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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » How to pick a coin size? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Hakaput
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I am new to coin magic, but I have a few coins sizes. Knowing that everyone hand is different how can I tell if a coin size works with my hand, or works better than another size. Right now I have dimes, pennies, nickles, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. I also have some English pennies the same size as the half dollar and one the about the size of a quarter. Based on my coins I would default toward the half dollar due to having more of them and a variety of different looking of coins of that size.

Basically I am asking how to tell what coin size works best for my hand in most situations? What tests or slights to try with each coin size to see what size feel right?

I also realize that some slights may be easier with a certain coin size so there wont really be the perfect size.

I ask these questions to know what coins I should primarily use while learning the basics, knowing that I can apply those basic skills to any size coin.
Poof-Daddy
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The ultimate answer is simple... Whatever fits your hand the best. Smile

as far as "sleights", even that depends on what "you" are going to do in the way of coin magic. I would say (by default) try a classic palm, finger palm, edge grip, back clip, purse palm for a simple range. Keeping in mind that there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are also alternatives to many sleights that can accommodate a coin that you may not be able to perform a certain sleight with. The key isn't as much as "if you can do" the sleight as much as "can you go from one sleight to another" comfortably and secretly.
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Hakaput
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Poof-Daddy you bought up something I didn't think about when asking my questions. That being how a coins size feels going from one slight to another. I was thinking in terms of just static move like the finger and classic palms. With that in mind are there any basic routines that use a variety basic of slights so I can tests what size feels right, aka what fits my hand best.
Michael Rubinstein
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You want to use the biggest coin that is comfortable for you. If the coin is too small, it is harder to see. Most people use half dollars because they are big enough to be seen well, and not too big to conceal for most.
AT LAST - a NEW fun coins across!! MIGRATE is filled with laughs, magic, cool moves, lasts over 3 minutes, uses props, comes in a Poker Chip version or special Deluxe version with coins, and is about...BEARS! AT DEALERS EVERYWHERE!
https://youtu.be/hzf-Trbs4Ts

https://youtu.be/gGjMtW1DLjA

ALSO...available at dealers EVERYWHERE - RUBINSTEIN COIN MAGIC- The biggest book on coin magic since Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and the most important since David Roth's Expert Coin Magic! Hardbound, 500 pages, 20 chapters of state of the art coin magic illustrated with 930 crisp photos! A contribution chapter from over 20 of the world's top coin magicians! This will be the book against which all future books on coin magic will be measured! Already called a Modern Classic!!
I HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF COPIES AVAILABLE TO BE SIGNED, AND COME WITH A SPECIAL FREE GIFT! If interested, shoot me an email at rubinsteindvm@aol.com I also have some limited supplies of coins and props used in the book, let me know if you want a pricelist.
tonsofquestions
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There are many different coins in lots of sizes. Many in ~half dollar size, but also many in ~quarter size and ~dollar size - you just think there are more half dollar ones because they're most commonly the size magicians use.
Hakaput
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Micheal Rubinstein - How would you describe being comfortable, or in what ways. So far I am only really proficient at the classic palm, finger palm and some false transfers. Both the dollar and the half seem comfortable in theses positions, but I can also make a tighter, more natural fist when finger palming the half dollar compared to the dollar. Would that be a sign the the dollar is too big for my hand or is that just an irrelevant fact, at least in most cases.

Basically looking at other posts I have seen that the best coin for an individual is the one that is most comfortable and fits best in the hand, but how do I go about figuring out what that is for me?

tonsofquestions - I was stating what coins I already have, not what I believe to be out there. As such I was asking which of them I should primarily use to learn the basic slights of coin magic. And how to tell what size works best for me. Right now I have the most access to half dollar size, but I would be open to acquiring more coins of any size as need sees fit.

*Additional question*
In coin magic is it generally easier to apply sleights learned to larger coins or smaller coins when comparing to the size of coin that the sleights were learned with?
tonsofquestions
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You're absolutely right, my apologies. I read "I would default toward the half dollar due to having more of them and a variety" as "due to *being* more of them"...

I don't find going larger vs smaller to be significantly "easier" one way or the other, it's about getting comfortable using different sizes - and that takes time and practice, though less than originally.
It's like getting into someone else's car and it's more nimble, or feels higher/wider.
Of course, if you go *too* far in either direction that can be hard to deal with...
Poof-Daddy
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You may also, as many do, find that you will do some routines with Dollar Size coins and others with Half Dollar coins. Most of your "Pro Coin Men" use several coins in many sizes. Maybe Dollar coins for a standing 3-fly and halves for some Okito box routines. Then they use quarters for impromptu stuff while strolling or in a bar. I have seen DVDs where they teach the effect and are using different coins in the "performance" than the "teaching" (like Barber halves to perform and walking liberties to teach). Often coin guys will use "soft coins" like Barbers for "Edge Grip" work because they slide easily and don't "talk". I use both Morgan Dollars and Walker Halves (neither soft) for edge grip as I don't find "talking" to be an issue for me in most of my performance settings.
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Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Michael Rubinstein
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Curtis Kam uses dollars with ease. His hands are much bigger than mine. I can conceal half dollars naturally in my smaller hands. My sleights don't work as well with dollar size coins because I can't hide the movements as well. Sure, I can finger palm and classic palm with dollar coins, but can not do many other sleights. I can't palm a basketball either. That's what I mean by comfort.
AT LAST - a NEW fun coins across!! MIGRATE is filled with laughs, magic, cool moves, lasts over 3 minutes, uses props, comes in a Poker Chip version or special Deluxe version with coins, and is about...BEARS! AT DEALERS EVERYWHERE!
https://youtu.be/hzf-Trbs4Ts

https://youtu.be/gGjMtW1DLjA

ALSO...available at dealers EVERYWHERE - RUBINSTEIN COIN MAGIC- The biggest book on coin magic since Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and the most important since David Roth's Expert Coin Magic! Hardbound, 500 pages, 20 chapters of state of the art coin magic illustrated with 930 crisp photos! A contribution chapter from over 20 of the world's top coin magicians! This will be the book against which all future books on coin magic will be measured! Already called a Modern Classic!!
I HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF COPIES AVAILABLE TO BE SIGNED, AND COME WITH A SPECIAL FREE GIFT! If interested, shoot me an email at rubinsteindvm@aol.com I also have some limited supplies of coins and props used in the book, let me know if you want a pricelist.
Max T. Oz
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Good info & advice from all.

For comparisons sake:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWDwm6hKgjE

Kennedy Half vs Morgan Dollar vs Olympic Coin vs Bahama $10

A great deal, naturally depends on what you are doing. Coin matrix, miser's dream, one coin routine etc. I use coins slightly larger than a Morgan. Took a while to get use to & there are some sleights with the larger coin that are impractical.....but for me and what I do....bigger much much better (larger audience/visual).

However cost wise you're looking at +$30 to $40 for the larger two coins.

.
tonsofquestions
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Beautiful. Thanks for that, Max!
I don't play with many different sizes myself so it's amazing to see how different it is with a coin nearly 2x the diameter of a Half dollar. I know that it's not significantly different to do the sleights, but there's still a fun psychological trick going on!

It's worth pointing out, though, that the extra cost is mainly if you want to go with fancier coins, like silver ones. I'd bet it's possible to find copper or steel coins that size much more cheaply if you go to a coin shop.
Mb217
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Yes, loads of good info, from some great practitioners at that… Smile

Not only can it be important what coin you pick but also what you pick it for.

So, for me, I use half dollar coins and dollar size coins mostly. I typically use halves for Coins Across, Why? Because the coins are easier to conceal as you manipulate them up close. Now I can do a CA with dollar coins too, but I find it all more comfortable for me to use the smaller coins. A T-Pinched dollar coin can be harder to hide sometimes.

Now for something like a 3 Fly, I would use Morgans or Ike dollars. Why? Because they are noticeably larger and play better in being seen than the smaller halves. Though you can certainly do a 3 Fly with halves, a lot of people do. *Chris Kenner, once said of his classic "Menage et Tois" (aka "3 Fly"), "People that use halves for the effect, just don't get it." Smile With respect, in spite of his great accomplishment and opinion, like I said, a lot of people use halves as well effectively enough. Eric Jones' work comes to mind.

Now, some people use halves for most everything they do, heck, they do "Tenkai Pennies" with half dollars. Smile Mostly because these coins are the sorta middle ground, and more comfortable for most to palm and manipulate. But different hand sizes may handle and prefer differently.

I also do a favorite effect where I mix the 2 sizes…In my ReVisiTed, I use a half dollar and a dollar-size Chinese coin in a 2 coin effect. What it does is help keep me practiced with both size coins. So, when I do my favorite CA KrazyKoinZ or favorite 3 Fly -FlySki, my hands are always familiar whatever I do, whatever coin I grab…Any one coin I happen to have, works fine for a quick One Coin Routine, or maybe a complete vanish…Whatever, it all feels comfortable to me because I worked on making that so, and thus I deliver a little variety with no effort at all. Smile
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
AndreOng1
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Thanks Max. I am adding a coin routine to my show. The video helps me a lot when picking the right size.
mindmagic
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There are some sleights which I can't do with anything smaller than an old English penny. For example, although I can CP a single coin of any size, I have to use a large coin to be able to CP a stack and release them one at a time. There were also a few Okito box moves in the David Roth book which wouldn't work for me with a smaller coin.
Hakaput
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Thank you everyone this has been a great resource. There still hasn't been an exact answer to how to tell if a coin is the right size/ is most comfortable, but it seems to have been indirectly answered through the various testimonies.
tonsofquestions
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That's because there isn't an exact answer. It's about what feels good/works best for you.
But here's another way of thinking about it that's a little more explicit, which you might find useful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzzecGZoU7g
Hakaput
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Thanks tonsofquestions that video definitely had the more concrete answers I was looking for.
evikshin
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A rule of thumb is to see if the width of the coin exceeds the width of your middle and ring finger. If it doesn't exceed, you are good, if it exceeds it, then you have issues with proper concealment.
Forgot where I read this, but I think it's true. A dollar coin just fractionally exceeds the width of my fingers, so I can make it work after lots of practice.
tonsofquestions
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Kainoa suggests exactly that in the video I linked. Smile
But that's certainly a good argument for your dollar-size coin thread - I'm glad it's just fractionally too big for you, but there are others for whom it's a fair bit more than that, so who can't do it as easily...
cbguy
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I only use Eisenhower Silver dollars because I typically work for large audiences, outside.
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