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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » "Grade" of coins for magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

constantine
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Regular user
Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

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I'd like to get a consistant set of late 1940's walking liberties to start working on coin magic.The internet coin dealer I looked at uses a grading system of F )I guiss for fair) followed by a number.What grade shoud I get? Out of my depth.
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
Larry Barnowsky
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Inner circle
Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
4826 Posts

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This site will define the common grading classifictions.
http://www.acoin.com/grading.htm
What you should get depends on whether you want soft worn coins or shiny new looking coins. For most magic at the table shiny new coins which are AU (almost uncirculated) should suffice. For "3 Fly" type effects the worn coins at the bottom of the grading scale would do.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26974 Posts

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"MS" grade coins are not good for magic. they are touch-me-nots. MS60+ grade coins are very pretty though.

Most of my coin work, including the trick which some people insist on calling "3fly"... does NOT require low grade coins.

The routines of one of my teachers, John Ramsay were designed to work using well worn English Half Crowns.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Larry Barnowsky
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Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
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Good point Jonathan. Don't pay extra for mint (MS60-70) coins because after a short time performing with them they will be AU grade or worse.
constantine
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Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

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Thanks,I got some 1941 F(which stands for fine,not fair).These shoud keep me out of trouble for a long time.
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
5274 Posts

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I think that most coin tricks should use coins rated Almost Good (UG) to Good (G). These are worn coins that are often referred as “butter coins”. Buy common silver coins (low collector/numismatic value) and polish them. Coin collectors will faint knowing that you are polishing the coins. But for magic they will shine nicely, look great, and function well.

The common (non numeric) grading description is as follows:

Basal State (Basal) - You can identify the lump of metal as being a coin.

Fair (Fair) - You can identify the coin as to its type.

Almost Good (AG) - Outlined design. Parts of date and legend worn smooth.

Good (G) - Heavily worn. Design and legend visible but faint in spots.

Very Good (VG) - Well worn. Design clear, but flat and lacking details.

Fine (F) - Moderate to heavy even wear. Entire design clear and bold.

Very Fine (VF) - Light to medium wear. All major features are sharp.

Extremely Fine (XF or EF) - Very light wear on only the highest points.

Almost Uncirculated (AU) - Small trace of wear visible on the highest points

Mint State (Unc) - Absolutely no trace of wear.


Coin dealers/shops usually have boxes of junk coins that you can buy fairly cheaply. I got 20 walking Liberty halves all the same date for $1.00 a coin. They were in "Good" condition. They are worthless as a collectable but great for my purposes.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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It depends on which you like to work with. I would go to a coin shop and feel the coins yourself.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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If you are starting your path into magic with coins...

ANY investment into fancy coins is a HUGE expense and may not get you the props you need. Most routines have specialized requirements. Be that the dates, gaffs, painted or colored coins, plated coins... drilled coins... the list goes on and on.

The investment in education is far more valuable in the long term than the investment in props.

Unless you have money to burn... just use the coins you get from the bank.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Quote:
On 2004-06-16 18:10, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
If you are starting your path into magic with coins...

ANY investment into fancy coins is a HUGE expense and may not get you the props you need. Most routines have specialized requirements. Be that the dates, gaffs, painted or colored coins, plated coins... drilled coins... the list goes on and on.

The investment in education is far more valuable in the long term than the investment in props.

Unless you have money to burn... just use the coins you get from the bank.


Well said. I didn't get walking liberties or even 64s until years after I got first got bobo's.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Mr. Townsend gives the absolute best advice here. Check with your local full service bank. They can get you half dollars for face value and often can get you Ike dollars for face value. You can’t beat the prices!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Quote:
On 2004-06-16 18:21, Harry Murphy wrote:
Mr. Townsend gives the absolute best advice here. Check with your local full service bank. They can get you half dollars for face value and often can get you Ike dollars for face value. You can’t beat the prices!


Ike dollars at banks? Man, I want your banks. I haven't seen an Ike dollar for a long time....and when I check with the banks...they NEVER have them.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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I got ten at my local bank this week. They ordered them from their central bank. I went in the middle of last week and asked and picked them up today. A big five day wait.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
leefoley3
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Texas
402 Posts

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I certainly can't add much. Jonathan and Harry have it covered. I would like to add one thing and it doesn't apply to everyone. The silver vs. clad (copper/nickel) newer coins. As far as I'm concerned the major difference is the feel. I have very dry hands and the newer coins feel slippery to me. I can work with them but I definately prefer the silver coins because to me they do not have that slippery feel to them. This is most useful to me for classic palming. I hope you do not have this problem. I know people that think the silver coins feel funny. Do a little experimenting and you'll do fine. Smile
Good luck, Lee.
In December of '06 I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans. One in a million people worldwide are diagnosed with this type of cancer annually. Sarcomas account for 1% of all cancers. Knowledge is power!
padre rich
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Rather than seeking a certain grade coin for constant use I have found that it's better to use the coins that feel best for the slights I have to do for the routine . I also take into consideration the over all presentation of the effect . I try to use the largest coins I can get away with but my hands are small so if I have to conceal more than two coins I use Canadian silver dollar coins (smaller than american )As for grade and or condition again it depends on what I'm gonna do . When I need a good palming coin I'll use 64 JFK'S .I do a lot ramsey style stuff so I also often use very worn coins as they can talk less in some situation . I have tons of coins.
I would suggest going to a coin dealer and ask him to see bouliion (I can't spell)coins. I always find what I need in those bins. I have some years of experience in coin magic . If I can be of any help please ask
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
RxGregory
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New user
St. Charles, MO
65 Posts

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Just a quick add-on to the already great advice...If you want to buy Walking Liberties, try to get the ones minted in 1943. The mintage that year was huge, and they're the cheapest. You can get some (F)fine coins and polish them for the price of a value meal at McDonald's.

Greg
If it was easy, everybody would do it, and if everybody did it, it wouldn't be magic.
David Roth (Ultimate Coin Magic Vol. 11)
Larry Barnowsky
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Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
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Padre,
Ask for bullion and you'll get silver bars or coins worth their melt down value. Ask for bouillon and they'll ask you if you want crackers with the soup. Smile
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