Good size coin?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by TheatreHead, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. so i'm getting into basic coin sleights, and am using a variety of different coins of different sizes, trying to get a good feel for them.
    is there a good benchmark to choose size of coins for? like a width of hand/width of coin ratio or something?
    or should i just go with as big as possible?
  2. There are two beliefs that I know of.

    Other people belief: Using a hallf-dollar coin is good because it is big and make it visual. It is also more impossible to vanish something big than to vanish something small.

    I believe that using half-dollars are not good in casual situations because no body uses half-dollars. They aren't common. I use quarters in casual settings. But half-dollar would be awesome in parlour type revues so the audience can see better.
  3. I am not sure specifically which vanishes you speak of when you say that they need a smaller coin than a half-dollar. Half-dollar coins are the standard coins within coin magic today and its good in many ways:
    It's very shiny, which in the right light gives a strong effect.
    It's sides are milled, making your life with edge grip/tobu palm/coin flourishes so much easier.
    It's size is pretty well balanced, it's visible, and its commonly not too big for ones hand.

    What I've been told you should choose from one of these:

    Small hands - Quarters

    Medium Hands - Half dollars

    Large hands - Silver dollars

    I don't think that fully applies tho, people might be using Morgan dollars to make routines such as Three Fly more visible, but regularly people use half dollars.
    Are you Asian? Generally Asian people have much smaller hands than Europeans, so quarters might do you good, otherwise I'd advice you to any coin that is sized around half dollars.

    Just like Tally said, common casual coins that are actually used as a legit currency would be your best choice, sized around a half dollar. I myself use 5 kronor coins, Swedish coins that are slightly smaller than half dollars, no milled edges though but you get used to it quickly and it's not really a problem.
    You could use 2 euro coins if your country uses that, I personally think they are a bit too small for me but they might work for you.

    I hope any of this was useful for ya mate, you will soon to discover that coin magic takes so much work but pays off so well. Good luck!
  4. Half dollars are definitely in my opinion the easiest coins to work with. But like Tally said, half dollars are not normal coins people have on them. If people are paying you to perform and are coming to a show, than half dollars are the way to go because it makes sleights easier and more visual to perform. But when you are performing for friends, family or on the street, the best coins to use are quarters. I usually keep one quarter ready in my pocket and borrow three or four coins and use the one I already have as an extra when I need.
  5. Hey guys, thanks heap for the help

    yeah i'm asian, and my hands are pitifully small. my middle finger, from the base to the tip is exactly 15cm, the same size or smaller then a lot of girls my
    age. it's kind of annoying.

    at the moment, i'm using an australian $1 coin, which is the tiniest bit bigger than an american quarter (25mm vs 24.26mm).

    I can also use an australian 20c coin (28.52mm), but not as comfortably.

    But ideally, I'd like to use an Australian 50c coin, which is a tiny bit bigger than the American half dollar (31.51mm vs 30.61mm).

    I wouldn't ever have considered using our 50c coin, but I was watching David Stone's stuff, and the coin he uses (I think it's an american dollar?)
    is pretty damn big.

    And like tally said, it looks much better vanishing a larger coin. I'd choose to use the 50c, cos it looks so big in my hand.

    When you guys use coins, do you choose just what's comfortable, or what looks best? Or what's most common?
  6. I started out with quarters, switched to halves, then dollars. It's all about what you're accustomed to, as halves feel pretty small now. Quarters? Feel like pennies now. I say halves and dollars are the way to go. Who cares if the coin you're using is unusual? Make up a story and you're good to go. Quarters can go out of circulation for all I care.

    :D Just kidding, although I never use quarters...
  7. My advice: use whatever you're comfortable with.
  8. If someone walked up up to you and wanted to show you a card trick, and brought out this really weird looking deck of cards, that he claimed to be normal. He asked you to inspect it and you did, yet he pulled off some really big shot magic trick. This doesn't fully work on you since you're a magician, but it's the ideal. Both you, and a layman, even though inspection will consciously (if not, then subconsciously) still think there was something sneaky with that deck of cards. When you show them something completely impossible and illogical, they will naturally search an explanation, when none is to find, it's always that weird deck that sticks out of the mass. If it's gaffed or not is not of the point, as long as it is something completely new and devious, they will never fully trust it.

    Theatrehead, in my opinion small hands are a blessing. You can make common coins (small in other hands) look relatively big in yours. And also, small hands covers less (you will still be able to palm as good, they just wont think you're as capable of it), which earns a lot of trust in the spectators mind. Remember, those who got nothing to hide, hide nothing.

    Since all the coins you have showed there seem to be common currency you should stick to what seem to be the best. Take some things into mind:

    Which coins are you very likely to encounter? (a borrowed coin does not only make the spectator feel important and extra interested, but also gives a lot of trust)
    Which coins looks the best after a vanish or spellbound change? (regarding its size, shape, color... bigger sizes makes vanishes more visual, shinier coins also makes vanishes more visual)
    Which coins can people mostly relate to? (if there's small currency people usually got, but hardly ever use, the value and participation from their side lowers, thus the interest span becomes shorter and it makes your life slightly harder)

    Also remember that, if you're not comfortable with something, work with it until you are(this statement is to be taken with reason, if it cuts your hands or just doesn't work for you, it's obviously a bad choice). I don't think anyone here felt like they were playing home base when they first tried to get into classic palm.

    Good luck mate!
  9. Good advice by Orb. However, I have been mainly working with Silver Dollars and Half Dollars, as I think they are more visual. As has been pointed out, it leaves more room for suspicion. Depending on what you are doing, borrowed coins and normal currency will work best. I just prefer bigger coins because they look more impossible to vanish, or work with during a routine.
  10. "Here I have this quarter, watch me do magic."

    "My grandfather passed away a while back, and when we were cleaning through his stuff, we found these really cool collector coins. Check them out.

    Audience: Ooh nice/touching

    I discovered this interesting property..."

    A bit exaggerated, but you get my point...
  11. Yes I completely understand your point mate, and you most likely have more performance experience than me and might be having it working out perfectly well for you. I'm not saying you're wrong, just theoretically I disagree with your opinions.
  12. No problem, buddy
  13. I have the firm belief that you should simply use the largest coin that you are comfortable using. However, don't push yourself to use larger coins, it doesn't really matter.
  14. Couldn't agree more.
    It's great to open with a nice conversation before any magic, so they're comfortable with you already.

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