Hidden Gems by Mark Elsdon

HIDDEN GEMS – The best magic that you’re NOT doing!

This brand new ebook is a road map to all killer magic you ALREADY OWN!

For several years, the last item in my occasional Newsletters was a ‘Hidden Gem’ – a killer, overlooked trick that’s already published somewhere; book, magazine, eBook, blog or very occasionally a commercial release. Never from a DVD or video download 🙂

These are tricks that define the very concept of ‘hidden in print’. In each entry I list the trick, where you can find it, why I love it and why YOU should look it up. I always describe the effect, occasionally the presentation, but never the method.

Most are in books that you already own (or should!), some are in magazines that you can easily get access to and the odd one or two entries will send you on a major SHM/MagicWeek/eBay hunt. Happy days 🙂

The is new eBook collects 100 of these Hidden Gems – the 30-odd from my old Newsletters and 65+ brand new entries that I’ve been collating for several years but never published. There is a mixture of card, coin and close-up magic, as well as plenty of mentalism, stand-up and cabaret material.

If you are on the look-out for great tricks that no one else is doing (and who isnt?!) then you will find a ton of them in here.

To whet your appetite, here are a few samples of the kind of thing I’m talking about:

Hidden Gem #17: ‘Shock Treatment’ by Jackie McClements, Shock Treatment, (p19). Jackie’s brilliant vanishing deck trick is a total an utter fooler. I was first shown it by Jerry Sadowitz, back in his heyday working at International Magic in London. When he performed it, I was so shocked I nearly fell over. I’m not joking! It is guaranteed to not only devastate laymen, but also give heart palpitations to any magician who doesn’t know it. It has remained in my repertoire from that day to this.

Hidden Gem #43: ‘Four Fisted’ by Gary Kurtz, Unexplainable Acts (p35). This was a staple of my close-up and walkaround repertoire for well over a decade and yet I’ve never seen a single other magician perform it. It is a beautiful, original coin effect (and plot) with visual and tactile coin changes, and surprisingly for a coin trick (although unsurprisingly for Kurtz) an engaging presentation. In effect, copper coins turn into silver coins and then into gold, in both your hands AND the spectator’s! I may well dust this off to fry all my friends with at the next Blackpool convention. Pro tip – for the gold coins use Danish 2 Kroner coins. Polish them up and they are perfect.

Hidden Gem #70: ‘Greetings’ by Chris Westfall, MAGIC magazine, July 2010 (p67). Occasionally I read an effect and think “I really wish I had devised this!” I thought EXACTLY that about Chris’ trick. It got massively and unfairly overlooked because it was published in a magazine, but trust me, this is possibly the best thing that Josh Jay ever published in his column. It is a wonderfully commercial card trick that brings the ‘nest-of-boxes’ completely up to date, it is a total laymen fooler and it allows you to give out your business card. What more could you want? If a big name had released this as a download we’d all be drooling over it…

Hidden Gem #87: ‘Eleven Bill Routine’ by Trevor Lewis, Routines Matter (Lewis/Willmarth, p66) Caveney, Pitt, Bargatze and others all have handlings of this routine, but Trevor’s stands head and shoulders above them all. Immaculate handling, superior spectator management and some truly great lines all add up to make this one of the best packs-small-plays-big routines ever to see print.  A MUST for any cabaret act.

Quotes about Hidden Gems:

“I confess that I would prefer to NOT recommend this ebook, purely for selfish reasons. It’s a treasure chest that will unlock your library and send you racing to fill in any gaps. And I just had to buy a book I didn’t have. This ebook is going to cost me a f****ing fortune!”

– R Paul Wilson

“Whether you are looking for unique new pieces for your pro working repertoire or killers for your next magic session, Mark has done the hard work for you! There’s gold in these pages from some of the greatest minds in Magic. I’m equally thrilled and annoyed that this collection has been put together; it’s a must-buy.” – James Went

“Let’s face it; we all know that some of the best stuff is hiding in plain sight. We have all missed a beauty that was staring us right in the face. Well…imagine a book that does the incredible job of giving the savvy magician a second look at that killer material. Mark’s “Hidden Gems” does exactly that! A collection of high-impact magic, cherry picked to only give you the best of the best. Polish up these “Hidden Gems”. They are a true treasure. And so is Mark’s book.” – Jonathan Friedman

“Mark has curated a spectacular collection! I am like a kid in a candy store with so many effects and routines I haven’t even heard of before. The knowledge and insight that has gone into Hidden Gems is incredible.” – Bro Gilbert

“In magic part of our daily ritual is to look for the hidden gems, the real treasures, the real magic. Mark Elsdon is one of the best read “treasure” hunters I know of. When he points out a vein of treasure I explore. In this book Mark doesn’t teach tricks he’s created. Instead he points out sources and effects that you should explore. He’s got great taste in material, meaning you can skip a lot of fodder and simply find some uncovered miracles. If you love finding great magic this book will be a treasure map you will delight in.” – Tim Trono

“Loved this eBook! Hidden Gems is such a great idea for a publication, and will start many hours of treasure hunting – and Mark has gone to the trouble of ensuring that you will be uncovering gold. Highest recommendation.” – Liam Montier


“Choosing new material is a tough process as you have to wade through lots and lots of garbage, to find even a single piece that’s worthy of your time and effort. But not anymore – Mark has done all the hard (and expensive!) work for us so we can only focus on the fantastic, overlooked effects that nobody else is doing! Hidden Gems has my highest recommendation!” – Iain Moran


“Mark Elsdon is my regular source for hidden gems … he scours magic literature and finds ideas that inspire me to look harder, and closer.” – Andi Gladwin


 “I have mixed feeling however – I suspect he has made things a bit too easy.  The reader is guided painlessly towards material that many performers have painstakingly researched in order to add it to their repertoires.  It’s all there on a plate for you! This is a terrific repository of great magic. “Hidden Gems” is offered at a great price for what could turn out to be a lifetime’s worth of killer material!  A MUST BUY!” – Dave Jones


“This is a brilliant idea from Mark Elsdon. The saying is that “if you want to keep it secret, put it in a book”. Mark highlights some of the best routines he’s found from his extensive reading, pointing to the sources of some overlooked classics. Great unknown material here. Literally the first I looked at (that I had access to already) has got me excited and brainstorming away. High quality choices from a magic connoisseur.” – Chris Wood

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