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 Post subject: One last question before I buy a new gaff coin set...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:33 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
And no, it's not about which manufacturer is better!

My question is for you guys doing a lot of coin work for the general public. Am I making a mistake going with the Walking Liberty? I think its a beautiful coin, its a good size and weight and makes good sounds against each other or in a cup. But, what do regular people think about them?

Up till this point, I haven't done a ton of coin work and have always used my Kennedy Halves set. Since they're not used to seeing the old Walking Liberty, do you think people are more suspicious of an old coin then they are a more modern one?

I guess the same could almost be said for Half Dollars since no one other than magicians or numismatics seem to have any use for them, but I need something with more size then a quarter.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:48 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 2576
Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and presentation.

One of the primary reasons that magicians have used dollar and half-dollar coins is the size. They are big and easy to see, and the larger the coin, the more "impossible" some routines will seem ("How can he be hiding such a big coin...?"). If that matters to you, than go for the biggest coins you can find.

But... you should think about how you are going to justify the use of coins which are uncommon or out of circulation. With most stage coinwork, it really doesn't matter, as the coins are never really seen clearly anyway. They're just shiny discs of metal with which the magician is doing amazing things; some performers don't even use real coins for stage work but, instead, use palming/production coins which are optimized for magic (milling, thickness, etc.) but don't really resemble any "real" coin.

For close-up work, though, it's not necessarily as easy to get away with using "odd" coins unless you have a presentation that justifies it. It's not difficult at all to come up with presentations that explain the use of old coins. As a simple example, check out Ron Bauer's "Gadabout Coins Revisited." Also, if you are worried about your audience being suspicious of the coins, let them examine a few of them (it's not hard to develop a routine that allows for audience examination of the coins while concealing the gimmicks... depending, in part, on the gimmick).

I use in-circulation Canadian coins for most of my coin work. Canadian dollar and two-dollar coins aren't as big as US halves, but they are big enough, and they look interesting. I have a lot of US halves and English pennies and a few sets of standard gimmicks made from those coins. I don't work with them a lot, but maybe some day... or maybe I'll just buy gimmicks made from Canadian coins. It just hasn't been a big issue for me yet because most of the coin magic I do doesn't require gimmicked coins.

I'm in kind of a similar situation in that I have an infatuation with the Okito Box. These things just don't exist outside of magic presentations, and some guys won't use them because they are not ordinary, everyday objects. Although I can see the relevance and use for ordinary object theory, I feel that it sometimes gets overemphasized. I have no problem with David Roth's solution: he makes no effort to suggest that the Okito Box is an ordinary object and doesn't try to pretend it's an old pill box... he introduces it as a magic box and leaves it at that.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the idea of doing magic with ordinary objects that we lose sight of the fact that magic is meant to be extradordinary... so why can't our props be, as well?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 116
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Caffeinator your excellent advice is much appreciated as ever. I'm going with the Liberties. I have the Schoolcraft Kennedy's if I decide I need to go back...I'll just have to get them back from my son! :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:53 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 1182
Location: Missouri, USA
Have you ever handled a Morgan Dollar? After my friend let me handle his Ultimate 3 Fly, Triple Threat and Lassen Ramsay stack..

Morgan dollar is my coin of choice now. Much larger and visual in my opinion.

Best,

Doug L.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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Location: Atlantic City, NJ
I agree that the Morgans are more visual, but I am cursed with smaller hands and the WLs work just a little better for me.


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