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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Chinese coins? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Sometimes I'm amazed at the distances covered and rationalizing used to avoid a simple trip to Chinatown to get a few ribboned coins. Net cost, maybe ten dollars. Value in education and potential inspiration... ?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Daegs
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Wow... great points!

However, I think that performing close-up magic is *very* different than watching a movie.

A movie is passive, you watch what is happening and then you have the ability to nitpick.


A close-up magic performance is interactive and lives in the minds of the performer and audience. It is not something passive but very active and they both must have agreements about what is going on to have the effect succeed. Because it is interactive you can take more liberaties than a movie and can create connections in a spectators minds that might seem silly in a movie.

If I explain the tradition about having 3 coins on a red ribbon and what it is used for, then I have the 3 coins and ribbon examined, whether they are legit or not you get the connection in the mind of a spectator. They will "get" that the coins you have are representing chinese coins even if they think they don't look ancient. And having them feel them before hand will quell any thoughts of gaffs. Normally I'm not a fan of handing things out before an effect, but I find penetration effects like ring&string, CCC, ect helps it. Plus it gives you a time to explain about the old custom of having the 3 coins and ribbon, all with your hands free.


On the method side, these coins have advantages of just picking up some random coins from chinatown.

They are soft, which means when working in a stack they will slide silently. They have very contrasting colors with interesting symbols and draw the eye to them. They are the right size(half or full dollar) and weight so you can be used to performing with them. The milling(if you choose to get it) can help for many palms and increases functionality.

Finally, the designs are the same on both sides, and each side is broken up into 4 sections each with a similer sized symbol in each section

That might not seem like alot, but when performing spell bound moves(in CCC) it is really easy to align both coins the same way.

If you have a coin that has 4 symbols on one side and 2 symbols on another side, not only do you have to flip the coins the same way, but also rotate them possibly 180 degree's to get them into the right position for a seamless spellbound change.

With these, you always have the right side and only have to rotate 45 degree's to get the 4 quadrents to line up.

I've played around with other chinese coins including "authentic" ancient chinse ones, and often there were problem with not having enough contrast, or being too light, too big, symbols confusing, ect.... these are custom made for magic and have features specifically for that.


Now I agree that these aren't for everyone. There are many types of performers that need to have the authentic coins to use....

However I feel that there are even more magicians out there that could use these coins with great success, and no one should try to swear it off because it isn't "authentic".
JeremiahZuo
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I posted this in another thread where Bill Palmer made this comment, and just wanted to reiterate some points.

"If you live in an area where there is a big Asian community, the first time you bring these(magicianscoin coin), a Johnson coin or a Sterling coin out, you will be ridiculed. "

That's funny......I'm Asian, I've no problem with them. And another thing....

Why on Earth, would an Asian like oh say a Korean or Japanese, or Vietamese ridicule you for a mock Chinese coin that isn't accurate to real life? Why would they know any better than an American? One of the single greatest insults you make to an some one of oriental dissent is to lump us all together! Which you did.

By the way I'm Chinese, and I'm sure you know that modern Chinese coins look NOTHING like ancient ones. So you know, as far as some of my relatives and friends concerned, these Johnsons or Sterlings or whatevers may just BE exact replications of an ancient Chinese coin, even though they are not. Actually rather than money I consider them tiny medallions. You can use washers for coin magic, coins don't have to be money.

One of the reasons I like this style of Chinese coin is the STARK contrast from american coins. But if I changed an american half dollar to a modern chinese coin, the audience wouldn't be able to tell the difference if there were anywhere but on top of me! If I wanted a real Chinese coin I wouldn't buy a replication, I'd use a real one! I have a 1 Yuan coin in my hand right now, know what it looks like? A quarter. I mean we know it's design is nothing like a quarter, but what I mean is it's a silver coin, about that size. Know one would know the difference from even 3 feet away!


It's funny, in all the times I've been and performed in China, Japan, Hong Kong, not just "asian communities from the burbs" but hey the actual country, I've never had a problem with these coins. NEVER once......that is strange considering us Asians just go nuts when we see fake coins.

Your comments were just nitpicking, creating a problem that doesn't EXIST. Just like if I went and asked my neighbor right now what Morgan Silver Dollar is, I know the answer will be I have no idea, the same is true if you go ask the average Chinese person what a Zhou or Tao piece looks like, they will recognize the era, but I'll be ***ed if they can tell you what it looks like.

Furthermore you falsely believe we also would nitpick. You know how my father (born and raised in China until 35) reacted the first time he saw Marshall Brodien perform the Chinese Laundry Ticket? He didn't critize, he didn't point out the inaccuracies, he didn't turn to me and say "this trick sucks, Foo Ling Yoo is not a real Chinese name". No. He thought it was funny as hell! He kept going on about "foo ling yoo". It was a riot for him!
Joshua 24:15
Paul Jester
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The Hong Kong 2 dollar coin (present day) is pretty good to work with, the edges are unique... http://www.joerch.org/coins/hk-20c-1995-r.jpg and it's about the same diameter as a half dollar. No need for milling, not too thick, and not too hard.
The Johnson Chinese coin is a replica of an ancient Chinese coin. They are from the ching/qing dynasty and aa picture of the genuine article can be found here: http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/robe......20coins/ right at the bottom of the page. The characters on the obverse side are the traditional Manchurian characters on chinese coinage pre-1911.
But at the end of the day, magic with coins that have holes in is always going to be baffling to lay people. Saying they are Chinese can add interesting patter lines.
It's a hark back to the Mysteries of the Orient type of thing from when Chung Ling Soo and others were doing there thing. Most of us Western folk know very little of any Oriental culture, thus it adds mystery.
Foo Ling Yoo!!! Oh how funny.
Paul a.k.a. Ban Bo Lo (hmmm, can't get chinese characters to work on here...)
Magius
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Having been with 2 dollar coins for a good bit of my life, I got rather angry at them. They hurt to muscle pass.

In any case, what on earth are you talking about chinese coins being silver? I am pretty sure that we're discussing ANCIENT chinese coins. Modern Currency wise, all China is good for are cheap Bills. Heck, they have bills for 50 cents Yuan, which is around 5 US cents. The coins are too small.

Old Chinese coins dating before Qing Dynasty (that would be the last dysnasty) have holes in them. However, any authentic old chinese coins larger than a centavo would be pretty costly. Anything larger than a half would be something you bid for. Chinese didn't have need for big coins, they, as far as I know, only had one denomonation for coins for most dysnasties, and the exceptions are rare, making them expensive to buy. I'm not sure how much, but it's not something to do magic with.

About those gold black coins not being realistic, true, but they are visually very effective. The colors catch attention easily, and are also good for telling the differnce between. Speaking of which, bronze coins are kinda nice since they are naturally green. Again, real coins are nice if you like the feel, though the sizes are different and irregular.

On the other hand, Chinse Dollar Size Silver coins (Republic of China) are pretty cheap compared to morgans, so for poor people like me, that's an alternative. Not sure where to find, but softer ones would cost anywhere from 50- 80% of a morgan from experience.

Also, if you like rumaging through culls, note that Qing brass coins are very very soft, though dirty. They are almost discs, except you can boast about them being authentic old chinese coins. They cost approx 1-2 USD, though I was probably ripped off. They have huge boxes here.

I think it's fine to use fakes as long as you don't claim your coins to be real when they aren't (as many magicians do. I kinda get annoyed at magicians who make random claims about things they don't know about with the exception of obvious jokes). It'd be really stupid to the spectator, ya know, if h or she knew anything about chinese aside from the stereotypical stuff that some ignorant magicians tend to not care about *cough*
Neophyte.
John C
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I find it hard to believe that this much thought goes into these coins. You know I just watched the Bill Malone video on his Matrix. Now Bill's a pretty savvy guy he's performed for a long time. He uses Kennedy halfs. I'm sitting there thinking wow, why doesn't he use expensive half dollars or some other classy coin. Cause it's not about the coins it's about the trick. The coins are merely props. We as magicians stretch the truth all the time. So, what's wrong with saying, "These are chinese coins?" I think it goes right past the audience, actually it may add a little chuckle and ENHANCE the routine.

I like the idea of milled edges cause I'm not that good at palming coins. I like the extra confidence it provides. I don't do much coin magic but I'm working on Bill's Matrix and Cody Fisher's CSB. I think they're great routines and within my level of expertise.

When I perfect the matrix I may get some really nice coins only cause I like nice things. When I perfect the CSB I may get a nice Todd Lassen CSB set.

I like the CCC as well but I find the ribbon gets knotted up in my pocket or coin purse and I am always trying to get it straightened out.

I suppose this discussion is all for conversation sake anyway.



John
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Mano
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HEY John,

Try using a shoe lace, just revome the rounded plastic from the two ends to avoid the talk of the coins when they're becoming free.

I do it with a shoe lace and I also use washer, in the future I'm gonna do it with chinese coins.

I hope that helps.

Reagrds.
Mano T.
mickey.w
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Just to note anyone? this topic focus on the coins itself, and how the coin's realism are, etc.....so really anything that's talking about the "importance" of the distinction on coins and stuff like comparing the importance of the coins to the effect, etc....is really kinda -off-topic.
John C
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Quote:
On 2005-06-25 12:24, manolotjda wrote:
HEY John,

Try using a shoe lace, just revome the rounded plastic from the two ends to avoid the talk of the coins when they're becoming free.

I do it with a shoe lace and I also use washer, in the future I'm gonna do it with chinese coins.

I hope that helps.

Reagrds.
Mano T.


Good idea! I thought I tried that but maybe I used a round shoelace!? Smile

John
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
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