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This Is How Much Rick Paid For A Classic Magician's Tool On Pawn Stars

Magicians guard their secrets closely, transforming illusions into awe-inspiring events. How do they do it? Some tricks require an astonishing amount of planning, a large moving platform, loud music, and special lighting (like when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear in 1983, per iHeartRadio). Others are more easily explained by simple devices, like the one seller James brought to the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" recently, hoping to fetch a fair price and, for his wife's sake, get rid of it for good.

James' card trimmer looked at first glance like a pair of scissors attached to a metal box. Rick jokingly guessed it could be used for precision gift wrapping. But its actual reason for being was a tiny bit shadier and a lot more interesting. Would it be enough to entice Rick to buy? And more to the point, would Rick be willing to pay James' dream price of $1,500?

If you've ever seen a magician flip through a deck of cards and pull out the ace of spades on command in a split second, you'll quickly understand how the card trimmer works. The user simply inserts a card into the machine and works it like a paper cutter to slightly and precisely trim the edge. To be exact, James' card trimmer was capable of slicing 1/32 of an inch off. That may not sound like much, but it would make a big difference to a magician or card dealer looking to cheat by feeling the cards. It was an interesting item that had inspired conversation at James' house for years.

First they cut the cards, then they cut a deal

Before Rick could talk price he had to find out more about the card trimmer. "I've never seen anything like this," he said (via YouTube), admitting he didn't know what it was worth. Rick called in magician Murray Sawchuck, of Murray Productions, Inc., to look the item over. Sawchuck identified it as having been manufactured by the Ball Brothers (yes, the same guys who make the jars) sometime between the 1930s and 1950s. He tried it out on his own ace of spades, trimming the edge and stashing it in the deck. Then, he flipped through the cards and immediately identified it. Sampling the deck himself, Rick seemed impressed.

Sawchuck valued the card trimmer at $750, but James shamelessly asked Rick for $1,250. A pained look made it clear that wasn't going to happen, and Rick offered $450, not even willing to go to $500. They reach an agreement at $475, "only because my wife doesn't want me to come home with it," James said.

It appeared both were happy in the end with the deal. With a smile, Rick faced the camera and joked, gesturing toward his hairless head, "We just need to take a little off the top. Not that I've done that in a long time."