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Charlie

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Do you still use them Now that the Kennedy half dollar is no longer in circulation has that changed your coin magic? I notice younger people don't know the coin so it has no meaning to them.

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Michaelblue

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I've never encountered anyone who didnt know what it was, although my hands are big and people initially think they are quarters. 
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Charlie

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
I've never encountered anyone who didnt know what it was, although my hands are big and people initially think they are quarters. 


I was doing some stuff for young teenagers last night who thought I was using fake coins. they got caught up on it.
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Mr. Danny

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Reply with quote  #4 
I use it because it fits!
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Kingman

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Reply with quote  #5 
I still use them, preferably the silver ones. What I do is use it to show some history. I will usually display and talk about several of the older coins, Franklin Half's, Mercury Dimes, Walking Liberty's, Peace Dollars and my favorite, the Morgan Dollar. With a little history about the beautiful coins this country used to have, the interest is peaked for the rest of the effect.

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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #6 
If you have a smaller hand, yes you'd use half dollars.  You may have to introduce them a little as a lot of people don't even carry paper money much less coins.  Kainoa Harbottle, David Roth, and David Neighbors all use halves.
Sure there are others.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #7 
I like silver dollars, but I'm used to halves. I use  dollars for a three fly i do, which i call Time Flies. So at least i get to use them
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie
Do you still use them Now that the Kennedy half dollar is no longer in circulation has that changed your coin magic?


I'm in the UK, so they've obviously never been in circulation here, I still use them though.

If its a planned performance I'll usually use half dollars and old english pennies (which have also been out of curculation for a LONG time). I also use a Chinese coin in one effect. For more impromptu performances (down the pub for example) I use my pocket change or borrow some coins.

The spectators get to handle the coins so the foreign or old ones aren't a problem - they're obviously just coins.


Jim

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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yeah, I use them almost exclusively and I live in Canada. I generally make sure I introduce the coins first, much like David Roth does with his 'This is a half dollar, fifty cent piece, silver coin' speal, but I go a bit farther saying I use them because they are truly beautiful and I collect antique coins. Then I usually have people check them out so they know that these weird looking coins aren't tricked  in some way. So far no one has ever questioned them. 
    I do use the Canadian Toonie from time to time in a pinch. They're slightly smaller than a half dollar but they're a bit slippery to classic palm so I don't use them too often. I'm thinking of sending a set down the road to Kuepper's and have him mill the edges of 4 or 5 toonie coins so I can use my countries denomination. I've heard that Canada will be replacing the 5 dollar bill with a 5 dollar coin in the next couple of years which I'm excited about. Although I'm not sure what size it will be. The earlier 5 dollar commemorative coins the Canadian mint produced were as big as Morgans. I don't like to sling around Morgan's as my hands are pretty small but it will be interesting to see what they do with the new 5 dollar coin. I'll still use the Liberty halves but it is a bit more impromptu to be able to pull out a 'normal' pocket full of change.
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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm trying to get my hands on these puppies. They're slightly bigger than a U.S half but smaller than a Morgan so should be perfect for my hand size.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-5-80-Canada-Silver-Dollars-3-/191805835092?hash=item2ca884c754:g:grUAAOSwG-1Wv7PB
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Chessmann

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Reply with quote  #11 
One coin that I've recently come to like is the Mexican 50 Centavo coin. Most of the pics I've seen of it on Google really don't do it justice, or show bad/wrong coloring. Check one out at a coin shop. Bigger than a half dollar, smaller than a dollar coin. Clean some of the patina, leaving it dark in the lower parts, and you've got a nice, classy coin.

I also think that the 20 Centavo coins (Scotch and Soda, anyone?) are one of the most beautiful around.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #12 
Like Robert,  I use halves because I have small hands.  Not so much that I can't handle dollar size coins, but the proportional look is off in my opinion.
As for the  Canadian Silver Dollars, they  are a good size bigger than an American half.  I use one for Roth's Fugitive Coin effect.
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Kouyo

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Reply with quote  #13 
I pretty much enjoy half dollar size because it just sits in my hands quite well. I'm more of a social magician rather than performing gigs so when I pull the coins out, most people are more interested on what the coins are rather than thinking they're gimmicked in any way. Heck, depending on the situation I'll bring along some fairly old foreign coins from Japan that my grandparents gave to me (literally not just patter), and that entices them more to check them out. I do admit though that using common coins can garner some shocking reactions, especially if you borrow (or "borrow) them from the spectator. 
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #14 
Those Mexican coins that Chessmann mentions have also been out of circulation for around 40 years. I have a vague memory of me using the 20 centavo coin in my life but that is about it. I don't have them with me right now but I'll take a picture later and show those copper coins to you. I personally don't use them when doing coin magic. I use regular half dollars, old English pennies and whenever I don't have my American coins, I use whatever I have in my pocket or what is handed to me. Sometimes I may have 4 10-peso coins for a coins across effect. They are a little smaller than half dollars.
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Chessmann

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Reply with quote  #15 
Here's a photo of the 50 Centavo coin, front and back:

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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #16 
I do like the look of the 50 Centavo coin. I imagine that in real life they're not really gold tinged as in your pic are they? Although that would be pretty cool.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #17 

I never use half dollars, not because I don’t think they should be used but because my magic is – well – informal – that is, done when not expected.

 

I might borrow a quarter (you can’t borrow a half dollar) and change it into two dimes and a nickel and then change it back to a quarter and return it.

 

(I contributed this to Apocalypse and Harry Lorayne published it in the April 1988 issue on page 1486 and it’s called “For a Change”.)

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch

I never use half dollars, not because I don’t think they should be used but because my magic is – well – informal – that is, done when not expected.

 

I might borrow a quarter (you can’t borrow a half dollar) and change it into two dimes and a nickel and then change it back to a quarter and return it.

 

(I contributed this to Apocalypse and Harry Lorayne published it in the April 1988 issue on page 1486 and it’s called “For a Change”.)



I'm going to check this out now, Jerry!

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Chessmann

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Parris
I do like the look of the 50 Centavo coin. I imagine that in real life they're not really gold tinged as in your pic are they? Although that would be pretty cool.


No, they are copper.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch

I never use half dollars, not because I don’t think they should be used but because my magic is – well – informal – that is, done when not expected.

 

I might borrow a quarter (you can’t borrow a half dollar) and change it into two dimes and a nickel and then change it back to a quarter and return it.

 

(I contributed this to Apocalypse and Harry Lorayne published it in the April 1988 issue on page 1486 and it’s called “For a Change”.)

I'm going to check this out now, Jerry!


Then also see "Apocalypse Variations Or Additions" page 1925 May 1991.

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Andy Y

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Reply with quote  #21 
I don't think it makes a big difference. Most of the time we use items that are not common place.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #22 
Kennedy half-dollars coins are still in circulation, BTW. Just in case anyone was in doubt. I had gotten a few on eBay (they ARE still hard to find) and someone bought CDs from me at a festival using 2 ROLLS of Kennedy Halves! That was unbelievable, considering I was actively searching for them.

I use a bunch of different size coins - depending on he trick. If I need to use a JW grip, dollar coins are not great, so I use half-dollars. I also use them for most coins-across routines I do (Roth Winged Silver, Coins To Cup, Roth Shell Coins Across, etc.) and the muscle pass. However, I use "soft" Morgan dollars for Crimp Change, all 3-Fly routines, Curtis Kam's Silver Circle, and others. I also have a couple of coins larger than normal US silver dollars (Morgans, Ikes, etc. which are 38.1mm) that are great for one-coin-routines. These American Eagle coins are gorgeous, 99% Silver with Walking Liberty design. These are 40.6 mm. Another 99% silver coin of that same size is the Mexican Libertad 1-oz silver coin.

There are a couple of in-between sized coins that I haven't yet incorporated into my coin work. These are Mexican pesos from the 60s and are 34.6 mm, compared to the 30.61 mm Kennedy (or any other US) half-dollar coins.

Ken
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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #23 
Where do you get your coins ken ?
I went to 3 banks who told me they Kennedy halves were no longer available.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #24 
Charlie,

Usually I get them on eBay, because yes, they are quite hard to find. And a lot of banks don't have them any longer. But they are still legal tender. I got my largest stash when someone bought CDs from me (I'm a musician too) with cash - two rolls of Kennedy half dollars! that was cool[smile].

Ken
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zhrollofan

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Reply with quote  #25 
You can order brand new uncirculated (=shiny!) JFK halves directly from the US Mint - two rolls (40 coins, $20 face value) for $32.95 or a 200-coin bag (face value $100) for $139.95.  Plus $12.95 for standard shipping (3-6 business days).
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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #26 
Thanks guys. I've been away from magic for many years so this came as a surprise to me. Coin magic with quarters instead of halves just doesn't feel right to me, guess I'll have to get over paying a premium and order some half dollars.  
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phread

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Reply with quote  #27 
I use 1964 kennedy halves, and 1908 barber halves, never had any problems. The 64's have great edges for those moves needing them, the barbers are slick for those moves needing slicks.                  
I usually show the coins to the specs at the start since they are in actual fact "historic"...folks always take an interest in the old coins.
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John Johnson

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Reply with quote  #28 
The US Mint's retail "division" is an excellent source.

Another method I used to accumulate both Kennedy Halves and Eisenhower Dollars was to simply ask whenever I would get change from a purchase at a store/restaurant or when visiting banks. They tend to put them aside in their drawer and are glad to get rid of them.
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John Johnson

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Reply with quote  #29 
Oh, forgot to mention that there is no problem using seldom seen coins as long as you provide a little context. Others have touched on that and I can vouch for that many times over. Do not dwell on it. A quick mention during the routine set up is fine. Making it the focus of the routine's story is also a workable method for providing needed context.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #30 
As for strange coins,  CSB uses coins strange to US citizens.  I don't think it's a real issue if you explain them, it may even be interesting.  As Jim from the UK stated above he uses half dollars, just like we would use Engilsh pennies.

I will go on to say I use '64 Kennedy halves.  The look and even the sound is nice, plus the nice sharp edges.   You do give up the benefit of a soft coin though.  When I was having a session with Kainoa he was using Walker's but loved the Kennedy.  Why wasn't he using them?  He can edge grip one more soft coin, than with the thicker Kennedy's. So, it boils down to what works for you.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom G
As for strange coins,  CSB uses coins strange to US citizens.  I don't think it's a real issue if you explain them, it may even be interesting.  As Jim from the UK stated above he uses half dollars, just like we would use Engilsh pennies.

I will go on to say I use '64 Kennedy halves.  The look and even the sound is nice, plus the nice sharp edges.   You do give up the benefit of a soft coin though.  When I was having a session with Kainoa he was using Walker's but loved the Kennedy.  Why wasn't he using them?  He can edge grip one more soft coin, than with the thicker Kennedy's. So, it boils down to what works for you.


BTW, you can always have soft coins re-edged and have the best of both worlds.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #32 
You can always hand them out, assuming you are not using a gimmick. 
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
You can always hand them out, assuming you are not using a gimmick. 


Yes, I agree.  However, my feeling is that if you are going to let them examine a prop(s) let them do so before the routine, if possible, as opposed to after.  That way, as they are watching the routine, your "miracles" are likely to be perceived as truly miraculous, rather than the product of fake or trick coins, cards, rope, or whatever.  In other words, absent them having an opportunity to examine the props beforehand, the performance will, at minimum, be under the shadow of suspicion.  If you wait until the routine is over, all you have done at best is to finally dispel or allay, after the fact, the suspicions they entertained all during the performance.  But you can never alter the fact that their experience of the performance itself and its impact upon them was tainted or diminished because they did not get to examine the props before the routine.

Also, IMHO, it is better to give them a reason why they are examining the coins or other props other than merely asking them to examine them as if you're trying to prove something, which takes away from the magicality of your performance.  

For example, with Copper, Silver, Brass, you are clean in the beginning before switching in the g*ff and they can look at and handle the 3 coins til their heart's content. As you hand them to them, you could say something like, "These are very unusual coins that I collected in my international travels," or "My grandfather was a coin collector of coins of the world and he gave me these as a gift many years ago."

The possibilities are limited only by one's imagination.  With half dollars, you could have a similarly interesting or intriguing story line. Maybe talk about the history of the coins, or what is inscribed on them, just as a couple possibilities among many. The spectators should believe that you are having them examine the coins because the objects are interesting, unusual and/or attractive, not because you are trying to prove anything.

Even if you are using a gimmick for a particular routine, such as coins across, you can finger p*l* the s*ell and gesture casually and freely, such as in the Ramsey subtlety, as they are looking at and handling the coins.  When you get the coins back from them it is then a simple matter to nest one of the coins in the s*ell as there is plenty of cover.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #34 
Using a switch purse for CSB is a great idea.  The gaff comes out of the purse, at the end the gaff goes back in, the purse can be used like a wand, and normal coins dumped out.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #35 
I would hand them out while saying they are half dollars, since people do not ordinarily see them, not saying "They are not trick coins," or something like that. And i agree, before the routine. That way you could ring in a gaff if need be.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #36 
Why would anyone, even mention trick coins? Are trick coins that common? I think beginning a routine letting the spectators touch and feel the coins is sufficient. I would not want to even plant the seed of thought that they could have been trick coins but aren't. If someone were to bring it up, by all means react to it and show that they are not.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #37 
Very good point Ray.  Don't plant the seed. 
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Why would anyone, even mention trick coins? Are trick coins that common? I think beginning a routine letting the spectators touch and feel the coins is sufficient. I would not want to even plant the seed of thought that they could have been trick coins but aren't. If someone were to bring it up, by all means react to it and show that they are not.


I don't believe anyone suggested saying they are not trick coins. Michael specifically said NOT to say that. The key is that the examination before the routine begins  dispels any such notion of trick coins that my be in the SPECTATORS' minds.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #39 
And while we're on the subject, take a look at Pop Haydn's Coins Across. 
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
And while we're on the subject, take a look at Pop Haydn's Coins Across. 


Yes, it's good, but mainly because of the sheer force of Pop Haydn's personality and persona as an entertainer. Not a criticism, but just an observation, but like 90% of the coins across routines I've seen, even by seasoned pros and illustrious names, it happens in the performer's hands.

The coins across routine I've seen that most impressed me was Paul Gertner's routine on one of the Steel and Silver tapes many years ago, notwithstanding the surprisingly awkward classic palming.  The coins went across to the spectator's hands and IMO, that is far more magical and impressive than the effect happening in the magician's own hands.  Since seeing Gertner's routine I've never done it any other way - except I use the thumb palm in lieu of the classic palm. That way, the hand not holding the coins, which is held over the spectator's outstretched hands and which drops the coin therein from thumb palm, appears far flatter and like it could not possibly be palming anything.  Yes, a s**ll is used.
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MagicBrian

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Reply with quote  #41 
Coin shops also have new Kennedy half dollars, at least in my area (Alabama). I just bought a cylinder of them for 75 cents apiece, which I gladly paid to get some shiny 2016 versions. You can also still get Eisenhower dollars for a surprising low price (about twice face value).

I almost always use Walking Liberty halves and Morgan dollars, which I hope sets my apart from some uncle they see doing "coin from the ear" at the family reunion. I have had people think I'm using special coins, but I always try to end clean and let them examine them when I'm done. But the thing I've found is that most people really don't care if you're using fake coins if you are entertaining them. They know you really aren't turning the coins invisible or anything, but they willingly suspend their disbelief to enjoy the moment. So use whatever coins you want to use, just make sure you use them well.

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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #42 
Magic Aly---Yes, in the spectator's hands can be very strong magic. I always end most coins across that way, especially Roth's Shell Coins Across. 

The reason i mentioned Pop's was because at the end he says, "They're trick coins..."

He says that just before he makes them all vanish. He can get away with that, but I don't think I would want to chance it.
[smile]
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #43 
As Magic-Aly was talking about Gertners routine, it sounds quite similar to a Derek Dingle routine where he held his hand over the spectator's and the coin dropped into the spectators hand.  While Dingle got good response from it, I can't but help wondering how obvious it was, where the coin was coming from.  Could be a case of looking at it from a magician's standpoint, but not wanting to underestimate the spectator either.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #44 
MICHAEL BLUE WROTE: "Magic Aly---Yes, in the spectator's hands can be very strong magic. I always end most coins across that way, especially Roth's Shell Coins Across."

TOM G WROTE: "As Magic-Aly was talking about Gertners routine, it sounds quite similar to a Derek Dingle routine where he held his hand over the spectator's and the coin dropped into the spectators hand.  Dingle got good response from it, I can't but help wondering how obvious it was, where the coin was coming from.  Could be a case of looking at it from a magician's standpoint, but not wanting to underestimate the spectator either."

I actually agree with both of the above observations.  In my own personal experience, the strongest magic is that which happens in the spectator's hands, be it a coin, card or anything else effect.  And when I say strong, I'm talking in terms of spectator reaction. "Oh my God!" or, "What the -_ _ _ _?!?!" etc. etc.

As to Tom's point of obviousness, there is a logical concern there, because the magician's hand is directly over the spectator's.  Is it a magician's concern or a layman's?  I am not certain.  I do know that when I saw Gertner's performance, the spectators (paid or unpaid, I don't know) reacted far more enthusiastically and with far more astonishment than to any of the other strong) routines they saw Paul perform. I can also say that nobody has ever said to me: "It was in your hand."  That doesn't mean they wren't thinking it, though, and it certainly has me thinking right now.

The questions kind of become: Why are we holding our hand above theirs when the coins are in our other hand?  Wouldn't a real magician be able to make them travel directly from the hand holding the coins to the spectators hand?  'As preposterous and implausible as it might sound, perhaps it would help saying something like: "The coins are going to travel one at a time, invisibly, from this hand up my arm, across my shoulders, down my other arm, and right through the back of my hand into your hand where they will become visible.  You won't see it, but you will hear it." (Note, I first put their ring or if they don't have one, then my own ring in their hand, and I believe Gertner did it that way as well. This is done under the pretext that the ring will attract the coins and/or so that they will hear the first coin when it arrives).

In any event, I would welcome anyone's ideas on this issue, and especially how to make the Dingle/Gertner method more logical and/or believable.


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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #45 
About the only thing I could find is the incomplete effect starting at 2:50.  But it does show how he places his hand over the spectator's to make a coin arrive.



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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #46 
I've been thinking it might be fun to have to coins travel not just from hand to hand. You say one will vanish from one hand you are surprised to see it arrived in the other. And the others appear other places.

There is a video of Mr. Dingle doing a coins across into a woman's hand, and the last one appeared under her hand. When asked about it during the explanation he explains that he had dropped it by accident.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #47 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom G
About the only thing I could find is the incomplete effect starting at 2:50.  But it does show how he places his hand over the spectator's to make a coin arrive.





I REALLY LIKE THE ACQUITMENT DEREK DOES THERE AT 2:50 - RUBBING HIS HAND ON HERS TO "PROVE" THERE'S NOTHING IN HIS HAND. LOOKS LIKE HE'S CLASSIC PALMING, AND QUITE CONVINCINGLY SO, BUT I WOULD THINK THAT COULD BE DONE MOST CONVINCINGLY WHILE THUMB-PALMING THE COIN, AND NOT ONLY WOULD THE HAND LOOK SUPER FLAT, BUT YOU COULD LITERALLY MAKE PALM-TO-PALM CONTACT WITH HER HAND.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #48 
Typically the coin is held in "purse palm" for that type of action. In fact it looks like he is maneuvering one coin into position during the display. Thumb palm wouldn't work at all for what he is doing.
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Typically the coin is held in "purse palm" for that type of action. In fact it looks like he is maneuvering one coin into position during the display. Thumb palm wouldn't work at all for what he is doing.


Yes, I think you are right that it is probably the purse palm.  That does allow for a very "flat" looking hand, and to rub the spectator's hand without them feeling or detecting the palmed coin.

Thumb palm does work for me, however.  Again, the look of the hand is perfectly flat with the thumb palm.  Obviously you just have to make sure your hand isn't in a position where they can feel the coin when you rub their hand - which isn't hard to accomplish. It is a lot easier and more natural looking to get the coins into thumb palm than purse palm during the course of the routine - at least for me, anyway. Of course, each performer must find what works best for them...
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #50 
According to Dingle's Last Notes it is a purse palm he uses.  As for the thumb palm, the way I learned it, the coin sticks out about 45º and could easily be felt.  Magic-Aly, what does your TP look like? You must be using a variation of the standard?
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