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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just wanted to share some possibly helpful stuff on using different coins for different things.

When I started, most things were done with American half-dollars because that's what Bobo usually said. And lots of the great teachers - Roth, Jones, Harbottle - do most everything with American half-dollars. Then I tried old American Barber halves.

I saw some magicians do things with American silver dollars. So I experimented with that. Then I differentiated between uncirculated Morgans, worn ('soft") Morgans, and Ikes. 

I have big hands, so I started trying in-between sized coins - Mexican Peso coins (the Morelos ones from between 1956 and 1966), which are like half-way between American half-dollars and silver dollars. Those are great for some things.

Steven Youell asked me why I didn't use quarters. I had no real answer. I guess I thought that it was easier to see the bigger coins, but for close-up stuff, that doesn't usually matter much. And as Steven rightly pointed out, younger folks recognize quarters as money and may not have ever even seen an American half-dollar. The other benefit of using quarters is that you can probably borrow quarters. Not so with any of the larger old coins. 

So what is the "helpful" part of this post? Here are some of the things I've noticed can be better with certain coins over others. Of course, your mileage may vary.

I don't think anything below crosses into exposure territory. But if the mods think so, feel free to move this into Sessions.

Tenkai-Goshman pinch - I'm coming to realize that quarters are best here. My hand looks much more natural and I feel more comfortable. But if I'm doing a pointing transfer, it's easier with half dollars and even easier with Mexican pesos (which are lighter). I never do any trick with Tenkai (yet) using silver dollar-sized coins. The other problem I have with Tenkai is that the coins flash much easier. So the larger coins are more susceptible to flashing.

Edge-grip - Coins with good milling around the edges are best here. And dollar-sized coins work well for me on many EG things. That means American Ikes seem to work really well.

Muscle Pass - the standard MP works best with American half-dollars, generally. Quarters seem too small for my large hands to do this. And coins that have a bit of a "lip" around the edge, like Mexican pesos, don't work well for this either. One notable exception here is the dollar-sized Chinese coin. That thing FLIES out of my hand because it is so light and it's size allows for a stronger launch.

Fingertip Muscle Pass - this Kainoa/Cam move, especially when there is another coin in the other hand, works much better for me with Mexican Pesos. They are a bit lighter and I can catch them easier. I've tried with halfs and dollars. I have less success with both. The halfs are a bit harder to catch because of their size. And the dollars don't usually fly as fast or far.

3-Fly - In tricks where coins are together a lot, the worn/soft Morgans or Barber halfs are best. They are much quieter. And with 3-Fly, I think the Morgans are best because they are large and I think that makes a better impact.

Chick-a-chink (the coins version)/Matrix - For pad tricks like this (sometimes called "shadow coins"), I've tried half dollars and silver dollars. The halfs are much better here, especially for Matrix (for what I hope are obvious reasons). Milled edges as opposed to smooth-edged coins that tend to have a bit of a lip) don't work as well on a pad, I've found.

There are other things, but ultimately, it will be very personal. I encourage you to try a trick - especially one you may be having difficulty with - with different coins: larger or smaller, with or without milled edges, lighter or heavier, heavily worn/smooth or not. 

Oh, and for the Americans - try quarters in place of everything you do with half-dollars. (thank you Steven!).

I hope this helps some folks.

Cheers!

Ken

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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #2 
Good info here, Ken.



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KenTheriot

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Thanks Michael! Glad it made any sense. I was sort of winging the thoughts around when I wrote it.

Cheers,

Ken
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David

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Reply with quote  #4 
Very interesting. I dont have most of those coins. I did just try a muscle pass with my large Chinese coin and yes it really tried to launch,further than anything Ive tried so far. I do though occasionally substitute quarters just to see how they feel and to know I could use a quarter if I needed to. Nice read. Ill hang on to it
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #5 
In on of Daryl's lecture notes there is a three coins across with quarters and deep back clip. it's fun to do and looks magical. He said you could do it with any coins but he suggested quarters. 
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #6 
I do understand what you're saying, but it seems that if you will be going out and doing a lot of coin magic you'd be carrying a lot of coins and having to switch them, instead of moving to the next effect. 
With edge grip, I was having a session with Kainoa and he liked the look of the 64 Kennedy's I was using, but by working with soft/worn coins he could edge grip another coin over using the Kennedy's.  I have small hands and worked with the larger silver dollars at first, and could do most of what I wanted with them.  Issue was when doing mirror work, they just looked so big compared to my hands I switched to halves.
Although with coin magic I don't think the spectators care if they are 50 cent pieces or English pennies or Morgan dollars.  I think coins are viewed more as objects and the only differences are color and size.  With cards, everyone is different, is viewed much differently, and the outcomes are different.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #7 
You're right. As with any other props, you have to plan out your routines and the logistics involved. I'm not suggesting that you should go out with 5 or 6 of every coin I've described. It was more of a thing encouraging folks to try finding the right coins for their own hands and style. Yes I know Kainoa does EG with Barbers, which have less of a milled edge than Kennedys. But then he's Kainoa :-). 

Also, about people caring about what kind of coin you have - I agree. Depending on the presentation, people will likely pay more attention to the magic rather than what coin you are using. However, you can choose to make the "what kind of coin is that?" aspect part of the act. For example, I do a routine that involves a coin "color change" by having them focus on the large shiny beautiful uncirculated Morgan silver dollar first. Then with a quick wave of my hand, the coin changes to a black and gray worn Morgan ("This is what happens after a coin has been passed around from hand to hand for several years, etc."), or a large Chinese coin or copper coin, etc. The difference IS the effect. So the more they attend to the original coin, especially if it is special ("here is an 1885, 90% silver Morgan silver dollar"), the more dramatic the effect. One other thing about having the specs paying attention to the properties of a coin - Dai Vernon said something once about the only reason you should ever hold a coin in spellbound position. He didn't like it because it was such an unnatural way to display.hold a coin. So for it to make sense for you to hold a coin in such a manner, you could be calling attention to the property of the coin, such as the design or the date. 

All things to think about[smile].
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