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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Coin Shell Question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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dlachance
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Mississippi
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I recently purchased a half shell and I noticed that this half shell does not completely cover the sides of the coin it is on. I am fairly new to coin magic so I am wondering if there is a half shell out there that does completey cover the sides or edges of the coin. The one I have is Sasco and it stops about halfway overlapping the edge leaving and fairly visible seem.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,
Dorian
-Dorian LaChance
Paul Wingham
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Rustington, South Coast, UK
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This is a trait of the cheaper shells, the two big boys both sell shells that cover the whole coin and look good from either side when nested. http://www.Toddlassen.com and to avoid arguments http://www.jamieschoolcraft.com they're not cheap but you get what you pay for.....as for which is better?, don't ask
ShawnB
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This is common... Depending upon the brand you buy some shells may be shallow while others may be deep.

In most cases though no matter what brand you are buying you are not going to find a shell that covers the entire coin.

Look in to getting a Johnson. They are a good brand and most of my shells I have from them have good depth.

There is also another (more expensive route)... A Dean Dill set made by Jamie Schoolcraft or a Unexspaned Shell set made by Todd Lassen.

The shells a made in a different way so they cover practically the entire coin
however theses shells only work with cut down coins so... there are some disadvantages...

Wait awhile before considering one of these sets... It is an investment so you need to make sure that you are going to use it.

Good Luck.

Shawn.
Shawn.
Eric Falconer
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Houston
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This is where the rubber meets the road. Do you buy a mass manufactured coin[ from Sasco, Johnson, Tango, etc. or do you go the custom route with Todd, Jamie, Aukie, etc.

Route 1 is fairly decent but you occasionally end up with ['s that don't cover the whole coin. (I've never had this problem with Johnson.)

Route 2 requires the deepest committment. It costs much more but the coins are beautiful and flawless.

Route 1 uses relatively common coins, although half dollars are not common anymore, but ['s are available in quarters and nickles and dimes. Route 2 usually involves older larger coins. So you must obtain your own matches to the gaffs. But in my experience they arouse less suspicion than half dollars I don't know why.

I personally took route 2. All gaffs are available in this route. I recommend getting a complete set in one coinage (Morgan, peace, walking liberty etc.) and working your routines with it.

For me a complete set is: Set of 4 with matching [, Matching Flipper, Matching Slippery Sam.

There are more of course like the double [ (i.e. 3CM or Triple Threat) or even triple [. Scotch and Soda, Hopping Half, Chinatown half.

Lots of possibilities

Get yourself some good books. JB Bobo is a good place to start. Dan Watkins has 2 very good e-books on coins. Michael Ammar has some great videos to show you what the basic sleights look like. Then you can move on to Roth and Kaufmann's Coinmagic. Soon you will see the power of Coin Magic and be able to work miracles.

Welcome to our world.
Eric Falconer

Houston TX
rutabaga
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Toronto, Canada
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I bought a Johnson Hopping Half set for the gaffs, and they seem very nice for the price. In particular, the english penny [ is darn near flawless from either side. The half is fine from the front [obviously] and also the sides... the back could be flashed briefly. A good deal at the price.

However, I can see even from the online pictures that the coins from Lassen or Schoolcraft just blow the Johnsons away. They might be worth buying just to look at and play with!
Jonathan P.
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Belgium
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An expanded shell is made (correct me if I am wrong) by "expanding" the coin by "flattening it" and then hollowing it in order to get the shell. The 1st flattenting process wil automatically reduce the coin's thickness. Then, as a thin portiion of the coin's face is preserved (top of the shell), the shell won't goo all the way to the bottom of the coin, which is normal. If you add the two "inherent flaws" of the expanded shell together, you'll understand why an expanded shell CANNOT touch the table when placed on a matching coin.

Of course, craftmanship will make the difference between a junk-shell (sometimes covers only half of the coin) and a beautifully made shell which can still cover most of the coin. I use a custom-made shell, but my Johnson was quite good regarding this aspect.

An unexpanded shell avoids the first flaw of the shell since it isn't "flattened". But since the diameter of the shell won't be enlarged, you'll have to use special "reduced" coins that will fit into it... for obvious reasons.

Hope this helps,
Jonathan.
Brad Burt
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What's so funny about this is that I have been using a Johnson Expanded Half in one form or another for 30 years and have never, ever been busted. Never. Shells are like TT's. If someone knows what to look for they are going to bust you. Period. If they don't they are not going to see it unless you use it so badly that you tip what you are using. The Johnson units are extremely nice and they are priced about right.

Are the Lassen/Schoolcraft units better? Sure. In the same way that a Mercedes is better than a Volkeswagen. But, they both get you to the same place in the end.

Part of the problem with ANYTHING gaffed is the way that the performer reacts TO that item. If you treat your shell as if it is in some different than a normal half you need to correct that. In your mind all your gaffs should be treated as if they are totally normal in every way. You see some of the worst problems with things like the Invisible Deck. The slow pushing of the cards from one hand to the other as you hunch over the deck in morbid fear that they will be discovered, etc.

Relax, relax, relax. Best,
Brad Burt
Marcelo Insua
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That's right, Jonattan.
I make expanded shell coins, I am the owner of Tango Magic, and I explain to many magicians the same that Jonatthan explained in his post.
A good expanded shell covers 80 or 90% of the coin that covers. It is impossible that it covers the whole coin.
But also, every year the half dollar has a different measures. A half dollar of the years 70 has 2,2 m.m of thickness and a new half dollar has single 2 m.m. then if you put a new shell over a old coin it won't not even cover 90%. This is not question of marks.
A good shell should cover 90% of the other coin.
sadamspmp
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Sunny Tampa, Florida
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Brad,

Great advice. The high end coins look wonderful but handled poorly they'd be no better than the low end. Thanks for asaving me a few bucks (for now) Smile
Matt Malinas
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Transylvania
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I own two coin shells which I had custom made by a neighbour of mine.
I perform using romanian coins . this was an issue as there is nobody who manufactures shells for these coins.
my neighbour is no professional he just has the necessary tools in his garage ,lol so I explained to him what it must look like and he did his best.
one of the shells is VERY low end and the other one is pretty decent I guess.
I have never been caught using any of the two. practice and getting comfortable using shells really paid off I guess. stop worrying and just go out and use them.no layman has any clue anyway about shells.

-Matt
The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
info2victor
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Actually I had the same question long time ago. Before that I bought e[ from both sasco and tango. I'm not sure if they have improved over these days but by the time I bought it they were too shallow and could cover rougly 50% of normal halves only. The sasco one is worse, it even slides off from the nested coin when I press my thumb on it and push. The Tango one is a bit better but still can't cover more.

Later on I came to johnson as suggested by others in the forum. And it is the best machine made one I've ever seen. It's comparable to the more expensive hand-made ones in terms of thickness. If you have a limited budget just get a johnson. You won't be disappointed.

Now I have my shells custome-made as I turned using Barber halves. Those custom-made ones are excellent, but of course comes with a price.

Actually it is impossible to have a 100% coverage if you want your e[ to look normal. Just imagine having the e[ un-nested and placed on a table. To have the same thickness of normal halves it has to be having the edge of the same height. But then the face of the e[ has some thickness, so subtracting that you can see you can never cover the entire thickness of a half dollar. That's just simple math. =)

Anyway, as suggested by many, what you need to do is not a perfect e[, but a proper magic presentation. Audiences will never suspect anyway if you do it well.
It only takes a minute to learn how it is done, but takes a lifetime to learn how to do it.

You've got a coin?
Chris SD
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I own a schoolcraft shell, and it doesn't cover nearly the whole coin.
Joshua Barrett
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Chris, try unexpanded if you want more coverage. a expanded is always gonna show more
Charlie Justice
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Quote:
On 2006-09-18 08:37, Joshua Barrett wrote:
Chris, try unexpanded if you want more coverage. a expanded is always gonna show more

Concur. If 'coverage' is your main criteria, an unexpanded is the way to go. You can even get it remilled and perfectly fitting coins to match
eddieproton
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I would like to give my two cents worth on the good shell, bad shell debate. I love coin magic, my advice to the new coin guy is that they need to work on presentation and audience envolvement and audience control. If you are funny, charming, entertaining, and original people will love to see you perform. If you don't engage them emotionally(or worse yet bore them)they will try to figure out the secret.

Work on your self and your perfomance first. Then start saving for Todd's, Jamie's or other high end gaffs if you dig coin stuff.

Remember there are lots of great tricks that use slight of hand as well. Many of these also help with presentation too.

Eddieproton
Joshua Barrett
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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I just got a dean set from jamie last week, its really great... the coverage is as good as it gets!
MagicJohnH
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Agree with all the comments above. If you are new to magic, especially coin magic then invest in a Johnson Product or other similar priced product. As you get experience then buy the Schoolcraft or Larson version. I have both a Johnson shell which I use for my practice work and a Schoolcraft shell that I use when I perform.
MagicJohnH
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Agree with all the comments above. If you are new to magic, especially coin magic then invest in a Johnson Product or other similar priced product. As you get experience then buy the Schoolcraft or Larson version. I have both a Johnson shell which I use for my practice work and a Schoolcraft shell that I use when I perform.
Dougini
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Good subject!

I just bought a Johnson Eisenhower Dollar Expanded. I took it to work with me tonight, and have been admiring it all evening. It is amazingly deceptive. Not only does it cover the WHOLE coin, it fools ME. I have to look carefully to keep track of it.

I've had an expanded half-dollar I've had since 1978, and an expanded quarter I carry with me all the time (gotta be careful when I spend my change, LOL). Both are amazing, get a lot of use (the quarter more than the half), and get reactions ranging from the astonished, to near-religious experience, LOL!

I've seen the Sasco's...I will reserve judgement on those. I bought the Eisenhower, because someone said they are ceasing production of silver coin gaffs.

Hey, in my opinion, it's the best $50 I've spent in a log time.

:)

Doug
Ryan clark
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Spruce Grove ,AB
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I use a sasco, and have never been caught once, it is how you use it that counts. I don't mind sascos products one little bit.


Ryan
Any Effect Is Possible, methods are relativley easy to come by, but it is the effect that takes true courage to come up with

Sankey
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