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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Does Coin Size Affect the Effect? (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

will lane
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In my mind, a bigger coin is likely not only easier to handle (in some aspects), but it has more visual flare and will catch the audience's eye more. Like a small diamond ring compared to a big diamond ring. Plus, when a big coin is vanished, the space left is a bigger space compared to the space left compared to a small coin. And the flipside of that would seem to be true.

But, is all that actually true? For us in the US, the most biggest coin of common use is the quarter, which is small by half dollar or Morgan dollar comparisons. I definitely think half dollars look better aesthetically, but does the audience think so too compared to quarters or smaller coins? Would the same routine that I do with half dollars, instead doing them with quarters, would that routine hit just as hard?
J-Mac
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Use the coins with which you can move best. If they are dollar coins, consider half dollars IF you will be performing in the spectators' hands. Always have some quarter effects available in your mind for the times you decide to work only with borrowed change.

Jim
evikshin
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I don't think spectators notice the size disparity as much between half dollars and quarters, but they will notice the disparity between a silver dollar sized coin and quarter. In my experience, a Canadian Silver Dollar (very slightly smaller than a US Silver Dollar) seems to be the visual cut off for when the coin will register as "big" to a spectator. FYI I use Philippines Silver Pesos (same size as a Canadian Silver Dollar) for most of my work.
J-Mac
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Hey Evan, I got the half dollar/dollar in the spec's hand advice from Curtis Kam. Not directly of course, but from his lecture notes and posts he has made here on the Café.

Take care.

Jim
Mb217
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Lots of good talk here. Smile

Whatever's most comfortable works best. That said, most folks probably use half dollar size coins for fit and visibility. Dollar size coins are even more visual but can be more challenging to use for most. But it's good to play with them all, even mix their usage. I do a trick, ReVisiTeD that utilizes both a half dollar and a dollar size Chinese coin. In this effect, specs experience the real differences between the two coins as to size and over-all visualness, and I think it makes repeated deeper impressions upon them during the routine, again and again. Plus, in doing effects like this, you stay comfortable with both size coins.



There's also a lot of good tricks out there with smaller coins, from pennies to quarters. They may take a bit more handle to them, but there's some goodies out there worth the effort. Quarters are good to use if you like asking specs for the coins, because they are more likely to have them, and they'll be about the largest coins they would have on them nowadays. They are decent to do effects with and should be played with a bit just so you're not thrown off by them.

In general for me, I like to do coins across effects with half dollars for more comfortable handling. I prefer a One Coin Trick or a 3-Fly with dollar size coins like Morgans for the greater visual impact. And at the moment I'm just having a ball playing with a new , sorta off-beat effect called "F I T," which is done with a quarter. So, it's all good. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
OzTheMentalist
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Yup always bigger the better Smile
The Gold Coin
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People (at least in the US) tend to be impressed even by halves because a lot of folks (typically <40?) have never seen a coin that large. I look at quarters now and find them almost comically small because the coins I'm used to are huge by comparison.

I think more traditional 3 fly routines almost have to be done with Morgan sized coins. Part of their punch comes from the size of the coins, and the handling I use lends itself well to such large coins. (I've tried doing it with Barbers, and it's actually harder.)

For routines that aren't three fly, I think Marion and Jim made a good point: use what works for you. Sometimes based on your hand size, Morgans won't work. But if they don't, a half vanishing from your hand will look just as impressive as a Morgan vanishing from mine. And for what it's worth, I have trouble manipulating quarters because they're so small.
Rick Holcombe
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I love talking about this topic of Half Dollar vs. Dollar. I don't even consider using quarters for anything unless the trick is dependent on a quarter for some reason.

With that said, I began exclusively using Dollar coins about 2 years ago and I'm glad I did. I had used Halves for years and switching to the bigger coin highlighted areas of weakness for me in certain techniques, like palms and transfers and windows.

A while back I pulled out my Half Dollars and was amazed at how much control I had. I felt like I could do things so effortlessly that I couldn't do a short time before.

I initially made the switch to Dollars because the concept of "bigger coin = bigger magic" made a lot of sense. But now I feel like it really doesn't matter. As someone mentioned above, a Half Dollar is a huge coin to someone that has never seen one. And they will never know the difference between a Dollar vs. a Half Dollar unless you are switching between coins for different tricks.

I think it's also important to consider some of the top coin guys in the world use Half Dollars: David Roth, Mike Rubinstein, Mike Gallo, Kainoa Harbottle, Eric Jones, Giaccomo Bertini. Plus, Eric Jones has appeared on 2 nationally televised TV shows using Half Dollars. I always thought that was impressive because, wouldn't you want to use the biggest coin possible while being on TV? Likewise with Dr. Rubinstein on Fool Us.
Mb217
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I see good thoughts continue here... Smile

Of late, I've been just playing with a couple of coins, a Morgan and my favorite dollar-size Chinese coin and it's been feeling great. Smile I still like using half dollar coins for the reasons I describe above here, but it's good to "stretch" a bit sometimes. I notice, as to comfort, that regardless of using both coins, I can coin roll a half dollar a lot better than I can a dollar-size coin...I mean, I can do it well enough but just not as stealthily as I can with a half dollar size coin. Might be something to that as to which one you are most comfortable using. Also, in doing certain moves, say like a TP, seems much more effective hiding the smaller coin.

Still, it all depends on you. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
The Gold Coin
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One benefit to TV is you have the benefits of magnification (e.g. your trick is on a big screen in the studio and for the viewers, so the size of the coins matters less). I bet for traditional parlor routines, Morgans shine much brighter than halves (pun intended).
Dynamike
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To me size does matter. Smaller size coins are too common to me. I believe enhancing the size increases the spectators interest. I only use dollar sized coins with Misers Dream because of better vision. I like using Chinese coins because of the art.
warren
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I sometimes the effect and performing situation can dictate what size coins to use for example when I perform effects such as 3 fly especially for large tables it makes sense to use larger coins such as Dollars however in a walkaround situation if I'm performing for example Sankey's Mr Clean Coins Across then it makes more sense to use smaller coins as I have relatively small hands myself at 5ft 3.
Hare
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It is simple to understand psychology that a larger, heavier object vanishing, transposing, defying gravity, or teleporting seems more magical and impressive than doing the same with a smaller item.

That said, I 've worked exclusively with Morgan silver dollars for at least 35 years. I personally find them more "magical" and unique and appealing. They carry more impact than other coins.

They are made of silver, so, they are a better investment to begin with- you can always get your money back if you decide to give up prestidigitation and take up the pipe organ.

Silver coins have a beautiful, magical sound when they riiinnngggg together. I perform a trick where each coin appears as it hits against the coin next to it, balanced on the fingertips of my hand, and each rings out like a bell for several seconds. Their sound is- jubulant and their voices alive. Other coins clank.

Silver Morgans have a wonderful aura of Americana about them. They date to the cowboy/western era of America's first blush, to the rise of the industrial age, They were the favorite of top-hatted, fully suited vaudeville magicians of a more entrancing-era of magic. If you can't make up some manner of goodly patter using and showing flying cartwheels, you don't have much creativity. They are memorably American; rooted in our history.

They suit an over-the-top, flashy performance. If a performer prefers a laid back approach, with everyday items only, they won't do. But, if one's style leans towards more of a Mickey Silver approach- where your magic is in a person's face and appears impossible, Morgan dollars are a great way to go. They are Magic.
"Better described in The Amateur Magician's Handbook"
Mb217
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Have to agree as to visibility, nothing else like using a Morgan...It absolutely POPS!!! Smile

Carry one in my jacket pocket to do some on-the-spot magic all the time, and did a bit of that just this morning at a diner having a little breakfast...

First I pulled the big coin from my mouth for the bus-boy (nice kid!). One of the waitresses at the counter saw me do it and asked that I do something for her (who wanted me to also leave it as a tip), Smile so I vanished the coin. The other waitress wanted to see something too, so I showed her a penny and changed it to the much larger Morgan and she screamed, even louder when I made the coin then change to a ring! Smile They ran to tell the cook, who ran from the back window to ask me to do one for him, and I spinned it back to where I started, vanishing the coin and with a cough, coughed up the coin from my mouth. He just shook his head in total disbelief, as I snuck out the back door...all eyes in the diner on me. Smile What fun and that one BIG coin made all the difference, made all the difference in the world. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at www.VinnyMarini.com Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Dick Oslund
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I learned the coin roll with a Morgan dollar. I was 15. I agree with MB217. Size, plus the fact that many people have never SEEN a silver dollar, makes them appealing.

When I began to do the four coin roll, I had to use half dollars. With the Misers Dream I always use dollars. They are more visible and sound better in the pail.

When I learned the Five Coin Star, I used dollars.

Much depends on the trick or routine.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
David French
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I recently saw Eric Jones do a lecture for 100 magicians. He had no projection and used half dollars. His point was if it feels right to you that is the right answer. I agree, bigger is obviously more visible, but we as magicians tend to overthink things. I know I do Smile
I don't think laymen really care as long as the magic is strong.
Personally, I learned to used half dollars in the early 80s. Too old to change now...
st3v13
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I like larger coins because I have large hands but I've found people enjoy magic in their hands. Most people can't hold a stack of dollars in their hands so I carry halves more often now.
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