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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Why do American magicians still use English Pennies? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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PetePennekett
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Of all the current English coins 50 pence pieces are the only ones that come close to being as visual as half dollars - Put that alongside the fact that our coins are all quite small and you have the reason for English magicians using American currency.

That said I do use normal currency for bar/informal magic because I usually have some change on me but don't carry around my silver coins. It doesn't stop people suspecting that they're faked and they're still less visual (and interesting) than old/foreign coins, it's just a case of convenience. Also in loud environments it's probably easier to use familiar coins since going into an explanation/description of the coins you're using often isn't an option.

I also agree with Magicalaurie in that it's a simple distinction to say that a silver coin changes to a copper one - Much easier than "And now see my 2-toned gold/silver thing turn into a multi sided coin". If the spectator is interested I show them my coins, let them feel them and explain what they are; If they aren't I get on with it.

~ Pete.
J-Mac
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Ridley Park, PA
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My main reason is that they are fairly easy to obtain. That's it. Sure there are other copper or copper-colored coins but how easy is it to obtain them? I can throw in a handful of English pennies on almost any online magic shop order without having to look very hard. (Granted some are less expensive than others, which is why I shop around). But to find US pennies the size of a half dollar? Sure, search on Ebay where the pricing is all over the place, and then wait until they are delivered to find out the quality of what you purchased. Lotsa junk on Ebay!

If there are better coins available as easily as I can get English pennies please let me know!

Thank you.

Jim
RS1963
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Poker Chips are a good substitute for coins. But nothing can nor will beat using real coins regardless of if they are still used or not. If you have the English Pennies and American Half dollars use them. I'm sorry but using them is not vain, crude, etc..
PetePennekett
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J-Mac - They're not as easy to find as English pennies, but East African 10 cent pieces are the same size and are still cheap/fairly easy to acquire and they also have a hole in the middle. I've not been able to find any worn versions of these, however, so they're no good for soft coin work. I suppose they could be used in a routine with 3 different types of coins, as they are sufficiently different to an English penny. Personally I don't use the ones I have very often, but I feel as though I should...

Howard Hamburg - I suspect it wasn't intentional, but your post comes across as someone descending from the heavens to tell coin magicians everywhere how it should be done. Whilst I am interested to hear different opinions on these things I'm going to continue to use coins and roll up my sleeves.

Briefly on the point of poker chips - Sounds an interesting premise to me, and this could be looked upon as a different prop, so you could bring diversity into a coin-heavy act without really doing anything different? Possibly. To my mind they have the same advantages and disadvantages as antique coins, in that they're interesting & different and lend themselves easily to explanatory (and/or story-lined) patter. That said as a magician from the UK it's likely that the majority of my spectators wont be any more familiar with poker chips than they are with antique coins, so they wouldn't really address this 'problem'.

Cheers,

~ Pete.
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