremer
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2

Strong Box By Joe Porper

There is this new version of the Lippincott Box called Strong Box

It is made of steel and it was created by the late Joe Porper.

There are two versions of Joe Porper’s Strong Box.

Joe Porper Big Box Secret Revealed

The secret of the trick in the first version is undetectable even under close scrutiny.

The gaff is at the locking mechanism.

Then in 2010, Joe released Strong Box 2.0 version where I think the secret is at the back of the box.

The secret working of this box probably can be exposed if it is handled out for close inspection.

Joe Porper’s Strong Box 1.0 Secret Revealed

Steel Lippincott Box

The secret of the first or the original version 1.0 Strong Box has been exposed by a German YouTube video clip.

He bought a pirated Strong Box prop from the Mainland China just to find out the how the trick works.

As explained in the video, it uses strong magnets to attach the staple of the hasp to the box, as shown below.

Strong Box Original Version Secret Magnets

To open the lid of the box, you pull the shackle of the padlock.

You can watch the video snippet of the secret here.

steel magic box secret exposed

This original version 1.0, you have to cover the box because you need to open the box lid when you are loading the item into it.

Joe Porper Steel Lippincott Box

As seen from this video at 1:54, this Vietnamese performer is in the midst of opening the lid of the Strong Box as he places it inside the paper bag.

Steel Puzzle Box Joe Porper

Then at 2:00, he puts his left hand back into the paper bag to make sure the opened box is properly positioned.

He takes a while to take out the box because he has to close its lid first at 3:00.

Similarly in this video, you can see another performer is taking his time to lift up the box, because he needs to close its lid first.

Joe Porper Strong Box Brown Paper Bag

At 0:18, you can see this performer’s hand shaking inside the paper bag, as he places the box inside the bag.

It is because he getting the lid of the box to open before he can leave it inside the paper bag.

What I have read in a magic forum is this original version has a loud noise issue.

The noise is caused by the magnetic locking mechanism.

Unless you perform this Strong Box act with the routine by French magician Gaetan Bloom, as shown in its 2005’s version, called “The Poor Man’s Safe“.

Joe Proper Strong Box Magic Trick

With this routine, you can mask the clanking sound when you secretly close the box inside the brown paper bag, as seen in this video clip.

For an easier and a safer act, the black marker drawn slot on the paper bag should be pre-scored or pre-cut in advance.

Strong Box Magic By Joe Porper

You do not want to accidentally create a big tear on the paper bag when inserting the coin, thus exposing the opened metal box inside.

Joe Porper’s Strong Box 2.0 Secret Revealed

This is my own reveal of the Joe Porper’s Strong Box 2.0 which is based solely by studying the pictures available online.

Most, if not all the websites have only this picture featuring the front view of the Strong Box 2.0.

Joe Porper Strong Box Version 2

If I am not mistaken, there is no video clip demonstrating this new version.

For this Strong Box 2.0, you do not need to cover when you secretly load the item into the metal box.

But you have to palm the borrowed item and with the help of misdirection.

After analyzing the available pictures from the websites, I think the secret slot is between the lid and the back piece of the box, as indicated in the picture below.

Joe Porper Strong Box Magic Secret

From the picture above, you still cannot see the secret slot is because it is still hidden away.

Now take a closer look at the inside view of the lid pivoted to the box.

Strong Box Magic Trick Exposed

There is a slim eaves trough-like piece underneath the lid.

They are pivoted together to the side walls of the box.

As it is pivoted, it is movable.

strong box magic secret slot

This pivoted curved metal strip trough is to hide the secret slot.

You can see from the picture below that the lid is slightly shorter than the width of the box.

Joe Porper Strong Box Secret Revealed

The box lid is slightly loose-fitting, so it can be shifted slightly to the front and back.

To open the secret slot at the back of the box, you slide the lid forward a little.

Now there is a narrow slot or gap between the lid and the box, but you still cannot see the secret slot because it is blocked by the trough-like piece inside the box.

The picture below you can see the secret slot of Joe Porper’s Strong Box 2.0.

Strong Box Penetration Secret

When you push the coin, ring or the billet into the slot, the pivoted trough piece inside will move inward.

Once the item has dropped into the box, the pivoted trough piece will swing back to block the gap.

The trough-like piece works somewhat similar to the pivoted flap at the slot of a mailbox.

To close up the secret slot completely, you slide the lid backward so that it is aligned with the back side of the box.

If what I have just explained is correct, then the secret could be discovered if it is handed out for inspection.

To find out more information about this so-called steel Lippincott Box, read Joe Porper Strong Box trick secret post.

Magic Box By Mikame Craft Japan

The small wooden box by the late Yonezo Mikame, the founder of Mikame Craft Japan.

It is like the Lippincott Box, which is used for producing small items palmed in the hand.

Magic Box Mikame Craft Japan

It’s secret is very similar to  Ching Ling Coin Box; a hidden pivoted door at one of the side of the box as shown below.

Mikame Craft Magic Box Secret