Margaret Peregrine is a high school sophomore. Most of the time, she's either at school, at the school robotics club, at the school chess club, or doing schoolwork. Today, she's cleaning out her late great-grandmother's attic.
"I'd almost say they're too popular to be fake but like, astrology, so."
"Yeah. It's not hard to see how someone could convince themselves they had one that worked. I might take a look at one once I'm a bit less busy with medallions, if I don't jump straight into de-aging."
"Take a look at it like how?"
"Buy one and look at the diagrams and incantations that went into it, see if I can get a coin to come up heads more often while wearing it, that sort of thing. The exact tests would depend on what the incantations were."
"I guess some of them were probably enchanted in English, which should help."
"Yeah. If I do this at all I'm definitely getting a recent one; I don't need another ancient languages project."
"It's possible old ones work and new ones are fake."
"Yes, and it's also possible expensive ones work and cheap ones are fake. The question is how much time and money I want to invest in finding out before I move on to something else, at least temporarily. If you think there's likely to be something to them that's an argument for investing more."
"I'm just thinking that if we give them slightly more credit than astrology, it's plausible that the belief that they work is sustained by a few that do - which could just as well be expensive ones as old ones, I guess, though I feel like a two thousand year old luck charm might be making a case for itself on that basis alone - and propping up knockoffs that don't."
"That's a good point, about a two thousand year old luck charm already being pretty lucky. And yeah, even if most of them are fake they might not all be. The trouble is that the ones most likely to be real are also the least convenient to check."
"Maybe you should sell your charm testing services - you can at minimum tell if they've been enchanted at all."
"Then we get into the problem of why would someone believe me--oh, wait, if medallions take off I'll be thought of as the reinventor of medallions, I bet at least some people will be interested in charm testing then. You have the best ideas."
"You'll have so much credibility on the subject as the reinventor of medallions!"
"I hope things eventually get to a state where you can publicly have your share of the credit!"
"That'd be neat. D'you wanna eventually found a magic school, I kind of wanna do that."
"I do, yeah. Now that I can tell when I'm doing dragon magic I'm a lot less worried that I'll teach something unsafe."
"Cool, I'll start thinking slightly more seriously about the prospect."
"I'll let you know if I think of anything useful. In the meantime, want to do this batch of medallions?"
They do medallions.
It goes a little more smoothly as they get a routine going. This batch are anodized aluminum, etched with a species name and a per-species serial number.
When they're done, Margaret asks, "So I'm curious about your extortable rich person, but I don't know what you can tell me given patient confidentiality."
"I have not at any time gotten HIPAA certified so I don't know what I can tell you given patient confidentiality either."
"I just meant with respect to your conscience, not the law, but if the answer is 'nothing because I don't know what the law is' that's totally reasonable."
"Eh, more 'nothing because I don't know what my rich person's reasonable expectations might be shaped like'."
"That's fair. Let me know if you or they need any spells tested."