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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Morgan Dollar coins - authenticity + shell? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ray J
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Here's the bottom line. If you can overlook the nose, these coins represent a tremendous value. If you don't like the appearance, then spend what you need to in order to be happy. That might be quite a bit more but if it is worth it to you, great! In the meantime, many will be saving money on the alternative. There's always a trade-off.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
tonsofquestions
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As you say, to each their own. That means there's no "bottom line", it depends on all sorts of preferences.

I can immediately tell the difference between the two coins without needing to put them next to each other. It's not just because I do magic - I also know coins. Some replicas also look closer, while this are particularly stark.

Everyone different priorities. I'm glad that you don't mind them, but don't push that assumption onto everyone else - particularly the asker who specifically said silver Morgans. But they also haven't commented again, so the best we can do is to inform clearly.

Are they a great value? Yes, if you're willing to accept some tradeoffs.
Some people prioritize quality (or even materials) over price, which makes them less of an option. I'm not passing judgement on any of these choices, just calling them out explicitly, so people can make an informed decision.
Ray J
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I didn't push any assumption on anyone else. Read what I said. I said if you want to spend more because you don't like the nose, then great! With all that's going on in the world there's way more important things to debate.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
inigmntoya
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There's inexpensive and then a there's cheap.
Cheap always costs more.
The cheap "replica" (in quotes because they don't look like what they're supposedly replicating) coins are usually coated brass.
The brass color starts showing through after minimal wear.

If you want cheap, go for it.

What do you tell a spectator who looks at them and immediately spots them as fake coins?
How will that make you look to the rest of your audience?

One coin collector and you've got a problem.

Better (IMHO) to avoid those issues altogether by using decent props.
Ray J
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What do you tell a spectator who calls out your supposedly "Chinese" coin? A coin that is produced specifically for magic. You tell them of course it is fake, why would I risk using expensive, precious coins.

Fake coins vanishing is just as interesting as "real" ones.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
tonsofquestions
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I don't use those fake Chinese coins, either. I don't like the way they look, nor do I want to show them to spectators.
When I'm doing magic, I want to respect my props. I want them to feel good, and trust in them.
If I don't have decent quality (they don't have to be flawless, or perfect, but cheap is a good distinction from inexpensive), then that's the impression I'm giving my spectators: that of not caring in what I'm using.

Why would you risk precious, expensive coins? Because you're confident, and sure in your abilities. Because you can do magic, and while it can work on cheap things, there's no need to worry on the expensive ones - you can just pull another out of the air, right? That's not to say I'm only willing to use silver (I actually like clad a lot), but they don't convey cheap.

Is it more impressive to use fake, plastic blade in a stage illusion, or sharp, metal ones?
What about a plastic coin to nested boxes vs a metal one?
Sure, the effects are ultimately the same, but any spectator touching the props would likely react differently.
Is it
inigmntoya
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Quote:
On Jun 9, 2022, Tortuga wrote:
What do you tell a spectator who calls out your supposedly "Chinese" coin?


Well if they speak Chinese they'll know they say "Magic Coin in Hand" on one side and "Miracle Enjoyment" on the other.

But I don't frequently perform for Chinese speakers.

I'm much more likely to run across a coin collector.
Ray J
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This is why many are leaving forums
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
tonsofquestions
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Because folks want to always be right, and are unwilling to engage in discourse that might change their opinions?

Maybe. I always thought it was because they wanted video rather than reading, in short, easily digestible sound-bites.
Ray J
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Quote:
On Jun 10, 2022, tonsofquestions wrote:
Because folks want to always be right, and are unwilling to engage in discourse that might change their opinions?

Maybe. I always thought it was because they wanted video rather than reading, in short, easily digestible sound-bites.


Exactly! The poster didn't comment on my legitimate point about Chinese coins being fake. At least you addressed it by saying you don't use them. I did notice that you participated in a thread about the Chinese triple coin gaffs though.

It isn't about being right. It is about stating an opinion and supporting it. I stated my opinion that these coins represent a good value (they obviously do) and you had to immediately disagree and then the other poster upped the ante.

If the nose bothers people so much don't buy them! Simple. Or maybe put your thumb over the nose when you display the coin. Easy enough. As I said, the reverse looks fine, so I guess only 50% of the coin sucks in your opinion. Or maybe 5%, given that it is really the nose that concerns you.

I urge you to find the video of Gregory Wilson doing his "Something From Nothing" routine. Be objective and tell me if anyone could even see the nose on the coin much less compare noses.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
Ray J
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As I try to live the "go the extra mile credo", here's a video from Gregory. I'm saying he could use the coins with the "funny noses" for this routine and do it over and over and nobody is ever going to care.
If you lay coins on the table and draw attention to their fine details, then go ahead and buy the ones you prefer. But please don't try to make it seem as though those coins wouldn't pass muster in most real work.

https://youtu.be/ejLG7PIpykw
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
tonsofquestions
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I think he addressed it just fine - he was pointing out what they would see, and who would see it - just Chinese speakers (really, readers), and then observed that he interacts with more coin collectors, thus it's less of a concern to him. Though I might hazard that the coin collector would also notice that the Chinese coin is fake. But at least I know he's using high quality Chinese coins (Lassen a miracle enjoyment set), rather than the cheaper enameled ones.

There are also decent Chinese coins and bad ones. I participate in many threads, but don't necessarily have it all. So I commented in that thread, but didn't actually buy them (once I discovered they used stickers), but even if I had, I think they're leagues better than the Johnson, Tango, or Sasco Chinese coins.

If I'm being overly pedantic (I'm sorry), you started off the same way, but the conversation has gotten better now.
Your first post was: "These look very good and have magnets in them."
to which I responded "I have to respectfully disagree. Those coins look terrible. The face is nothing like that on a real coin [...]"
and then we rabbit-holed on a fact (not an opinion) of how true the face was to the original. You also keep refusing to acknowledge the other side of the coin (situation; pun intended!) by offering workarounds and counters over and over.

We can absolutely discuss whether such details are important - but then it becomes less of a pure opinion, and starts to depend on your style of magic, who you perform for, how often you do it, etc. Gregory Wilson can manage it - because he has a fast, frenetic style of performance where things are constantly in motion. Though I will point out several times in that where the coin is stationary + flat in a hand (or fingers) close to the spectator's face.
There are other folks where it wouldn't work so well for. Slow, deliberate movements, clean displays, etc. Even a coins across to the spectator's hand will have more heat on the coins. Both are equally legitimate "real work", even if it's not how you do things.

Check out some of Luis Piedrahita's work, such as his signed coins across: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6lsmaPMuMo
Folks (and the camera) are right up on the coins, and I do think a discrepancy would be noticed here - and definitely if they didn't all match.

It's totally fine to have a style where the display doesn't matter. I accept that they have good value (and have even brought them up them in some places), if the situation warranted it. But it's equally OK to have a style where they will not work - which you seem unwilling to accept, since you keep trying to make up more excuses to convince me (others?) of why they should still use them. I'm a big fan of educating others of the tradeoffs, and letting them decide what's right for them. I have faith that people can think of hiding things with fingers, but not everyone wants to be forced (or is able) to do that in their routining.

Are they great for some people? Yes. Are they perfect for everyone? No. We still don't know what the OP wants, but I'd rather over-describe early, so people will be happy with their purchase, rather than disappointed.
inigmntoya
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Quote:
On Jun 10, 2022, tonsofquestions wrote:

Are they great for some people? Yes. Are they perfect for everyone? No. We still don't know what the OP wants, but I'd rather over-describe early, so people will be happy with their purchase, rather than disappointed.


I heartily agree.

P.S. They're still butt ugly. Smile
Ray J
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I haven't refused to acknowledge anything. The face doesn't bother me.

Funny that you mention being pedantic. Focusing on the nose is the definition of being pedantic.

I'm going to let it rest there. Let others read what is written and judge. And as far as signing coins? Never saw a reason to do that and won't start now. Maybe for a coin in bottle, but even then I'd say it isn't necessary.
It's never crowded on the extra mile....
tonsofquestions
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Quote:
Funny that you mention being pedantic.

I didn't just "mention" it, I was acknowledging that I was being pedantic.
To continue being pedantic, the definition has nothing to do with the nose. It has to do with focusing on overly minor details or corrections.

As we keep saying, both inigmntoya and I don't think this is a minor detail. It's totally fine that you are not bothered by it. But when something is advertised as a replica, and it has some big differences (it's not just the nose, that's just the most obvious piece to focus on) - that should be highlighted.

Again, it's totally fine that you think it's not a big thing, but then please stop completely dismissing our perspective. Because you do, in fact, keep failing to acknowledge that - you dismiss each concern with "well, it doesn't bother me" implying that we (or anyone else) should likewise not be bothered. That's the thing that you're failing to acknowledge here.

I'm glad you don't need to sign coins, or do any of the other things. It's wonderful that everyone has different styles of performance. But that doesn't mean the others aren't legitimate, too. Nor does it negate their needs when it comes to said performance. Again, something you seem to refuse to waver on.

But I agree. At this point we're making no further progress on this. Others can read and make decisions for themselves based on the evidence.
Calvin Tong
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Here is some perspective on some points made in the discussions:

1) Just to clarify the quality of Gregory's Morgans used in Split Focus: I own Gregory's Split-Focus and his Morgan's look much better than the fake Morgan with the obvious non-standard features. :o)

2) I feel it is helpful for the magi community to clarify what is "silver" vrs "not silver" or "authentic" vrs "not authentic." Magi's not well versed in coinage could end up with buyer's remorse. :o)

3) Performing with Chinese coins to Chinese and non-Chinese Spectators:
Everyone has their own experiences. In my experience, most Chinese people (born in the USA or immigrants and excluding coin collectors) will not have seen an "authentic Chinese Coin with a hole in it." Same applies for "Americans" and Morgan silver dollars (more on that later). It is more common knowledge that "replica Chinese Coins with holes" can be found in arts and crafts stores and trinkets found at tourist stores in Chinatown. So when performing magic with Chinese coins, the Chinese clients I have performed for really did not care or focus on the authenticity. Remember, The magic is about the performer and not the prop. If the performer focuses too much on the authenticity of the prop, then so will the audience. I perform with Lassen's Chinese Coins only because of the superior weight, balance, and quality which I have not found in any other Chinese coin set to date.

4) Morgan Dollars:
I do own many coin sets and some consist of real Morgans and others consist of fake Morgans with those "less desirable features" on the obverse side. It is just my personal preference to perform with real Morgans due to the weight and material. Also, since I know what a real Morgan looks like, I just feel better performing with real coins. You may or may not be interested in these statistics: I performed walkaround magic for about 6 years at a restaurant (both Asian and nonAsian spectators) before the pandemic. Part of my script was asking if the audience had seen "a Morgan silver dollar before." 95% of the clients had never seen a Morgan let alone an IKE. the other 5% had "seen one" before or were coin collectors. The coin collectors did not want to touch my coins. Maybe because They were eating at the restaurant, the last thing they want to do is touch my 100 year old dirty coins before the food arrived at the table. :o)

Note: If one performs for coin collectors, Americana Pickers, or extremely skeptical audiences/environments, then using authentic Coins over fakes may be wise. It is good to know one's audience in addition to personal preference on what prop to use. :o)
Cal Tong
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