Not enough Coins

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Not enough Coins

Postby Guest » March 26th, 2002, 2:38 pm

I Perform magic on a very regular basis. Occasionally professionally, but usually just whereever I am I do magic.

The other day I followed someones reccomendations and wrote down a list of the tricks that I will perform often.

The list I wrote was suprisingly long, and irritatingly it had an amazingly low 2 coin tricks on it.

They were 3 Fly (or Paul Wilson's Crowded Coins to be precise) and Jay Sankey's 3 coin's across trick.

It's not that I can't do coin tricks technically, or that I dont like them. More that I just find that I can do more Outstanding Cards and Mental and Levitation effects than I can coins. I'm not making myself very clear here, but what I am asking is this:

Are there some coin tricks that you always do, the coin tricks that get the best reactions, your signature piece.

All of my best reaction tricks are other genres of magic, apart from 3 Fly.


Larry Horowitz
Posts: 431
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: L.A.

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Larry Horowitz » March 26th, 2002, 3:44 pm

I recommend Copper/ Silver/ Brass and a copper/silver tranposition.

Curtis Kam
Posts: 498
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Waikiki

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Curtis Kam » April 15th, 2002, 8:47 pm

Drew, it is out there, you just have to know where to look.

I do tables every Saturday night at a local chain restaurant in my town, and my standard opener is a coin routine. I typically segue to a more involved coin piece, and then something in their hands (Copper/Silver, Stack of Quarters, Copper/Silver/Brass, etc.)If I'm feeling particularly contrary, I will finish the set with a coin routine, and see if I can get through the night without ever opening a deck of cards.

I open with the production of three silver dollars, followed by some of Gary Kurtz's "Full Frontal Assault", then to a visible coins across, then coin that falls up, then a flurry sequence with one jumbo coin. (I know that sounds like a lot, but it takes four minutes)But that's me.

Mike Skinner used to open with "Presto Chango" (See the Genii issue for his handling)

Jim Klayder's got a great opener in his book "Watch Closely" called, strangely enough, "The Opener"(?)

Othertimes I'll use my "New York Spellbound" or "Coercive Purse"

John Bannon's got some clever stuff that's not the usual "coins across", too.

Or have a look at Troy Hooser's routine with the three chinses coins and the ribbon. Also a very nice premise and, and not likely to clash with anything else you do.

All of these are good strong magic, and many of them signature effects. The in-their-hands stuff is some of the strongest magic there is, bar none. If you think you get a strong reaction when you seem to read somone's mind, imagine his reaction when he is just as convinced that you pushed a stack of quarters through his hand. That degree of conviction is possible.

Good luck.


Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Guest » April 16th, 2002, 1:23 am

Hi Drew,

When I watch Gregory Wilson's 3/4 Across, I always think that it's pure magic. It would wow any audience.

I'm still working at it, but one of the essential moves will always evade me, I'm afraid. (I know that you've been working on that routine too.)

And I think that Matrix routines can get quite a "wow" reaction too.


Posts: 1296
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Terry » April 16th, 2002, 5:16 am


Try getting a copy of Paul Cummins' 'Up in Smoke' video. It contains coin magic done in your hands, spectators hands and tabletop.

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2200
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Pete McCabe » April 16th, 2002, 3:29 pm

Dave Le Fevre:

Where is Greg Wilson's 3/4s across in print or video? Thanks in advance.


I highly recommend the "Revolutionary coin magic of Jay Sankey" video for a great variety of coin magic. Some classic effects, some as only Jay can create them. Some easy, some fantastically difficult.

All very practical and magical, as is just about everything Jay does.


Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Guest » April 16th, 2002, 4:30 pm

Hi Pete,

That would be Wilson's "On The Spot" video.

Tom Cutts

User avatar
Ben Harris
Posts: 153
Joined: March 23rd, 2008, 3:09 am
Location: Australia

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Ben Harris » April 16th, 2002, 8:07 pm

You definitely don't see as much coin magic as you used to. You don't see it performed as often. You don't see as many published routines. You don't see as many "new" developments.

I wonder why?

Could it be that society no longer requires coinage to the extent it used to?

One day coins will be obsolete - micro payments charged either to your phone account or debited directly from your bank - will eventually render them obsolete. Eventually.

Are we actually watching magic "evolve"? I think we are. The repositioning of coin magic is one of the tell-tale signs of our art's search for a footing.

Just thinking out loud.


Ben Harris
Creator of the famous "Floating Match On Card" illusion.


Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Guest » April 16th, 2002, 8:58 pm

Ben, I think you are absolutely right. Magic has always had a problem staying current with popular culture. We still do magic with coins that no one uses, for the most part. Even playing card use is waning. Tried to borrow a deck lately? I admit to having a 'mid-life crisis' concerning the meaning of magic to myself and to my audience, and I'm afraid the two views are divergent - and getting wider. I am having trouble coming up with ways to make people care about the magic I want to do. I like playing in the past with old props and tricks, stuff that means nothing to today's culture. I think we need to find ways to do magic with the flotsam of everyday life. Of course that's changing so rapidly, it's hard to keep up. Even CD's are becoming passe'! What's next? Multiplying MP3 files?

User avatar
Posts: 441
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Overworld

Re: Not enough Coins

Postby Cugel » April 16th, 2002, 9:01 pm

Ben Harris' expresses a view that gets aired on an infrequent basis; that changes in technology may signal the death knell of some branch or other (or force some Darwinistic survival mechanism...).

The same thing has been said in the past in regard to stage illusions losing their impact due to advances in movie special effects (ie; audiences will be underwhelmed because they can see ANYTHING on the silver screen). This view was often expressed prior to the golden age of the stage show in Las Vegas so, in hindsight, we know the scenario never eventuated.

I think Ben is right in expressing the view that coins will one day be obsolete in fiscal terms - and that this may affect their relevance as a prop. Darwin Ortiz makes the same point in Strong Magic when he observes that the Miser's Dream is no longer an effect that delivers a wish fulfillment to the audience - that is, the desirable ability to comb the aerial mint, and to thus never be poor again. These days it might be better to produce American Express cards...

But people will always appreciate the concrete nature of a coin - that beyond chemistry (alchemy?) and perhaps super human strength, a coin can be relied upon to retain it's form. People know this in their bones. Therefore all of the effects involving transpositions and transformations, or gag effects where you bend or pierce a coin, will always remain effective. Even if a spectator had never seen a coin in their life, they would soon be convinced of these qualities after a cursory examination, "Here, this is a silver dollar, it used to be currency way back before credit accounts were part of our genetic coding..."

I think that the main reason that published coin effects are outnumbered by card effects is that the creative possibilities are more limited or alternatively (and less likely in my view) that while possibilities might be endless it is more difficult for most of us to conjure up those possibilities. That's why the majority of coin tricks are quick and visual and follow a limited range of archetypes.

The same can be said for dice. Most Australians gamble on slots, horses or cards - but they still know what dice are when they see them. I'd love to have more material related to dice to perform but, like coins, the physical prop only offers a limited range of effects and methods: transpositions, colour, size and spot changes, predictions, and the uncanny ability to control fate and fortune.

Another reason why there are more card tricks in print is that there is a very short start up time for the budding creator. I mean that a lot of people are creating and writing up variations on the simple tricks they have started to learn before they've mastered a greater range of material. This would explain why there are so many bad sandwich effects around - they are just about the easiest card effect to devise. (That is not to say there aren't GREAT sandwich methods out there - Roy Walton's "Smiling Mule" , Larry Jenning's and Derek Dingle's "Visitor" type effects, Ben Harris' "Fandango" move, etc. But they are far outweighed by awful tricks.)

This is in contrast to coin magic where even the basic moves may require an investment of time to master that is beyond the pain threshold for most magicians. (I don't do coin magic but I do dice moves, so I know these things don't come easily.)

Anyway - enough rambling from me...


Return to “Close-Up Magic”