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Profile of reelin123
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.
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Profile of Hare
Everyone generally tends towards more "modern" things in the entertainment 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*
"Better described in The Amateur Magician's Handbook"
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Inner circle
Ridley Park, PA
5320 Posts

Profile of J-Mac
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. Smile

Davy Davis
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Profile of Davy Davis
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:
What I like about his work is the carefully presented steps to learn each sleight. Have fun whatever road you go down.
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Profile of Mb217
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. Smile 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. Smile
*Check out my latest: MBs Morgan w/ BONUS: Destiny, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at Smile

"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
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Profile of manreb
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.
Coin Nut
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Profile of Coin Nut
Interesting site Davy -
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.
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Inner circle
1591 Posts

Profile of BanzaiMagic
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.
Andrew Zuber
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Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2653 Posts

Profile of Andrew Zuber
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.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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Profile of Meshuggina
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.
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