David Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy, Volumes 1,2, & 3
Michael Ammar's Complete Introduction to Coin Magic DVD
David Stone's Coin Magic Videos, Volumes 1 & 2.
(Click titles to read in depth reviews)
I often hear the question asked by those starting out in coin magic: What video should I get to start out? Most often the response is the David Roth tapes (or DVDs), the Ammar tape (or DVD), or the David Stone tapes (or DVDs). All of the tapes not only provide teaching on fundamental coin magic techniques, but they also teach a nice sampling of routines with which you can apply your new found knowledge.
Personally, I love coin magic and am glad to own all three of the products. I can honestly say I have learned and USE something from each individual series. I know everyone is not a coin nut like me, some of you will want to just buy one series and learn from it. Realizing this, I have created a chart below that lists all the fundamental techniques taught on each tape, so you can better analyze what set you want to go with. I have highlighted in yellow the 13 items that overlap all three products (meaning they all teach it). Highlighted in green 19 are items that two of the 3 products teach but is neglected by one of the others. And lastly highlighted in rose color are 32 items taught exclusively on one set that the other two do not cover. Additionally, for the Roth tapes and the Stone tapes I list what volume number the specific technique is found on. The Ammar DVD is singular, so I just put an "X" in the categories it covers.
|LEGEND||All Teach||Two Teach||Exclusive|
|Roth Vol 1-3||Ammar||Stone Vol 1-2|
|Back Thumb Palm||X||2|
|Classic Palm one coin out of several||2||1|
|Deep Back Clip||2||X|
|Finger Tip Rest||1||X||1|
|Front Finger Clip||2||X||2|
|Tenkai (Goshman) Pinch||X||2|
|Classic to Finger Palm||1|
|Finger to Classic Palm||1|
|Finger to Thumb Palm||1|
|Thumb to Classic Palm||1|
|Thumb to Finger Palm||1|
|FALSE TRANSFERS & VANISHES|
|Classic Palm Vanish||1||X||1|
|Dr. E.M. Roberts Sleeving||2|
|Finger Palm Vanish||1||X||1|
|Han Ping Chien||2||1|
|Loose French Drop||X|
|Reverse French Drop||X|
|Thumb Palm Vanish||1||X|
|Top Pocket Vanish||3||2|
|Dai Vernon Load||1||X|
|Open Load While Taking a Coin||X||1|
|Bobo Complete Vanish||X|
|Palm Down Steal||X|
|The Cardini Steal||3|
|Loupi's Table Turnover||2|
|Pely's Secret Turnover||2|
|The Olram Subtlety with Coins||2|
|The Wand Subtlety||1||X|
|COIN AND CARD MOVES|
|Coin Load Under Card||2|
|Pick up Switch||2|
|Jumbo Classic Palm||2|
|Jumbo Edge Grip||2|
|Jumbo Shuttle Pass||2|
|Jumbo Wiped Clean||2|
Here are some additional statistics including: the total # of techniques taught from the table above, the # of exclusive techniques taught (rose colored items above), the number of coin routines taught on the videos, and the average retail price I found from browsing a few internet magic dealers.
|Video:||# of Techniques||# of Exclusives||# of Routines||Avg Retail|
|Roth Vol. 1||20||5||5||$25 *|
|Roth Vol. 2||14||3||7||$25 *|
|Roth Vol. 3||5||3||8||$25 *|
|Stone Vol. 1||19||0||9||$30|
|Stone Vol. 2||22||14||9||$30|
* Update: In the summer of 2003, the Roth tapes became available in DVD format for approximately $35 each, or Vol's 1,2, and 3 on a single DVD for approximately $90.
As can be seen, If you look at the Roth videos in total and the Stone videos in total, compared to the Ammar DVD, the tapes have a few more techniques (and exclusives) taught than the singular DVD, but the number of routines are all pretty comparable. The Ammar DVD is definitely much cheaper to acquire than the full sets of the other videos. The Ammar VHS tape is even cheaper. No one will argue that the Ammar product provides the most bang for the buck because it's appropriate comparison is made against multiple volume sets. The DVD format is also obviously preferred for magic instructional videos, as one can jump directly to the sections they want to practice.
Putting all the tables and statistics aside, sometimes the purchase decision comes down to plain old subjectivity. After you make sure the product you are purchasing teaches the techniques you want to learn, one must look at what types of routines are taught on the tapes. That is best done via reading a full review of the materials. Luckily, I have done so. Below are full reviews of all three video sets:
Back to Top
David Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy Volumes 1,2, and 3.
David Roth is a modern coin magic icon. He is one of the reasons for coin magic's resurgence and growing popularity within the last decade. Dai Vernon called David Roth the modern day master when it came to coins.
David Roth's videos hold a close place in my heart as they are the first coin magic videos I ever bought while learning coin magic.
The videos were released in 1995 by A-1 Magical Media. The videos were re-released in DVD format in 2003. You can purchase the volumes on separate DVDs or all three volumes on one DVD. They are shot professionally in a studio. The video and sound quality is superb.
The volumes are broken up into three categories: Volume 1: Basic Coin Magic, Volume 2: Intermediate Coin Magic, and Volume 3: Advanced Coin Magic.
One of the criticisms I often read on internet forums is that most of Roth's routines are seated routines. Most people are looking for routines that can be done standup. Though this statement may be true for some of David's routines, it is highly unfair to characterize all of the routines this way. The great majority of the routines can be done standing, although, often a table surface is needed to put coins down during the performance. Since David does perform seated, he often uses lapping to clean up at the end of a routine. Though he does use lapping it is not always necessary, one could just as easily hold out and just ditch into a pocket when convenient. I will attempt to point out what routines MUST be done seated in this review, they are a minority. I rarely get the chance to perform seated, but when I do I lapping is such an extremely useful tool to use.
As I re-watched these videos I had a feeling of nostalgia. Though I may not perform all of the routines taught herein, I learned and practiced most of them. Even if you never perform any of the routines, the lessons you will gain by learning them are invaluable.
Volume 1 assumes you have no prior knowledge of coin magic. The first part of the tape is focused entirely on teaching fundamental coin sleights. Taught are the following:
The Classic Palm
The Finger Palm
The Thumb Palm
Classic Palm Vanish/Pass
Finger Palm Vanish/Pass
The French Drop
The Thumb Palm Vanish/Pass
The Wand Subtlety
Classic to Finger Palm transfer
Finger to Classic Palm transfer
Finger to Thumb Palm transfer
Thumb to Classic Palm transfer
Thumb to Finger Palm transfer
Fingertip Rest Position
The Utility Switch
The Shuttle Pass
L'Homme Masque's Load
Dai Vernon's Load
Producing coins from classic, finger, and thumb palm.
The Bobo Switch
David then proceeds to teach a few basic routines that you can perform after learning the sleights above.
Taught are the following:
Routine 1: "Vanish and Reproduction of a Coin": This is a simple production, vanish, and reproduction of the coin using a concealment and a load that was taught earlier. The routine is extremely basic, but teaches you skills you will need for more detailed routines.
Routine 2: "Winged Silver": One at a time, four coins travel from the right hand to the left hand. This is a basic un-gaffed coins across routine using the one ahead principle. Do not underestimate this routine, it is absolutely beautiful in David's hands, and one perfect for an impromptu coins across effect with borrowed coins. I still use it occasionally today. This routine is a great one to practice perfecting your classic palm, and acquiring proper timing within a routine.
Routine 3: "Copper and Silver": A copper coin and a silver coin are placed in each hand. They magically change places. This is a very simple, short, one phase routine to demonstrate how to use a coin switch to create a transposition effect.
Routine 4: "Coin Change": A silver half dollar is shown. It is tossed into the opposite hand which closes into a fist. When the hand opens the coin has turned into a dime. This is a very simple, short, one phase routine to demonstrate how to use a coin switch to create a change of one item to another.
Routine 5: "Chink-a-Chink": Four coins are placed in a square on a close up mat. The hands are slid over two of the coins, causing one coin to disappear from the mat to join the other coin covered by the other hand. The hands continue moving until all coins assemble under the hand at the top right corner of the mat. This is the famous bare handed coin assembly that started it all. David was the first to combine sliding a coin under the hand from matrix routines to the bare handed plot that had been done with other objects (such as sugar cubes, or rubber balls, etc.) You do need to be seated at a table to clean up properly on this routine. Michael Ammar uses this exact routine (he calls it Shadow Coins) but adds a gaff coin to deal with the cleanup, it that enables him to perform it on the floor with spectator's looking down on his hands.
Whereas Volume 1 focused primarily on basic technique, volume 2 is a balanced tape of both routines and teaching new technique.
Volume 2 teaches the following techniques:
The Retention Vanish
The Click Pass
Han Ping Chien
Deep Back Clip
The Flash Change
One Handed Spellbound Change
Most of the techniques are taught within the explanation of the routines. The routines are solid and much better than those taught on Volume 1.
Routine 1: "Coin Through Hand": A coin is pushed through the top of the right hand. When it is taken to be pushed through the left hand, it disappears. This routine plays out just as it reads, it's a quick straightforward routine. You do need to be seated to do the second part of the routine.
Routine 2: "Hanging Coins": Four coins are fanned at the left fingertips. One at a time three of them are taken and hung invisibly in mid-air. The hands are shown CONVINCINGLY empty (except the coins that are supposed to be seen) after each coin is hung. Before the last coin is hung, David grabs all the invisible coins out of mid-air, tosses them and catches them all audibly in the right hand. All four coins are then dumped out. This is a classic David Roth routine, one of his reputation makers. He created the routine in the 1970's using a much underutilized concealment. This is beautiful magic, and worth learning immediately.
Routine 3: "Four Coin Production": One at a time 4 coins are produced at the fingertips of each hand. Strangely enough the hands are often seen empty before a coin appears! This routine uses the same concealment as "Hanging Coins", and actually can be used to reproduce the hung coins one at a time right after performing "Hanging Coins".
Routine 4: "Wild Coin": Four silver coins are dumped out of a cup. One at a time, 3 of the silver coins change to copper and are dumped into the cup. The last silver coin changes from silver to copper and back again four times. The silver coin is dumped into the cup full of copper coins. The coins are swished around inside the cup, and dumped out to show they all turned back into silver coins. This is one of David's many Wild Coin plots. It is not terribly difficult to learn. It is extremely visual and showcases a very nice spellbound sequence with the last coin. This is an example of how you can a lot of mileage out of a simple concept and proper routining.
Routine 5: "Coins to Cup": One at a time 4 coins travel from the left fist to the cup held in the right hand. The last coin goes silently and invisibly. This is a routine from Arthur Buckley's PRINCIPLES AND DECEPTIONS. Again the routine is not difficult technique wise. It is a lesson in simple timing, misdirection, and proper routining.
Routine 6: "Coins Through Table": One at a time 4 coins penetrate the top of a table to arrive in the waiting hand below the table. This is a masterful routine of David Roth's. Four coins, no gaffs, super clean handling. This is one of the routines where you need to be seated at a table to perform because of its structure.
Routine 7: "Spellbound": A silver coin changes visually to copper and back again six times in rapid succession. This is a really cool high speed routine and it looks so fair. I remember the first time I ever saw this routine; it baffled me how someone could make the coins change like that so many times while the hands look otherwise empty. Again, this is a great routine to learn if only for the skill gain.
Although Volume 3 is called Advanced Coin Magic, I would say not all the routines are extremely difficult. Many take the same skill level as those taught in Volume 2.
Whereas Volume 1 focused primarily on sleights, Volume 2 was a mix, Volume 3 focuses more on routines. You should have a pretty good working knowledge of coin technique before proceeding with this video.
Even though this volume focuses mostly on routines, a few techniques are taught, namely:
John Cornelius' Metamorphosis Change. (Requires lapping)
The Cardini Steal
The Top Pocket Vanish
The original form of the Point Production (from Tenkai Pennies)
The Palm Change (one of the most versatile one handed coin switches in existence).
Routine 1: "Tenkai Pennies": 2 coins are placed in each hand and shown; instantly one coin travels to be with the other in the right hand. This is a variation of Ishida Tenkai's routine Tenkai Pennies. The primary variation is that it eliminates the Tenkai Pinch move and takes advantage of the Kaps/Malini subtlety instead. This is a pretty darn easy routine once you get the timing done.
Routine 2: "Milliken's Transposition": Two half dollars and two quarters and placed in a square on the table. The right hand picks up both quarters one at a time and drops them into the left hand. The right hand then picks up the two half dollars. Instantly, the hands are shown to have one of each coin. The coins are replaced onto the table. Once again the right hand picks up a silver dollar and a quarter, one at a time and places them into the left hand. Then the right hand picks up a silver dollar and a quarter, and shows both coins palm up to the spectators. The hands close into a fist and suddenly, both quarters are in the left hand, and both half dollars in the right. This is another very cool routine that you will be able to learn very quickly. I recommend doing so and using it!
Routine 3: Channin's "T.V. Surprise": One at a time, four coins are produced from a silk each time the silk is flipped from hand to hand. At the end a Jumbo coin is produced from the silk. I have never been a fan of coins with silk magic. Silks in my mind hide the visual nature of coin magic. I particularly don't care much for this effect. It looks exactly like it is described, flipping a silk from hand to hand pinching coins out of each hand. The jumbo coin production at the end is a redeeming feature however.
Routine 4: "Copper Silver Extraction and The Magical Filtration": A copper coin and a silver coin are placed into a silk hanky. The copper coin is extracted right through the very fabric of the silk. The copper coin is pushed back inside, and the silver coin is magically extracted. The silk is opened to show the copper coin still inside and that the silk is still intact. The Magical Filtration part is: a silver coin is placed into the silk and a spectator holds the ends of the silk as well as the part of the silk where the coin resides. The magician takes the copper coin and vanishes it with a toss toward the silk. The spectator releases the silk where the silver coin is and a "clink" is heard. It sounds as if the copper coin is now inside. The silk is opened to reveal that it is the case. Ok so I said I don't like silk and coin effects last paragraph. This one is pretty cool I have to admit. It involves some pretty nice looking visual penetrations, a nice coin vanish, and an audible surprise. If you feel that you must muck your coin magic up with silks, this looks like a good choice. I will even go so far as to say I like the routine.
Routine 5: "One Coin Routine": One coin jumps from hand to hand, from lapel to lapel, from elbow to elbow in a rapid pace. In the end, the coin grows into a jumbo size. This is David Roth's rendition of Slydini's One Coin Routine. This is another routine Roth is known for – his flurry routine. It includes the very nice handling of a coin up behind a suit lapel. It really throws you off if you are not aware of what he is doing. Try not to get whiplash while watching.
Routine 6: "Advanced Copper/Silver": A copper coin and a silver coin transpose once in the magician's hands. The coins are placed into a spectator's hand, and one is removed by the spectator. The magician causes the coin that the spectator retrieved to magically trade places with the one in her fist. This is one of my absolute favorite copper/silver transposition routines without gaffed coins. David utilizes the Fred Kaps "In the Spectator's Hands" ending, which just kills. I have yet to find a better ending to any copper/silver transposition than this. Also used is the extremely versatile Palm Change. Learn this routine. Learning the palm change alone will do wonders for your classic palm speed and technical ability.
Routine 7: "Advanced Coins Through the Table": Six silver coins and one copper coin is shown on the table. 3 silver coins and the copper coin are picked up into the right hand, and 3 silver coins are picked up into the left. The coins are showed once more before the right hand goes below the table. The left hand slaps down onto the table and magically the 3 silver coins from the left pass through the table into the right hand below. This is a good effect although I personally like coin thru table routines structured so each coin goes through the table one at a time. I think the amount of coins used in this routine for a one phase coins through the table seems like a bit of overkill. Maybe it has some type of psychological effect having that many coins go through the table at once, who knows.
Routine 8: "Purse and a Glass": This is a formal close up routine featuring 3 silver coins, 3 copper coins, a coin purse, and a shot glass. All of the coins start in a coin purse and are dumped out onto a close up mat. The copper coins are placed back into the purse, and two of the silver coins are placed into the shot glass. David announces that every time coins are placed inside the glass something magical happens. The remaining silver coin is placed into the hand and it changes into copper. David explains that the silver coins are changing places with the copper coins in the purse. The two silver coins are dumped out of the glass. One silver is dropped back into the glass, and one silver is picked up. The silver coin turns into copper. Finally the two copper coins are dropped into the glass and the remaining silver coin is placed into the hand. The last silver coin turns into copper. The copper coins in the glass are dumped out. Sure enough, the purse is opened to reveal that the copper coins did in fact change places with the silver. 3 silver coins are dumped out of the purse. This routine demonstrates the pure routining genius of David Roth. David's setup of this routine happens right in front of the audience who are oblivious. This is one fine killer piece of magic. It takes several minutes to perform (a formal set) and must be done seated at a table. The actual disposition of the copper coins after the setup is simply astounding; it will make you laugh with delight when David explains it. For anyone that has the opportunity to perform a formal close up set, this routine is worth serious consideration.
Summary: I love the Roth videos. I believe they should be in every coin magician's library. The videos have a bit of something for everyone. Those who are starting out can learn coin magic; those who are skilled already will receive some very wonderful routines from a guy who is truly one of the best coin magicians on the planet.
Back to Top
The Complete Introduction to COIN MAGIC Starring Michael Ammar
is a Year 2000 release from L&L Publishing that comes in either DVD or VHS
format. The content of both versions is the same, however the DVD has the added
benefit of a digital chapter list where you can go directly to the section you
wish to watch. When it comes to magical instruction video, you can't beat a
The production value is superb. The film work, lighting, production set, etc. is all first class. There was a few times where the sound skipped a little bit on my DVD, I am not sure if this is true to all the DVDs or just mine, but it was not something that was extremely detrimental to the DVD. Multiple cameras were used, showing Ammar standing like any lecture, as well as top down close up views of his hands to show exactly what he is doing with the coins.
This DVD focuses on the basics of coin magic for the beginner level coin magician. It also delves into the theory behind the magic, and has quick bio sections and black and white pictures of past coin men who pioneered the particular sleight of hand that Michael happens to be talking about at any particular time. This was nice as it added a small mini-documentary into the history of coin magic.
Onto the details……
The DVD opens with a quick introduction of snippets of routines Ammar teaches throughout the tape. As the title words come unto the screen, it shows "Dedicated to David Roth For revitalizing the art of coin magic!" I thought that was very generous of Michael Ammar, and I wholeheartedly agree, Roth is by far one of the most prominent coin magicians to ever pick up a coin. I highly recommend any of Roth's books and videos which are also reviewed here at the Coin Purse.
Ammar presents the magic in a natural logical progression with the material toward the end of the DVD building upon what was learned earlier in the DVD. Each topic is divided into three basic sections: Secrets, Applications, and Major Secrets.
The first topic is "How to Hide Coins" In the "Secrets" section of this topic Ammar teaches the following (how to get into, how to retrieve, subtlies etc):
1. Finger Palm along with the Ramsay Subtly
2. The Classic Palm with teaching on how to keep your hand natural looking. Ammar touches on the Kaps Subtly while using the Classic Palm.
3. Finger Tip Rest Position
4. Thumb Palm
5. Back Thumb Palm
6. The Downs Palm
7. Back Clip (Tenkai/Goshman Pinch)
8. Finger Clip
9. Deep Back Clip
10. Multiple coin concealments such as Finger, Classic, and Downs Palm
Following the "Secrets" section of what was taught, the "Applications" section comes next, "Creating Magic from the ability to Hold Out". In this section Michael teaches some basic routines utilizing the concealments taught in the previous "Secrets" Section. He presents all the routines in a performance section, then after all the performances, explains the routines which include:
1. Tricky Trousers: a coin is produced through he fabric of a pant pocket, is vanished back through the pocket, and once again penetrates the pant pocket.
2. A Sure Bet: Two cards are selected by spectators. The two cards are flipped over a few times, slid from hand to hand, both sides shown again, then suddenly a coin slides out from between them.
3. The Phone Home Pen: Coins are kept inside a pen cap (coin production from a pen cap)
4. Doubling your Money: A half dollar is broken in two to create two half dollars, one of the two is again broken in two to create a total of three half dollars.
5. Completely Gone: A coin is pinched through a silk hanky. All spectators get to reach under and feel the coin inside the hanky. The silk is dropped and the coin is gone. Again the hanky is pinched, spectators reach under to feel no coin, and when the hanky is removed the coin is there.
6. What' that in your ear?: A coin production from behind a spectator's ear.
7. Coin from Tie: A coin production from a spectator's tie. You pretend to pull a string from the spec's tie, and a coin pops out.
Following the "Applications" section, we come to the 1st Major Secret: Ammar lectures on "The most important theory in Sleight-of-Hand – BE NATURAL" I will not review the details of the major secrets as they are lectures that would be best viewed from this DVD. Included are classic pieces of art showing the natural lay of the hand, and quotes from famous magicians such as Dai Vernon.
The second topic is "False Transfers" (faking putting a coin in a hand, or faking taking a coin from a hand). In the "Secrets" section, Ammar teaches the following:
1. The Simple Take and a discussion of proper timing.
2. The Simple Put (also known as a Shuttle Pass or Finger Palm Transfer).
3. The Schneider Vanish.
4. Le Tourniquet (or French Drop).
5. The Reverse French Drop
6. Ammar's Loose French Drop
7. The Classic Fake Transfer (also known as Retention Vanish)
8. The Slide Vanish by John Mulholland
9. The Friction Palm (also known as Benzais Friction Palm)
10. The Spider Vanish
11. Thumb Palm Transfer
12. Classic Palm Transfer
Following the "Secrets" section of what was taught, the "Applications" section comes next, "Making Magic from False Transfers". In this section Michael teaches some basic routines utilizing the false transfers taught in the previous "Secrets" Section. The routine format is different from the first application section in that Ammar performs the effect and then immediately explains it instead of doing all the performances in one segment followed by explanations. The effects in this segment are as follows:
1. Silver Dollar to Four Quarters – a Silver dollar changing into four quarters he also performs a similar effect half dollar to five dimes.
2. Coin thru the table – A coin is pushed right through a table
3. Coin Flurry #1: A coin production, vanish, reproduction, vanish, and production. With an explanation about other things that can be done during a flurry.
4. Simple Coins Across: A very clean coins across (coins invisibly travel from one hand to the other) routine utilizing only four un-gimmicked coins. The final coin vanishes from Ammar's hand and appears in a spectator's hand.
Michael immediately starts his lecture on Major Secret #2 "Misdirection" and talks about theory of misdirection. This is immediately followed by Major Secret #3 "The Magic Wand". Ammar speaks about the purpose and the power of the wand and divulges the real secret of the magic wand. Again I will not really get into the details of these portions of the lecture, as it is better watched from the DVD.
The next topic is called "Loading the Hand". This is how you can secretly put a coin into a hand without spectator's knowing. The "Secrets" section covers the following:
1. The Revolve Load (also known as the Le ‘Homme Masque Load)
2. Dai Vernon's Thumbpalm Load
3. Loading during a wave or gesture.
4. Ammar's Sonic Squeeze (Multiple Coin Load and production)
The "Applications" section for loading the hand includes the following routines:
1. A Copper/Silver Transposition: Ammar teaches Milton Kort's version of this routine. A copper coin is placed into the left hand, a Silver coin is picked up into the right, is squeezed and turns into a copper coin. The left hand is opened to reveal a silver coin.
2. Production and complete vanish. Ammar teaches how to magically produce a coin, then completely vanish it with a coat pocket ditch.
After the above two Applications, Ammar lectures on Major Secret #4 "Timing". Again – go get the DVD or tape to hear this J.
The forth and final topic is "Stealing from the Hand" How do get a coin that you really placed into a hand out of the closed fist. The "Secrets" section divulges the following:
1. J.B. Bobo Compete Vanish
2. The Palm Down Steal
Ammar goes directly into "Applications" for the above two steals:
1. Bobo's Coin To Key: A coin is placed into the left hand, which closes into a fist, when the hand is opened the coin has changed into a key.
2. GONE! Is Bill Simon's routine where a coin is placed into the left hand. A spectator holds the left hand. When the hand is opened the coin is completely gone.
3. The 1 - Minute Coin Vanish: A coin is placed into a hand, disappears, and reappears under the magician's wrist watch.
This "Application" section is followed by Ammar's Lecture on Magic Secret #5, "Practice makes Permanent not necessarily perfect!" Michael gives great insight into how to practice coin magic.
Ammar proceeds directly into his last routines. They do not fall under any specific topic, they appear to just be added routines that you can perform given the knowledge you have gained throughout this DVD.
1. Coin from Spectator's Hand: Five coins are placed into a spectators hand. One coin vanishes from the spectator's closed fist to appear in the magician's fist.
2. The Thieves, Sheep and the Barn: This routine requires no slight of hand. A story of two thieves represented by a coin in each hand. Six coins on the table represent six sheep. The thieves steal the sheep with alternating pick-ups. (One thief stealing 3 sheep, the other thief stealing 3 sheep). In the end, all six of the sheep magically appear in one hand, and the two thieves together in the other hand.
Ammar closes the DVD with words of advise about how to handle spectator's reflexive responses like "Do that again", talks about respecting magic secrets, and respecting the space of a professional magician by not performing in other magician's work space. Ammar talks about handling problems like dropping coins (which will always happen). Lastly he gives good points about handling being nervous, and building confidence.
All in all, the DVD was an excellent source for starting out to learn coin magic, learn about theory of coin magic, and history of coin magic. Michael Ammar proves to be a most excellent teacher in this project.
Back to Top
David Stone: Les bases de La magie des Pieces
(Basic Coin Magic) Volumes 1 and 2.
As can deduced by the title of this production by Stephane Jardonnet, David Stone is a French coin magician. The original version of this tape was a 1997 production in French; the version sold in the US is a version that has been dubbed over in English in May of 1999. The newly re-released DVD's were released in 2004. The production level of the tapes is excellent. The video is very clear, sound is very clear, filming well done. Honestly the English dubbing does not detract at all to the tape, the explanations are extremely clear and the material is very well presented.
David has two tapes in this series. Volume 1 contains easier routines than Volume 2. Each tape describes every sleight of hand necessary to perform the routines he presents. In order to perform the routines it will help to have a good basic working understanding of coin magic (which you can learn from these tapes) but the routines will take some practice. In David's more difficult routines, they rely on the ability to classic palm four coins and the ability to release only one coin on demand very easily and quickly by relaxing the hand. Personally I can do this, but find it very hard to do it every time during a fast paced routine I often will drop two coins instead of one from classic palm. This for me personally deters me from attempting to perform some of his routines in public. If you have developed the ability to quickly drop one coin from a stack in classic palm on demand, this tape series (especially Vol. 2) will provide some excellent material for you.
The DVD versions allow you to watch all the performances in a row, or to access any trick, technique or explanation with the click of a remote.
The DVD versions also contain interview footage where David gives advice and teaches more coin work - I will detail the extra content after the routine reviews below:
David starts off his tapes with introductions focusing directly on his hands
against a pure black background as intro music plays. These are pretty neat to
watch and demonstrate immediately David's skill with coins. The quick
demonstrations are pretty strong as it is impossible to utilize misdirection
when a camera us focused right on hands. Volume 1 starts by his hands picking up
a pen and as he writes left to right one by one four coins appear at the pen tip
(this is just a quick demonstration of his ability to palm 4 coins and release
them one at a time on demand. The next shows two cards on the black table, his
hands pick them up and proceed to produce 4 coins one at a time from between and
under the cards. This routine is taught later in Volume 2 (trick #7 Dr. Card and
Miss Money Surprise). Lastly, he performs a quick vanish and reproduction of a
coin with the camera again focused directly on his hands. This last
demonstration alone sat me straight up in my chair having to rewind the tape
over and over. It is a most beautiful version of Ammar's Wiped Clean. I had
never seen such a beautiful display of hands showing them fully empty on both
sides, while really concealing a coin. Again, David teaches how to do this in
Volume 2 of his tape on trick #6 called Fire. This effect alone was something I
was motivated to learn and it fits very nicely into a coin flurry routine I
The way the video is setup is David shows a routine, and then immediately teaches all the technique that is needed, and then how the routine is constructed.
Volume 1's routines:
The Wallet Pen: This routine is an excellent version of coin in a Pen cap. Stone produces, reloads, produces, reloads, and produces a coin from a pen cap. During the explanation of this routine David discusses in detail the classic palm. Including how to get into classic palm and how to make it look natural. David also teaches the Classic Palm Vanish (how to use the classic palm to vanish a coin utilizing a false transfer). David describes Fingertip rest position. David teaches a method of loading a coin from one hand to another under the guise of taking an object (pen or another coin, etc.) from one hand to another. David utilizes it a lot in his routines (in his credits he credits this transfer to Michael Ammar and Gerard Alexandre)
A Little Trick: This routine is a coin production, vanish, reproduction, transposition into a pen (via a spellbound change), and coin production from pen cap, followed by coin vanish, and pen vanish. During the explanation David teaches the Finger Palm, the finger palm vanish, spellbound change, as well as how to perform the effect.
Bridal Journey: Two coin production, followed by a quick
one coin across (one coin placed in each hand, one coin magically travels to
join the other coin in the other hand, both coins then vanish to fall out of
David's nose. The explanation teaches the Ramsay Subtlety and how to perform
Guarded Hunt: This is a misers dream type multiple coin production routine. Four coins are produced one at a time from a spectator's abdomen. Each coin is put into David's pocket after he produces it. He then produces two coins from thin air and the 2nd coin changes into a Jumbo coin at the end. The interesting part is that the routine only uses two coins plus one jumbo, even though it looks like many coins are produced. During the explanation phase of this routine David teaches in more detail Ammar's method of loading a coin from one hand to another under the guise of taking another coin from the other hand (the same move I mentioned in routine 1 above). He calls it "The Transfer".
The H.P.C Travel: This is an interesting routine where four silver coins are on the table; David produces a copper coin from his elbow. He then places two silver coins and the copper coin in his right hand with the other two silver coins in his left. He shows both sets of coins again, and then with a toss of his left hand, one by one the two silver coins from his left magically jump into his right hand, all the coins are then dumped from his right hand. The secret to this routine is a very useful technique called the Han Ping Chien (named after the Chinese magician who founded the move). David explains the technique and the routine.
Copper Silvered: A silver coin is produced from a spectator's elbow followed by a copper coin production. The coins then transpose in David's hands. He then places one of the coins in the spectator's hand and the one he has changes places with the coin in the spectator's hand. In the explanation David teaches the "Palm Change" one of the most useful one hand coin switches devised by David Roth, the L'Homme Masque Load for secretly loading a coin in your hand, the Bobo Switch from Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic book, and of course the explanation to the routine.
Star Travel: A four coins across effect (coins magically travel from one hand to the other). No new sleights are taught here, David utilizes the previously taught sleights and simply shows how to perform the routine.
The End of the World: The routine starts by David showing four coins on the table. He picks up three and places them into a spectator's hand. He vanishes the fourth coin only for it to reappear with the other 3 in the spectator's hand. Then he vanishes the 4th coin again only for it to re-appear and change into a Jumbo Coin. Taught in the explanations section is the Utility Switch, a technique for switching coins when throwing coins from hand to hand. Also taught is the Spider Vanish to completely vanish a coin within the hands.
Never 2 without…4: A four-coin production, followed by the one by one vanish of each coin, followed by the reproduction of the four coins. Taught in the explanations is the extremely useful Retention Vanish, a very visual vanish of a coin. Also taught is David Roth's Shuttle Pass (a way to appear to drop a coin into your other hand while really switching coins). In my introduction to this review, I mentioned how the harder routines would need the ability to classic palm four coins and the ability to drop them one by one on command. This is one of those routines, probably the simplest of his routines where you would need the multiple coin release.
As the credits roll at the end of this tape, David's hands come back against the black background to do some more quick coin work. First up, he rolls the coins out into a coin star. His hands return and pick up one card he spins it around a bit and produces a coin from it, he picks the coin up, and shows his skill with the coin roll, rolling a coin through his fingers (both sides) as well as rolling forward and backward, followed by a one hand vanish (this is really Dr. E.M. Robert's Sleeving method he will teach on Volume 2.
The DVD version has an interview with David Stone where David tackles topics such as:
How to deal with clammy hands.
More on the classic palm - including classic palming a coin from a stack.
How to clean your coins.
How to palm more easily.
How to avoid the blue mark on the hand from copper coins (reacting with hand perspiration).
More on the retention vanish - including keeping your index finger and thumb motionless, and a classic palm subtlety.
Some ideas to load coins from a pen, and how to load a stack of coins into classic palm in secret.
The interview items are geared toward the beginner coin magician.
Lastly, the DVD includes outtakes edited together showing David messing up routines, dropping coins, etc. This is in the original French language.
Again, David starts out with his hands working on a black background. He starts with a performance of the Rhod Retro Transfer: He picks up a pen in his left hand shows his hand clearly empty, places the pen in his right hand showing it completely empty, pulls the pen cap off with his right hand and shakes the pen cap, a coin falls out. Next his hand appears with a playing card, he spins it and lays it down on the mat. He flips the card back and there is a coin under the card. He continues to flip the card backward 3 more times showing a coin under the card with ever flip (4 coin production showcasing his ability to palm 4 coins and drop them one at a time this is called the Fleshman Rollover Production). His hands come into view again, where he produces coins one at a time with one hand (its apparent he is pulling them out of downs palm – looks good on tape, very angley in real life. This is T. Nelson Downs' Invisible Palm)
Thank you for the tip: Four coins are produced one by one from a spectator's hand and elbow with apparently showing both hands empty. This routine relies upon the ability to palm four coins and drop one at a time, and utilizes the transfer taught on the first tape.
One way: Four coins are held in the left hand of the magician, David hovers his right hand over the palm up hand of a spectator. One by one, coins disappear from David's left hand and land into hand of the spectator. I like this routine. David teaches a version of the Backclip, a nice utility concealment called Tea for Two, and a very interesting coin steal that was devised by Gary Kurtz.
The Glove: This is a variation of some of the David Roth Copper Silver coin work. A paper handkerchief is picked up and ripped up and held in view in his left hand, a silver coin is produced, David reaches into his pocket and pulls out a copper coin and lays it right next to the silver coin. With a flick of his wrist, the handkerchief transforms into a white glove, which he places on his left hand. Spectator examines the two coins, David picks up the coins, squeezes them, and they transpose in his hands, he repeats the move and they transpose a 2nd time, repeats for a 3rd time and then allows the coins to be inspected once more. Both coins are placed into the spectator's hand, David reaches in removes the silver coin, with a squeeze, the coins change places, David has the copper coin, the spectator has the silver. Both coins can be examined. Taught in the explanation section is Pely's Secret Turnover, a method to show both sides of a coin to the audience, when you really only show one side, and explains the routine.
I want you: A very visual four coin production by making coins multiply one at a time, it is well constructed. Methods taught are the Thumbpalm, Back Thumbpalm, the Fingertip Production, and the explanation. This routine needs the ability to classic palm 4 coins and the ability to release two coins, one coin at a time.
Cash Money: Four coins jump from the left hand to a clear glass in the right hand one at a time, followed by a jumbo coin production from the empty glass at the end. The explanation phase simply reveals how to perform the routine.
Fire: This is a very well devised single coin routine. A candle is lit on the table, a piece of flash paper is held in the hand, both hands are clearly shown empty. The paper is lowered into the flame and a coin appears. He performs the Ammar Wiped Clean Vanish to vanish a coin and show both hands empty, reproduces the coin, followed by The Torres Move which is another very stunning vanish allowing you to display both sides of your hands to a audience in front of you (it involves hiding a coin temporarily on the back of your hand and wrist – if you have dry hands this will be a very precarious maneuver). Then the coin is vanished completely only for a dollar bill to appear suddenly with a snap in his hands. Taught are the Ammar Wiped Clean Vanish, the Torres Move, as well as the Front Clip, David Roth's Edge Grip, The Top Pocket Vanish, and the Flash Banknote Fold (which is how the bill was folded to immediately make the bill appear in your fingertips).
Dr. Card and Miss Money Surprise: If you are a coin magician, you will laugh at the gag at the introduction of this routine. David says, "Lets now do a card trick", as he spreads a deck on his close up pad. He picks up the deck and says he is going to do a hard shuffle called the Faro shuffle, and proceeds to drop the cards in a big mess as he tries to shuffle, leaving only two cards in his hands. He embarrassingly states, "Well I can't do a card trick anymore, how about a coin trick?" Then David proceeds to produce 4 coins one at a time from the cards. This is the routine that he showcased in the introduction section of Volume one. Again this routine requires the ability to classic palm 4 coins and drop them one at a time at will. Taught is the Turnover Drop to drop a coin from classic palm under a card without the coin being seen. He uses a card-sized piece of cellophane to show how he does this. He teaches How to Slip Coins Under Cards (to switch a coin under the card of your other hand). The Pick up Switch is a utility move to pick up one coin with a card, switching the coin with another, as both sides of the card is shown.
Cocktail Matrix: This is a card-less Matrix that uses 4 silver coins and a copper coin. He starts by placing the copper coin in the pocket, then performs a bare handed matrix, by picking up coins from the mat with one hand and it jumps to the other hand and falls onto the other coins on the mat. He then places 3 of the four coins into a spectator's hand, and transposes the 4th coin into the copper coin. When the spectator opens her hand, she now has all 4 silver coins. Taught during the explanation is Loupi's Table Turnover which is a utility move to apparently pick up a coin, flip it over and place it back down, while you really only pick up the coin and place it on its same side. The Olram Subtlety with Coins is a card subtlety to show both sides of a double-faced coin while only really showing the silver side and both silver sides of a real silver coin.
Smile Land: This last routine is very outrageous. It is absolutely stunning work with Jumbo Coins. (The Jumbo coin flurry work is an adaptation of Gary Kurtz' Flurious with Jumbo Coins) It looks so beautiful on this video. I am convinced however it will only work when you have absolute control of the placement of your audience. They HAVE to be only directly in front of your performance area because of obvious angles when dealing with Jumbo Coins. David starts by showing both hands empty, he produces a coin, completely vanishes it, reproduces it, places it in one hand, it jumps to the other, then grows into a Jumbo Coin. Sleeves are rolled up, he placed the jumbo coin into his left hand, its vanished from the left to appear in the right once again, he grabs it again with his left and places it in his left pocket, it re-appears in his right hand, he repeats this two more times, dumps the coin into his left hand again, it vanishes from his left, appears in his right, is grabbed with his left, placed in the left pocket again, it jumps back to the right, he repeats, and then repeats over and over to realize the coin is not in either hand anymore. He shows both hands empty to realize the Jumbo coin is laying on the close up mat! He picks up the Jumbo tosses it into the air where it vanishes. He shows both hands empty displaying them both sides; the coin reappears into the left hand from the right elbow. The Jumbo Coin is held in left hand spellbound and is transposed into the Wallet Pen from trick #1 volume 1. The Pen cap is pulled off, the Jumbo Coin falls from the Pen cap; the cap is placed back on the pen. The Pen is placed in his top jacket pocket; he picks up the Jumbo coin, shakes it and the Wallet Pen drops out from the coin. He takes the coin into the left hand and pockets it only for another Jumbo Coin to fall out of the Pen with a flick of the Pen. He un-caps the pen and a 2nd Jumbo Coin falls out of the cap. The Pen is placed in his right pocket and he picks up both Jumbo Coins, places one back on the mat and the Wallet Pen appears from behind one of the Jumbo Coins, he places the Jumbo Coin back on the mat, un-caps the pen and five smaller coins fall out of the cap. He arranges the five coins into a smile, the pen into a nose, and the jumbo coins into two big eyes to form a smiley face on his close up pad. Whew! If you can gather an idea of the routine from what I just wrote, watching it is fast and furious and demonstrates technique with a Jumbo Coin that just bewildering. Taught on the explanation phase are The Goshman Pinch and the Rhod Chic Production of a coin from Goshman Pinch. Dr. E.M. Robert's Sleeving Method is a killer sleeving technique utilizing one hand you can just propel a coin with terrific force into your sleeve with almost negligible hand movement. David then begins his teaching on Jumbo Coins, starting with the way to hold or clip Jumbo Coins in preparation for sleights. Next discussed are the Jumbo Classic Palm, the Jumbo Edge Grip, and the Tenkai Palm. After the palms are taught, he shows how to vanish jumbo coins with a fake take and a false transfer. The Jumbo Shuttle Pass is shown as a way to appear to only have one Jumbo Coin when you really have two. To put icing on the cake, David teaches the Jumbo Wiped Clean which shows both hands empty while you conceal a jumbo coin!!!! After this you are ready to learn the mechanics of this routine. It is not easy.
The DVD version has an interview with David Stone where David tackles topics such as:
Review of some ideas to load coins from a pen, and close up detail how to silently load a stack of coins into classic palm in secret.
A close up review of the retention pass (to music).
The Flourishes: They did not include flourishes on the original videos since they were teaching the basics of coin magic, and magic routines. David Teaches:
The coin roll which he calls the "waterfall".
The four coin roll down, which he calls, "star of coins".
A coin production he calls the "Sinclair Production"
A flourish he calls the "Stone Flourish"
A move called "The Throw" which is basically throwing and catching a coin in the same position.
A production he calls "The Stone Production", which also uses similar concealments as that taught in Garrett Thomas's video called the Web Grip (modified Downs palm), and a modified production.
What to do to recover from dropping a coin.
More on the Ramsay Subtlety - a finger adjustment to make the subtlety more deceptive.
A teaching on the Curl Palm Subtlety.
More on the Torres move - how to keep the coin from falling off the back of the hand.
Half dollars versus Euro coins.
Using a close-up pad or not.
The new version of: Never 2 without 4 which is a slight modification from the original.
Mietek which is a trick to transition from cards to coins.
The interview items on this video were more informative than Vol. 1.
The DVD also has a demo of David performing "3 Fly" - it is a pretty standard handling.
Lastly, the DVD includes outtakes edited together showing
David messing up routines, dropping coins, etc. This is in the original
French language. This is the same outtake reel as on Vol. 1
To summarize this series, David does very well to produce a work that is both entertaining and challenging to beginner coin magicians as well as advanced coin magicians. He teaches all the basic tools needed to perform the magic which is good for the beginner, but puts together some pretty ambitious coin routines that will challenge a move advanced coin magician. Good videos.
Back to Top
Back to Reviews