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Michael Rubinstein

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Michael Rubinstein
BornMichael Scott Rubinstein
January 11, 1956
New York City, New York

Michael Rubinstein (b. 1956) began working in New York as a veterinarian while still publishing coin magic in various books and magazines.


Michael Rubinstein, was born in New York in 1956. He became interested in magic when his aunt bought him some magic tricks at the age of nine, but didn't become serious until after someone showed him how to do the French Drop at age fifteen. He got his parents to buy him the Modern Coin Magic book for his birthday and after reading the book cover to cover he began developing his own moves and techniques.

In 1977, Rubinstein moved to Italy to study Veterinary Medicine. It was there that he hooked up with the Italian Magic Organization, and began lecturing, and developing many of the retention techniques that have since defined his style. Rubinstein won first place in the International Magic Congress Close up Competition in Bologna Italy in 1983 (the most important competition in Europe in an off FISM year), and repeated his success by winning first place at the International Close up Competition in St. Vincent in 1984. In 1985 Rubinstein produced the Master Coin Technique video series in Germany, which was later turned into the Encyclopedia of Coin Sleights, sold by L&L. Many famous magicians, like Reed McClintock and Giacomo Bertini, got their start in coin magic by studying these videos. In 1986 with Videonics, Rubinstein released his Knockout Coin Magic video series, which were the first videos to release unpublished material to magic audiences.

After a brief hiatus from magic, Rubinstein came back with a vengeance, forming the The York Coin Magic Seminar with David Roth, Geoff Latta, and Mike Gallo. Their 16 volume 17 disc DVD set, the New York Coin Magic Seminar DVD series, is the biggest collection of coin magic ever produced on DVD, and contains additional contributions from Kainoa Harbottle, Giacomo Bertini, Scotty York, Bob Fitch, Al Schneider, Eric Jones, Bill Citino, Marc DeSouza, Eric DeCamps, Doug Brewer, Vic Trabucco, Scott Robinson, Jean Emmanuel Francis, and Dan Watkins. It has been called by Bill Wells the video Bobo for the 21st century.

Dr. Rubinstein has also published his magical creations in Apocalypse, Richard's Almanac, Magic Magazine, Genii, Looking Glass, Ruminations, Best of Friends II, and Spectacle, as well as many foreigh pubblications, and appeared on the cover of the April 2019 issue of The Linking Ring. Dr.Michael Rubinstein has also appeared on the Coinvention DVD, LVMI 2003 DVD, and the European Coin Magic Symposium DVD set.

Dr. Rubinstein has developed many commcercial effects over the years, that can still be found at many magic dealers. His Rubinstein Rattle Purse is a utility item used by many coin workers. It creates the illusion of coins in an empty purse. Back in the 1980s Rubinstein worked with Art Kahn of Zanadu to produce and sell Voodoo Revelation, a new plot using both coins and cards. At the same time Tannens released Rubinstein’s FUSION, where a penny magically is embedded into a quarter or half dollar. FUSION is still a popular item, as is SMILEYS, where a frown drawn on a coin becomes a smile, then turns into a yellow Smiley face. MIGRATE, is a comedy coins across routine about Bears, using special replica commemorative half dollars or poker chips. In 2022 Dr. Rubinstein released a limited signed and numbered edition of THE OTHER HAND, a close-up version of the routine performed on Penn and Teller: Fool Us.

Dr. Rubinstein has lectured and performed all over the world. He was the guest of Honor at the Second European Coin Magic Symposium, held in Milan, Italy, in 2011, and was a featured performer at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, in February, 2016. In 2018, Dr. Rubinstein appeared on season five of Penn and Teller: Fool US, performing one of his signature effects, Twilight Zone Wild Coin. The episode, entitled, "The Fool Us Zone", was named after his routine. Dr. Rubinstein appeared again in 2022 (season 9) in the episode, Magic Socks Big Time. He performed an original routine called "The Other Hand", created to honor the memory of David Roth. In 2020 Dr. Rubinstein put out his long awaited book, RUBINSTEIN COIN MAGIC, the biggest book on coin magic since Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and the most important since David Roth's Expert Coin Magic. Dr. Michael Rubinstein currently lives in New York with his wife Karen, Spike the cat, and Angie the wonder dog.


  • First place in close-up at the International Magic Congress in Bologna Italy (1983)
  • First place in close-up at the International Magic Congress in St. Vincent (1984)
  • Creativity Award at the Magicians Alliance of Eastern States Convention (1986)
  • Guest of Honor at the 2nd European Coin Magic Symposium in Milan, Italy (2011)
  • The Linking Ring Award of Excellence for the One Man Parade (April 2019)

Books and Lecture Notes

  • Intermediate and Advanced Coin Technique, in English, Italian, and French (1982) .
  • Creative Coin Magic Lecture Notes 1 (1983)
  • Creative Coin Magic Lecture Notes 2 (1985)
  • Inside Street Magic (1985)
  • Creative Coin Magic Lecture Notes 3 (1990) - note: originally published as Magic Castle Lecture Notes in 1986
  • La Bibbia della Micromagia (Italy) (1985)
  • Coinvention Lecture Notes (2003)
  • Secret Stuff Notes (2004)
  • Coin Magic European Lecture Tour (2010)
  • Twilight Zone Wild Coin manuscript (2018)
  • Rubinstein Coin Magic (2020)

DVDs and Downloads

  • 1. The Encyclopedia of Coin sleights Volume 1,2,3
  • 2. Knockout Coin Magic 3 dvd set on one disc
  • 3. Coinvention DVD
  • 4. LVMI DVD
  • 5. Creative Coin Magic 1986 Lecture DVD
  • 6. Creative Coin Magic 2004 Lecture DVD
  • 7. New York Coin Magic Seminar DVD series volume 1-16 (download available at ).
  • 8. European Coin Magic Symposium DVD series volumes 2,3,4
  • 9. Penguin Live lecture DVD and download (2013)
  • 10. Penguin Live Lecture #2 download (2016)
  • 11. At the Table Lecture DVD and download (2017)


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