Wow what a great thread for a coin magic lover.
This is a niche in magic that I choose to spend about 90% of my practice and study on. I have a chance to often perform within my industry at trade shows, and cocktail parties, etc. I do not perform magic for a profession, though I do within my profession if you follow the distinction.
I usually work right out of my Trouser pockets, thus the draw to me for coin magic. A very innocuous prop that packs very small, but can play very big.
Zoink, though I agree with you that you can have very proficient skill with coins if you practice and study very hard, I do also agree with David that the seasoning of time tends to clean your coin magic, make it much smoother. I have noticed that I personally often have much better skill with coins than many other magicians who don't focus on it to the degree I do, but it is astounding how much better you become as you get older. There is a level of maturity when matched with technical skill, makes for much better coin magic. Zoink, as you get older, if you continue with the coin magic, you will see how much of a better magician than you already are with coins.
As for my favorite coin sleight, it is so hard to pick one. Some are great because of the reaction they create; some are great because of the utility they provide. Something so simple as an open hand, palm up, catch retrieval of a coin out of no-where (that was secreted away in back thumb palm) can really catch a gasp from a spectator. Other sleights to conceal a coin, or invisibly transfer a coin don't get much of a response, but the utility is invaluable.
I think the value of a specific sleight rests only it what it accomplishes in the greater scheme of a routine. A classic palm is invaluable, a finger palm is invaluable, a false transfer, again invaluable. Are any greater than the others? If they are needed to create the desired effect there is not one I can choose to be greater than the others in the context of their use. What is more important to your body? Your hand? Your foot? Your eyes? Maybe your mouth? The truth is, how can you pick?
Regarding the discussion taken place on the muscle pass... What is the value of it? If it allows you to secretly throw a coin up into a coin purse, or a cup, or over to another hand, it is a great utility move. If it can catch the interest the gasps of spectators, it is useful as a showy move. I rarely have come across anyone who did not get stunned by the coin that falls up, many beg to instantly see it again. If I am to use the muscle pass, I prefer to incorporate it inside of a coin flurry routine, so that after it happens, the spectator's register it, but do not get the chance to dwell on it.
I think what Jon was asking was, where does the muscle pass have greater value? As a utility sleight or a flourish? In the grand scheme of things, what is the value of a coin roll out, or a coin roll, or any type of flourish (which an open and visual muscle pass can be considered). It is entertaining to see, and has value in my opinion. If you can be versatile enough to use it both ways….. all the better.
Lastly, some may know of me from the reviews I write for www.coinmagic.com
(The Coin Puse), or my own website at www.coinvanish.com.
If you have not visited either site, please do, if you like coin magic, both of these sites are dedicated solely to it. In the foundations section of www.coinvanish.com
(after you answer a simple enough password question) there are essays I have written on a few choice fundamental pieces of coin magic, such as the classic palm. Many have written to tell me the essay has been invaluable in their learning of the concealment. In the same section I provide some known history on the muscle pass, and attempt to provide to the best of my ability how to do it. If this is something you have wanted to try, but could not, you still may never be able to do it, but there you can find some tips on it.
Thanks to all for a most entertaining thread,