Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

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Christopher1979
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Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 11th, 2019, 7:31 pm

It has been a long time since I have done any coin work (probably since 2001!) I guess that the craftsmanship must have improved in that time. What are your recommendations? and who makes the best quality coins these days?...

I suppose I would want to buy 4 silver quarters first.

Many thanks as always for your input guys! :)

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Tom Gilbert » June 11th, 2019, 9:31 pm

Lassen is the best, but not taking orders anymore. He'll put out random stuff for sale, recently Silver Eagle sets, but you have to be on his mail list and act quickly. There are others, but I haven't done business with them.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby erdnasephile » June 11th, 2019, 9:53 pm

Domestically, it's held by many that for custom work, Lassen and Schoolcraft are at the top of the heap. They create works of art; however, it will cost you lots of money and often, not a small amount of time. Best way to contact Mr. Lassen is through his Cool Otis blog. If he happens to make something you want, jump fast, as they sometimes get snapped up in a matter of minutes. Mr. Schoolcraft can be reached through his website and he goes to MAGIC Live each year, I think.

That said, although I own a few pieces from each man, I really think that the vast majority of us could fool people blind with much less expensive gear. Still, if working with jewels makes you feel good, then that's good for your audience and perhaps worth it for you.

However, I wanted to put in a plug for Johnson Products. I had them do some silver custom work for me, and they were easy to deal with, very punctual with communications, were really well priced, delivered quality stuff quickly, and they operated like a business. They've been around forever, and they do a great job.

In terms of coin boxes, there is no comparison to Craig Ousterling, IMHO. The very best, by leaps and bounds!

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bill Duncan » June 11th, 2019, 10:07 pm

I have a Lassen (Franklin) Copper/Silver that I had made to order. It's no more deceptive than the Johnson Products Kennedy C/S coin I started with. I've used Johnson shells for nearly 30 years, and never been busted on them.

I just broke down and ordered one of Johnny Wong's Triple Coin Ike dollars so I'll report back when that arrives. They look pretty good (when well handled) on YouTube videos but since there're really thin it will be interesting to see how the look close up.

You might consider Tango's Poker Chips, which you can get on Amazon. They're really light, well made, and highly visible. And his Tango Ultimate Coin (in chips) is pretty clever.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 11th, 2019, 10:42 pm

Thank you guys for your input. Lassen sounds like the way to go but it seems very difficult to work out the best strategy to actually buy one!.
I will have a look at his site and see where it leads me. I know there is probably much cheaper alternatives but I would rather wait for something better to come up. I don't know if they come onto the second-hand market at all?

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 11th, 2019, 11:34 pm

[quote="erdnasephile"]Domestically, it's held by many that for custom work, Lassen and Schoolcraft are at the top of the heap.


Just looked at Schoolcraft.... I think I have found my place!. Thank you for the suggestions erdnasephile!

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bob Farmer » June 12th, 2019, 10:51 am


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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 12th, 2019, 1:00 pm



Thank you Bob!

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 13th, 2019, 4:04 pm

i still use coin sets/coins i bought from Johnson 25 years ago (e.g. Silver, Copper, Brass Tansposition, Scotch & Soda,The Coin from Chinatown, expanded half dollar shell). Consistently high quality, highly durable, and better than anything I've had "custom made" (won't mention any names), without breaking the bank. But as the illustrious Harry Lorayne has so often said, "To each their own."

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby erdnasephile » June 14th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Where I think it does make sense to go with one of the custom folks are the gaffs where 3 coins must masquerade as 1. I've examined some cheaper sets and they are not very deceptive up close. I think the same holds true for some of the cheaper large silver coin CSB gaffs I've seen. If they are not made properly, the edges flash terribly and the unnested gaff looks off.
Of course, superior skill can compensate for those deficiencies, but as noted in another thread, feeling comfortable during performance is a great thing, and if a superior gaff helps contribute to that, it may be worth it.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bob Farmer » June 14th, 2019, 4:17 pm

The Chinatown coins made by Johnson are not deceptive. The depth is all wrong. This is what happens when a design error is never corrected. Roy Kueppers made mine to custom specs and they look perfect.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 14th, 2019, 6:28 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:The Chinatown coins made by Johnson are not deceptive. The depth is all wrong. This is what happens when a design error is never corrected. Roy Kueppers made mine to custom specs and they look perfect.


This is not my personal experience. However, I bought mine 25 years ago. Funny, never seemed to get caught, even once. So I guess I'll just continue on in my sense of security, even if it is a false one. I don't have any experience with Roy Kueppers' coins, but have heard/read people complain. To me, this discussion kind of smacks of one concerning what the best flavor of ice cream is...

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby J-Mac » June 14th, 2019, 10:42 pm

For triple split coins, Ike and Morgan, Jon Jurney makes excellent ones. https://www.jjmagiccoins.com/

Jim

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Steve Mills » June 15th, 2019, 12:15 pm

Always a fan of Todd Lassen and have a number of his coins. My last order sat for 14 months and was never filled. I gave up and went to Schoolcraft and got a great custom set in a few weeks. Jamie appears to be the last great craftsman in the business.
I'm a living example that if you speak softly, you will get hit by a big stick.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 15th, 2019, 7:02 pm

I just looked at SCHOOLCRAFT PRECISION Expanded Shell Set. They cost $470!.... I bet they are works of art though!

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby erdnasephile » June 15th, 2019, 9:10 pm

You can save a lot of money if you are willing to get a single coin with matched shell, then find the other three matching coins on your own. It takes a bit of work at the coin shops in your area, but you'll come out ahead. (I recommend using a micrometer to make sure the coins match in size so they don't get stuck in the shell).

This strategy works really well if you want to use new 1964 Kennedy's (ala David Roth). If you get some new matching coins, the shell typically will work with them quite well.

If you want new dollar sized coins, you may wish to consider Todd Lassen's Silver Eagle expanded coin/shell set ($130). Then you just go to your coin shop and get 3 more silver eagles (which will more than likely fit just fine) for about $60.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Christopher1979 » June 15th, 2019, 9:27 pm

erdnasephile wrote:You can save a lot of money if you are willing to get a single coin with matched shell, then find the other three matching coins on your own. It takes a bit of work at the coin shops in your area, but you'll come out ahead. (I recommend using a micrometer to make sure the coins match in size so they don't get stuck in the shell).

This strategy works really well if you want to use new 1964 Kennedy's (ala David Roth). If you get some new matching coins, the shell typically will work with them quite well.

If you want new dollar sized coins, you may wish to consider Todd Lassen's Silver Eagle expanded coin/shell set ($130). Then you just go to your coin shop and get 3 more silver eagles (which will more than likely fit just fine) for about $60.



That is some great advice, I never thought of doing it that way. I have no problem spending money on quality apparatus but you make a good, and money saving point!!

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bill Mullins » June 15th, 2019, 10:46 pm

Not only may the diameters not exactly match, but (in older, worn coins especially) it may also be that the coins are not exactly round. The diameter in one direction may be slightly different than the diameter in another. So the process of matching coins to shells has to take this into account as well.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bill Duncan » June 15th, 2019, 11:57 pm

Following up as promised: the Johnny Wong "Eisenhower Dollar" Super Triple Coin arrived on Friday. It's one of the best made gaffed coin sets I've handled. The coins are far superior to any flipper I've seen (and way less bother), and they fit inside my Johnson Dollar shell perfectly.

You can table the two head side coins overlapping without them locking, but easily (and silently) lock them as you pick "one" of them up.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Roger M. » June 16th, 2019, 3:00 am

Steve Mills wrote: Jamie appears to be the last great craftsman in the business.

Schoolcraft does good work, but the record clearly indicates that he has simply copied many of Lassen's original ideas and designs.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bill Mullins » June 16th, 2019, 12:58 pm

True, but on the other hand Lassen has claimed as proprietary some things that its not obvious to me he should have exclusive rights to.

For example, if Lassen was the first to sell CSB with a copper coin with a hole in it (East African dime) and a brass solid coin (Peruvian Sol)
Image Image

Image

does that mean that no one else should get to sell these? If you read his coolotis blog, it sure looks like he thinks so.

But by that logic, should he be selling flipper coins (invented by Bob Swadling), or Slippery Sam half-shells (invented by Steve Duscheck)?

I don't know, maybe he has gotten permission from these inventors to sell these. But he doesn't mention them on the blog as being invented by them.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bob Farmer » June 16th, 2019, 5:03 pm

I've never heard a bad word about Roy Kueppers and the stuff he's made for me and others is world-class. Plus he thinks like a magician.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Joe Lyons » June 16th, 2019, 11:44 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:I've never heard a bad word about Roy Kueppers and the stuff he's made for me and others is world-class. Plus he thinks like a magician.


I've got Kueppers Hopping Halves and CSB and they're both great.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby erdnasephile » June 17th, 2019, 3:14 pm

Actually, Roy Kueppers is currently moving his operation to Las Vegas https://www.instagram.com/p/BykqPk1HrR9 ... ym0ogrjvui
so perhaps his custom work will be even more accessible to the lower 48.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 18th, 2019, 1:11 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:I've never heard a bad word about Roy Kueppers and the stuff he's made for me and others is world-class. Plus he thinks like a magician.


The making of world-class stuff part - that's good to hear.

The thinking like a magician part - IMHO, that is not necessarily a plus -- unless one performs primarily for magicians.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Steve Mills » June 18th, 2019, 1:28 pm

The coins sold by Mark Mason are very nice.

I believe they are made by Bob Swadling. The shell work is particularly impressive, I think.
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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby webbmaster » September 11th, 2019, 3:11 pm

Back in the day, Connie (Conrad) Haden coins were considered good to get. They show up in collections sometimes.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Tom Gilbert » September 24th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Not to say anything to argue with Mr. Farmer, whom I respect, but names such as his, will get the best of top quality work and great customer service. No one would want Bob saying their product was inferior. On the other hand us mortals will get what they give us. Over the years Mr. Kueppers has been hit on quality and customer service, including 2 orders I placed with him which were disappointing.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby I.M. Magician » September 24th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Is Sterling still in business? They had some nice affordable products years ago such as their $1.35 trick.

They had a very limited offering of products if I recall correctly but some were just fine.

I was working with my Johnson Magna Box today and dropped the lid which resulted in a tiny blemish. Not very noticeable but tells me that the brass is very soft.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby Bill Duncan » September 25th, 2019, 12:31 am

I haven't been able to locate Sterling, but Johnson Products is still making sold gaffed coins for a reasonable price.

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Re: Best Quality Gimmicked Coins ?...

Postby erdnasephile » October 4th, 2019, 3:55 pm

I will add one more name to the this list: JB Magic Products (Mark Mason): https://www.jbtvusa.com/

I recently bought one of these: https://www.jbtvusa.com/p/latest-j-b-pr ... -coin-line

The work on the gaff is very nice. It differs from the usual CSB gaff. Most CSB gaffers make the cut for the rim of the shell right where the raised rim of the native coin stops. This necessitates that the insert coin be smaller than the 2 other coins (e.g., 20 centavo coin ala Johnson Products).

However, the gaff craftsperson at JB makes the shell with a very narrow rim (akin to an expanded shell). This allows the insert coin to be larger. In this case, a very slightly cut down English Penny. Visually, if you look closely enough, you can see the seam, but that's the case in all of the other high end CSB sets I own. The knurled silver edge is very deceptive (as touted in the ad). However, I've not had angle troubles with the other sets I've used, since most handlings take place below the eye level of the audience.

To be fair, the JB shell does not contain the metal reinforcements and refinements of the high end gaffs. The insert is not beveled, and the shell is a smidge less vacuum tight as the custom gaffs. In addition, the Chinese coin isn't quite as appealing to my eye as some of the others I've seen (but that is solely a matter of personal taste). The gaff is sturdy and should last forever with good care.

In short, the JB gaff does not have the "fooled myself" otherworldly quality of some of the higher end gaffs, but the gaff is easily going to deceive anyone unfamiliar with it's workings. If a magician gets busted using this gaff, rest assured, it's a shortcoming with the performance, not the gaff.

For $120, you get a very high-quality gaff, in silver, and coins with matching dates. That is hundreds of dollars less than the big two (and you don't have to stay up all night reading a blog for a chance to pounce on a set ;) ). Plus, Mr. Mason's customer service is the BEST, with rapid replies to email, honest answers, quick delivery, and reliable availability of the product.

I think if you really want to perform using a silver CSB Walking Liberty gaff, you can't go wrong with this set. If you're at the Genii Convention, stop by the JB Magic booth and get Mr. Mason to demo it for you!


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