By Mike Rogers
I expect this column will cause me extended grief, so IÃll get right to it. IÃve never been a big fan of the late Al Koran. I met him once, saw him lecture once, and saw him perform once. I was most impressed by how much he was impressed with himself. OK, I said it. Sorry to attack one of the icons of magic in such a negative way, but to be honest, our relationship, what little of it there was, might best be described as “instant hate” starting in the first thirty seconds. Personally I donÃt even consider him as an icon in magic, but I do believe he left a lasting mark.
Now that thatÃs out of the way I am not saying his magic wasnÃt quite good. ItÃs difficult to have any discussion of Koran without the Gold Medallion entering into the conversation. It is printed in both Koran books and has been marketed in various forms. Over the years several mentalists have made the effect a regular part of their program. Sorry folks, in my opinion it doesnÃt live up to the billing, not even when Koran did it. ItÃs one of those things magicians love to discuss because it “talks” better than it “plays.” When you think about it itÃs just another prediction. Three digits are noted on a business card. A medallion is then shown to be inscribed with the same three digits. Yes, yes, I know, itÃs flaked with lots of meat, plenty of potatoes, and an abundance of gravy. (All fireguards are in place for the flames I know IÃll receive, so let Ã«em fly.) I fully expect to be blackballed by the mentalists of the world for expressing these views, so before being exiled to the Thumb Tip Trash Dump let me proceed with some positive thoughts.
This is an impromptu handling of the Gold Medallion for close up venues. Though impromptu, it does require a Sharpie Permanent Felt marker, a business card, and two Kennedy half dollars.
At some point in your program perform any coin trick where a coin is marked using the Sharpie. This could be something like a marked coin appearing in an impossible location. An effect such as Lippincott Coin Box, Coin in Ball of Wool, or Coin in Sealed Envelope. It doesnÃt matter. You just need to establish the point that having a coin marked is not uncommon. This can be at any point in your program just as long as it occurs before the Impromptu Medallion effect. ItÃs best if it is done a few tricks before the Medallion routine. The point is to make the viewers comfortable seeing a marked coin. This marked coin is not involved in the effect to be explained. ItÃs just a conditioning thing so when they next see a marked coin it will not appear to be odd.
Now let’s move on to the effect. Toss one of the Kennedy half dollars on the table asking a spectator to place his hand over the coin and guard it well. Remove the business card from you jacket pocket along with the other Kennedy half hidden in any non-palm you know. In other words, donÃt palm it; just donÃt let it be seen. You are now going to have three letters (not digits) named which you write on the back of the business card using the Sharpie pen. Using the Koran technique also write these three letters on the hidden Kennedy half dollar. Contrive to have the face side of the half dollar as your writing surface. ThereÃs lots of smooth flat area there right across JFKÃs face. LetÃs assume the three letters named are FER. Using the Koran technique you now have FER written on both the business card and the hidden coin. Because of the permanent nature of the Sharpie pen the ink dries immediately on the hidden coin.
Hand the card to any spectator asking him to read aloud the three letters. When he does, say, “This seems impossible. Last week during a show I had a spectator write his initials on one of my coins.” Turn to the spectator guarding the tabled half dollar asking that he lift his hand. When he does pick up the tabled half dollar and execute any coin switch or shuttle pass you know ringing in the marked half. (If using a the Bobo Coin Switch please donÃt palm the coin in the thumb palm position.) Toss it to the table asking any spectator to read the initials.
Go South at your leisure as thereÃs lots of time and little heat.
This is not a major miracle, but it is an impressive coincidence effect. Also, there is an advantage of not having to use any play on words as to how the letters are imprinted on the coin, something not possible in the Koran routine. Anyone wanting to do so can look at the marked coin.