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The duration of the spell does not indicate the duration of the prestidigitation effects.It instead indicates how long you can create magical effects with a single casting.

Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour.

The only mention of effects fading is at the very end.

Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

According to this, if you have 1 minute left on your prestidigitation spell, you can change the color of an object and it will stayed colored for an entire hour, even after prestidigitation spell ends.

So putting all this together, since there is no explicit duration specified for the fragile objects created by prestidigitation, do these objects last forever? And are they instantaneous duration or permanent duration? (The former is not dispellable while the latter is)

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The objects vanish when the time is up

The rules for spellcasting state under Duration:

Timed Durations

Many durations are measured in rounds, minutes, hours, or some other increment. When the time is up, the magic goes away and the spell ends.

Since Prestidigitation has a timed duration of 1 hour, the objects are sustained by its magic and will go away. This would be different if the duration were Instantaneuous ("The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.")

For the same reason, they are not immune to dispel magic.

Some effects can survive the duration of the spell, as the spell explicitly says so:

It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. (...) Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

These effects are not creating an object, they are changing an existing object and in these cases the specific rule overrules the general duration rule.

As per the spell description, moving, cleaning or soiling the object will leave a permanent change. Coloring, chilling, warming or flavoring will last for one hour. As the spell only lets you create one of the effects when you cast it, if you selects one of those it will last for the duration of the hour.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the timed duration is referencing only this: "Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour." - The magic going away is you no longer being able to create minor magical effects. Not make everything go poof. But I could see how this is all unclear and will forever be a grey area so I will refrain from utilizing prestidigitation for this purpose (creating a large amount of permanent things). Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 4, 2023 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ What makes you think you cast it and then wait 55 minutes? The spell says, "You create one of the following magical effects within range". That happens when you cast the spell. Then it's cast. Three of the effects are instantaneous; they happen and then stop happening. Two of them last an hour. One lasts til the end of your turn. But you only get 1 of the effects per casting, so there's no waiting for 55 minutes. You cast it and you create one of the effects, and then you're done casting. Of course, since it's a cantrip, you can cast it again . . . . \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 3 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jack You're right — I somehow had in my mind you can create up to three effects per casting, but that is instead from three different castings. I fixed the answer on that point. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3 at 20:17

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