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Topic: What and where should I buy?
Message: Posted by: teedpop (Dec 29, 2009 11:01AM)
Hey guys,
I'm a newbie and I would like to start coin magic. I like Kennedy Halves, and would like to buy a set. What gimmicks are the best and where should I get them?

Message: Posted by: Rizzo (Dec 29, 2009 11:12AM)
Welcome Teed! Just start wth the Kennedy's that you like already and get comfortable with just them by themselves. Coins through the table effects etc.Then get a Kennedy $***l and go from there.
Message: Posted by: TC Ryder (Dec 29, 2009 11:23AM)
I second the Kennedy Half [. If you get one I recommend a Johnson and then get some matching halves from a bank. You also may want to invest in a Copper/Silver coin and a Silver/Copper/Brass set. Then get some DVD's on Coin magic by Roth, Rubinstein and other well known coin guys and you should be set.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 29, 2009 11:57AM)
If your hands are large enough to handle the 50-cent pieces, fine; if not, you can use quarters instead. It may be a while before you find what size coin is best for you.

In addition to one or two gaffed coins, I agree that you should also get a primer on basic coin sleights. Even an effect with a gaffed coin can benefit from some added sleight of hand (to ring the gaff in and out, for starters). The Johnson Products coins are moderately priced but very well made, and they will last a long time if handled with care. In my experience, they would be a good investment.

One very good DVD of basic coin sleights is [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/findit.pl?x_item=DV9093&keyword=ROTH]Volume 1[/url] of David Roth's "Expert Coin Magic." Mr. Roth also did a DVD on some common gaffed coins, it's [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/findit.pl?x_item=DV9604&keyword=ROTH]Volume 1[/url] of "Ultimate Coin Magic."

As far as where to buy these items, they are all pretty standard and any magic shop should carry them or be able to get them for you. If you want to go online, I have had good experiences with The Magic Warehouse over the past six years, and that's where the above links (in orange type) will take you when you double-click on them. I have no financial interest in the company, I'm just a satisfied customer.

Good luck and welcome to the Café! SETH
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Dec 29, 2009 07:14PM)
The Johnson Hopping Half is one of the best sets to start with. It is a strong set with many routine possibilities. Along with normal shells, it is one of the best selling coin sets we offer.

Also get yourself a copy of Bobos Coin Magic. Its where all the guys that have dvds and stuff out now learned what they know. GO to the source - stick with Bobo to start.
Message: Posted by: teedpop (Dec 29, 2009 08:28PM)
Ok so how does this sound?

An okito coin box
A coin safe
The bended half dollar
A double sided heads
The folding/bite out half
and a copper/silver half

Message: Posted by: teedpop (Dec 29, 2009 08:30PM)
The more I think about that the more it sounds like a lot
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 30, 2009 06:54AM)
The coin box and the copper/silver coin are the best of the bunch. The coin safe is a puzzle and the double-sided half is a con game. The folding coin is OK, but will require practice and sleight of hand to use, you may find it frustrating.

If you want a relatively self-working coin gaff, get a Scotch & Soda set or a Dime & Penny set (same idea, just smaller coins). But the Hopping Half suggestion is really one of the best, it's a great utility item, not just one trick. The Bobo book is also a good idea, it's a standard reference, but it's a lot of information to digest.

I'd suggest you start with a couple of gaffs and sleights, and work your way up from there. SETH
Message: Posted by: lorenwade (Dec 30, 2009 11:16AM)
Start simple, I say. If you're new to coin magic, I'd highly suggest reading the basic sleights first! I'd suggest starting with Modern Coin Magic by JB Bobo, or even some DVDs like Modern Coin Magic by Ben Salinas (goes through the book) or Coin Magic by Michael Ammar.

As far as coin gaffs... a simple copper/silver coin and/or a shell will treat you just fine. Those two alone will do a number of routines. Hope that helps!
Message: Posted by: teedpop (Dec 30, 2009 01:12PM)
Ok then how does this sound?

Modern coin magic by J.B. Bobo
Okito coin box
Copper/Silver Half

and mabye a shell but what type?
Slippery or Expanded?
Message: Posted by: lorenwade (Dec 30, 2009 01:13PM)
That sounds great.

I would go with an Expanded, which is the basic starting block. From there you can move on to whichever or whatever you like! ;)
Message: Posted by: KendallScot (Dec 30, 2009 02:04PM)
Since you like Kennedy halves, go a little bit out of the way to a coin shop. Get a set of 6 or so 1964 Kennedy half dollars. They will run around $5 - $7 each but are worth it. They are nicer in color since they were the last year the coins were made with silver. Not 100% of course, but they make a really nice sound when they jingle! And you can still get gaffs made out of 1964 Kennedys to match.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Rizzo (Dec 30, 2009 07:48PM)
Agreed with the 64 Kennedy coins, look good and sound good. But...the price is a little higher now with the cost of metals,silvers,gold etc at a high now.They will run about $10
Message: Posted by: Rich Cupcake (Dec 31, 2009 11:36AM)
Yes, they will run about $10.00 each from a magic shop. I suggest going to a local coin dealer, where you can find them around $8.00. Also, David Roth's Expert Coin Magic DVD series is a great resource for starting out with coins. He goes through all the routines very slowly and meticulously; and only uses half dollar sized coins.
Instead of a shell, I would start with a couple copper British pennys and a half dozen Kennedy Halves. Good luck with your coin magic.
Happy New Year,
Message: Posted by: Doctor Xombie (May 16, 2010 07:28PM)
Ok this is thread is a bit old but I wanted to add that the Hopping Half set is probably my favorite. It includes two Expanded Coins (one half dollar and one English Penny) and a Sun and Moon Set.
You can do a lot of stuff with that. Also they are decently priced.
Message: Posted by: BanzaiMagic (May 16, 2010 10:42PM)
Since no one else remarked on this, I wanted to let you know that Bobo's comes in two forms: paperback and hard bound. The hard bound Bobo's has a bunch more routines than the paperback. Check Amazon for a used copy and even though the paperback is cheaper, don't settle. Bobo's really is the "bible" of coin magic. Coin magicians start with it, then find themselves going back to it again and again as their skill level improves. You won't "outgrow" Bobo's. In addition to (and not instead of) the book, you may want to purchase Ben Salinas' multi-DVD demonstration of Bobo's routines (Personally, I find it easier to see and not just read about coin routines).
Gaffs are great, but you will thank yourself later if you begin practicing the skills now (knuckle roll, Bobo switch, classic palm).
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (May 17, 2010 12:33AM)
I would get an inexpensive gaff or two for now - mainly just to satisfy your curiosity - but really you should start off practicing some basic sleights and actually just getting used to handling the coins. Don’t get too gaff-happy at first, though I imagine that we all did at the start if we didn't have a mentor guiding us. Believe me the gaffs will come in bunches later; and you'll be spending more on them than you ever imagined!

Message: Posted by: Hare (May 17, 2010 11:36AM)
I think it's a huge mistake for any newbie, (as the thread starter puts it), to magic to begin coins by buying gaffs.

Coin magic is the most rewarding branch of magic, (to me), for learning the most basic principles of the craft. Coins are simple, elegant, pretty items that force a person to see the concepts behind the holds and moves involved in making the things come and go. There isn't a lot of clutter or color to get in the way of the prinicples involved. And most anything can be done without gaffs. You can make coins come and go, you can transpose and multiply and seemingly defy gravity, without the help of gimmicks at all.

There is only a "first time" for undertaking any hobby or art once.

If you go into magic thinking the props do it for you, you wreck your own perspective towards understanding what magic is...an art form, a craft that doesn't have to rely on anything but YOU the conjuror to accomplish seeming miracles.

Props, gaffs are fine when put in their place...as tools to do "more".

But, to start, a budding magician is 1000% better off psychologically to purchase learning books or videos, and treat magic like the craft that it is.

A person can spend thousands of dollars, buy a costume, a table, a bunch of self working tricks, and "appear" to be a magician and string together a bunch of effects without understanding what makes things tick...but that person isn't a magician, and probably never will be.

This sort of approach inspires laziness and a lack of respect for the art form.

Better to spend 50$ on Bobo or,(better yet), Henry Hay, and grasp onto just what it is that makes people believe magic is happening, how to physically create a trick with just a half dollar.

Not only will this result in more pride and feelings of accomplishment than the guy tossing money around to "buy" his ability, it also will teach the person about life, about themselves, and about the nature of magical effects.

In short, being a magician is no different than being a musician or artist. It requires work, thought, and more work!

Props, gimmicks, gaffs are fun. They assist. But be ought not completely subsititute them for the more rewarding and vital aspects of the art, especially at the start of our journey.

And most especially with coin magic, where so much of the magic that happens takes place in our hands.
Message: Posted by: BanzaiMagic (May 17, 2010 12:14PM)
Hare you are absolutely right, but I can't help thinking that a young guy will probably read your post like this:
"Blah blah blah blah. gaffs are fun. Blah blah blah blah blah"
I certainly didn't listen when I should have. The rare high quality young magician would be wise to read and re-read your post.
As for the rest, do yourself a favor and dedicate some time to learn and practice the skills while you are playing with the "fun" gaffs.
Message: Posted by: reelin123 (May 17, 2010 12:15PM)
I totaly agree with Hare.
Even though magic with gaffs is great I find it nice to be able to take any coin and just do some magic without needing gaffs.
You can buy gaffs for some fun routines once you know at least the basics.
To learn these basics I recommend either:
Complete Intro to Coin Magic by Michael Ammar DVD
Encyclopedia of coin sleights by Michael Rubinstein DVD
Expert coin magic vol 123 by David Roth DVD
After that, if you want some gaffs I recommend these: a shell, a flipper coin and a coin box.
For routines using these gaffs I recommend Hommer Liwag'c Coinone and Cointwo DVD, Troy Hoosers shell raiser DVD and J.B Bobo's Modern Coin Magic book(great to learn the basics as well)
I am NOT trying to tell you what to do, or force you to do anything, I am simply giving my opinion.
For more info and advice I recommend you pop into your local magic shop!
Best of luck
Message: Posted by: reelin123 (May 17, 2010 01:06PM)
Sorry tried to edit but was too late.
I think I was abit too nice. Learn more than 'simply the basics' before you use gaffs.
If you think coin magic without gaffs isn't good enough, check this video out on youtube:
Don't however buy this dvd, the level of skill required is simply way too high.
Message: Posted by: Hare (May 17, 2010 01:08PM)
Everyone generally tends towards more "modern" things in the entertainment field...new movies with better special effects get more attention that classics, because "new" is hot. This is often not a good thing at all.

In the field of magic, there is still no better source for learning intimate, clear, classic and time worn magic tricks than that 1950-era masterpiece book of all things legerdemain, Henry Hay's "The Amateur Magician's Handbook". It is still in print.

It very well could be the best written general text in the field, and it's chapters on hand magic, or sleight of hand, are it's strongest suit.

If you take a look on Amazon, to magician's reviewing the book, one can see my views on this tome are overwhelmingly supported by scores and scores of pros. This book is probably responsible for more competant magicians with solid foundations behind them, than any other single magic volume today.

Hay had visited and watched T. Nelson Downs, which gives us a perspective of Down's work you cant find today, and of course, Downs is the father of modern coin magic. He introduced a reasonable method of handling piles of coins at once, and many of the basic holds we use today, including the more modern,popular "edge grip" and it's various relatives evolved from Downs work with his front viewable Downs Palm, or Crotch Palm.

I know of no better explanation of the uses of edge palming, and, Hay's description of Down's "Eureka Pass" masterpiece trick is worth the price of the book alone.

The thing that separates Henry Hay from other coin writers like Bobo and even Kaufman is his attention to intimate details. He makes the other writers seem like encyclopedia entry creators with his attention to those vital bits of vital, practical, otherwise secret information that turn a trick from theory into something you can understand and practice, without having to reinvent the wheel yourself.

This elegant, intimate writing touch of Hay, (whose real name is June Barrows Mussey), and a brilliant gift for a grandfatherly writing voice, equates a book whose value is unsurpassed, not just for amateurs, but for all magician's concerned with theory, precision, and craft.

The book covers most of the basic holds of the day, a fair amount of basic passes, the very best description of pieces like the classic Demanche change. There is heavy focus on several much more advanced and complex tricks ala Downs and Manuel, (that splendid presentation of Down's masterpiece Eureka Pass), and tricks and routines ala Leipzig and Dai Vernon like Winged Silver.

And that's just the coin chapter!

All for the price of one modest single coin gaff. There IS no better bargain in magic.

Oh, and there is even a chapter on gaffs and props. *winks*
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (May 17, 2010 02:11PM)
Hare, I agree with you, however most new-to-coin magic folks are going to see, hear, and read about gaffs as soon as they start looking into coin magic. Which is why I suggested that the OP purchase one or two inexpensive gaffs to satisfy curiosity but to start off working with just coins.

I don’t think that you will convince many newbies to totally ignore the existence of gaffed coins while they learn the basics of coin manipulations. Human nature almost demands that they at least get a look at some gaffs. My opinion, FWIW. :)

Message: Posted by: Davy Davis (May 17, 2010 02:19PM)
One possibility for getting started I haven't seen mentioned is Al Schneider's work. I really like his Coin Master course. His stuff is a little hard to find on his site but start here:http://www.omenquest.com/wmcsales/aaal.htm
What I like about his work is the carefully presented steps to learn each sleight. Have fun whatever road you go down.
Message: Posted by: Mb217 (May 17, 2010 02:28PM)
I have to agree mostly with Hare here about Hay's book but I would also throw in Bobo's simply because I actually think more people have that book than Hay's. Clearly Hay's book is better done but Bobo's tackles a lot of the same stuff and leads you down the same paths. And with a paperback version going for under $10 bucks, well let's just say that makes it a great place to start. :) And actually that's the first book I had and read and better appreciated Hay's work later on down the road because of it. I think both of them should be on everyone's coin magic shelf and magic in general.

Nowadays, I like the DVDs for quicker learning and clearer overall comprehension. Also like some of the downloads as they can be quite offering in their immediacy as a great new medium in this stuff. I think it's all still quite relative and has let in a lot of talent that typically would go pretty much un-noticed or recognized because they might not have been members of elite clubs, etc. I think mostly it has been the Internet that has been the greatest seachange as to magic, the greatest progressor. Not just by what you can buy in books, DVDs, downloads, etc., but by places like this, The Magic Café and the interactions from magicians from around the world with one another big & small. To me it's better than any book or whatever.

Good talk guys. :)
Message: Posted by: manreb (May 17, 2010 03:19PM)
On 2009-12-30 15:04, KendallScot wrote:
Since you like Kennedy halves, go a little bit out of the way to a coin shop. Get a set of 6 or so 1964 Kennedy half dollars. They will run around $5 - $7 each but are worth it. They are nicer in color since they were the last year the coins were made with silver. Not 100% of course, but they make a really nice sound when they jingle! And you can still get gaffs made out of 1964 Kennedys to match.

Good luck!

Not to mention that 1964 was first year they were minted.
Message: Posted by: Coin Nut (May 17, 2010 03:45PM)
Interesting site Davy - http://www.omenquest.com/wmcsales/aaab.htm
Is this Al Schneider's personal site - the coin content seems great.
Slightly annoying is that I just payed over the odds on e-bay for the Al Schneider on Coins booklet (but it is great still).
I have ordered "Fast Track to Coin Magic" from the site and looking forward to reading it.
Message: Posted by: BanzaiMagic (May 17, 2010 05:40PM)
You guys have outdone yourselves.
Keep it going.
Man, if only I had this resource available to me when I started...

Thanks Davy. I found a couple of things to purchase on the Al Schneider site as well. I like the download format. No printing costs which keeps the price down.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Jun 6, 2010 02:43PM)
I picked up a Dean's Set of walking liberties, Bobo's book, an Okito box and some of David Roth's material. Enough to last me a lifetime.
Message: Posted by: Meshuggina (Jun 8, 2010 09:18AM)
The contents of a hopping halves set are more than enough to keep most people satisfied for quite some time. This mixed with some normal coins and good reference material and you'll be kept quite busy. The only thing I might add is a full sized C/S coin.

I recently just purchased another set because I needed a new ] and with the relatively small price difference it was worth it for me to simply get the rest as well for backups/extras.