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Finding a "Gem"?

Jun 10, 2008
You little stalker!
I believe the Gem Theory has been talked about before. Basically a gem is a trick that you treasure, one that you perform all the time. Or at least, that's my definition of it.

I recently bought 2 things: Witness and Laced. After a week i started performing these at my school. The thing i found with Witness is that it didn't fit me. I mean, the reactions i got from it was good, but after each performance of it, i didn't really feel satisfied, i didn't get much adrenaline. But after each performance of Laced, I felt i had actually accomplished something. Something the spectator will remember for a long time. So to me, Laced is a gem.

I was just thinking. How do you find your gem? Are suppose to try each and every tricks and pick out the right ones for you? How do you know if a trick is right for you? I just want to hear your opinions on this.
Feb 17, 2008
I'm glad you brought this up, because I was actually just thinking of this today. I think that each person finding their "gems" is them finding their style, the kind of tricks they are most comfortable performing, and that work best with the way they perform. There are things I purchase, and like everyone, I simply don't use, but not because it is a bad trick. Most of them are excellent tricks, but just don't fit my style, and are maybe a bit impractical. I find that most of my gems are impromptu, which is why I love tricks like witness, and clutch, and even stigmata.

I have been looking into laced, and I am somewhat interested, and from your opinion of it I may begin looking a little harder :)

Anyway, I believe a gem is different to everyone, and finding them helps define your style.

Good topic.

Mar 2, 2008
A gem in my mind is a effect that my spectators will never forget and a effect i will never stop preforming, stigmata and superman coin bend. I always gets these request and i love these effects my self. that is a gem to me.
40/60 by Daniel Madison, and any other trick where the spectator thinks you failed only for something bigger to happen. (I think it's called machellivian or something.)

p.s. wow, I've been a member for almost a year now.
Sep 1, 2007
Leicester, UK
I think Gems are definitely different for each person. This was a task I actually asked people to try (though undoubtedly it was a pre-existing idea) early in my posting on these forums.

That task was to go through one book or DVD you own, just read through it and find an effect (NOT the method) you like and think "Yeah that's awesome!". You would then sit down and learn it, and practice it make it your own, presentation, the whole lot.

Granted this won't work everytime, and yes the method does come into it sometimes but these should be after thoughts.

Just try it out, go grab a book and read through it, you'll find your own gem and you'll make it something awesome that we can all enjoy to watch in the media section of you performing and entertaining spectators with your magic. :)

- Sean
Jun 10, 2008
You little stalker!
I have been looking into laced, and I am somewhat interested, and from your opinion of it I may begin looking a little harder :)

If you like impromptu tricks, Laced is not for you. The set up will take a while. But after setting it up like 5 or 6 times, you should be able to do it in about 2 minutes. After the set-up, you can walk around with it all day so it's somewhat impromptu. Dan does give you a way to make it instantly repeatable but you can only repeat it once.

Anyways, i really highly recommend Laced if you're ok with a set-up.


Jan 11, 2008
I have been looking into laced, and I am somewhat interested, and from your opinion of it I may begin looking a little harder :)

Hi- If you're interested in Laced, check out the Review Section.
There is a review I wrote for it, if you're considering buying it.
my "gems" are the ones I love to perform. The tricks that I still enjoy even after doing them for years. The "gems" I have are the tricks I can perform in my sleep because I know them so well. They are so ingrained in my brain that I don't even think about the moves, the moves are second nature and I am 100% involved in the performance.
Nov 18, 2008
A "gem" that I use is one that I automagically think of when asked to do a trick. It just pops into my head. My "gems" are almost always impromtu and are of course my favorites to perform.
I do however, have a few that are not impromtu but are so fantastic that I use them very often.
I also have a coin routine I designed, using material from various sources, that I use almost everyday.

It's great to have "gems" in differnent catergories because you never know what's going to be availiable to you at a certain time.
The gems I have are books especially older ones and beginner books. The reason I call them gems is because most of the tricks that are within the books has been lost or forgotten about. Kind of like my trick I call Instinct, A spectator cuts a deck memorizes the card they cut to, cuts the cards again to return the card, then the spectator fairly shuffles the deck I mean rifle not just cutting here.
This is all done with the magician facing away from the spectator. The magician then turns around and spreads through the deck and says he can sniff out the playing card and then finds the card.

Their is absolutly no forces involved, no crimps nothing.


Elite Member
Nov 18, 2007
Great topic for discussion.

I definitely think gems are relative to the performer. Some effects are considered to be gems by more or less magicians, but it always just depends on each individual whether or not they believe a certain trick is a gem or not.

For myself, I do mostly card work, so my gems are a collection of classics like 2 card monte, 2 card transpositions, and ambitious card routines.

But, there are a few others like Stigmata, Believe, Angle Zero, Panic, Haunted Pack, etc, that I will use sparingly but almost always come prepared with.

Honestly though, 90% of the "gems" that I use are self created. It feels much more like a gem when you worked on something and developed it yourself. These are the kinds of tricks I always start off with.
Jan 1, 2009
Back in Time
Gem... Gem is excitement. Oooh.. Gem.. Gem is amazing.. Gem and the Holograms!

Anywho, I think a gem is something that you really enjoy performing, something like a warm up trick.
May 13, 2008
St Albans, UK
I would say a Gem is a very unique handling of a little-known trick. Or even a self created trick.
These would be very personal to you and only you would perform them.
Nov 20, 2007
Sydney, Australia
Gems are found in different ways, I guess. Some of them, I looked past them at first. Then after a re-reading or a recommendation, I looked back, and wow, it's genius. Sometimes I find gems simply by the effect rather than the method. Sometimes it's because I think the method is ingenious. Many times it's taking an effect that I think has potential, and creating a unique presentation. For me, generally, gems are those effects which have the strongest emotional impact.
Sep 2, 2007
I think that Gems don't necessarily reveal their beauty until they're cut and polished. And with that pretentious extended metaphor I'll give an example of what I mean.

The most powerful effect in my repertoire is forcing a card and then reading the spectator's mind. It started off as something simple I would do if I had sticky cards, or my hands were being burned and I didn't want to risk any sleight-reliant tricks. Over time it's developed and become a huge theatrical performance, almost a challenge piece, where I take about five minutes apparently pulling tiny scraps of information from their body language and facial movements. It's got dramatic tension as it seems as if I know I'm on the right track, then, as it's all going well, suddenly I'm hit with the possibility that the spectator has caught me out, then I finally, with a s*** or bust attitude, reveal the card and the crowd go wild....usually.

Anyway, I think that's the essence of a Gem, something that may start off life as insignificant, but because it suits you and your performance style, you love it and cherish it and make it into a masterpiece. I'm not saying that anything I do is a masterpiece, by the way, but maybe one day.
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