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Tricks With Coins
Coin tricks are always interesting because everyone likes money. For these tricks you should use half-dollar size coins, unless you are specifically told to use another size. If you wish, you can buy "palming coins" in a magic store. Most magicians use these for tricks done on the stage, when the audience can't see them closely. You might also use a "lucky piece" which lots of people carry. You could tell your audience that the coin, besides being lucky, has other magic properties.
THE FRENCH DROP
This is not really a trick in itself, but is the basis for many coin tricks. You can also use this principle for small objects other than coins, such as balls or keys. The French Drop is really an easy way to make a coin vanish. You seem to pass a coin from one hand to your other one, while really keeping it in the first hand.
Hold the coin by its edges in your left hand between the tips of your fingers and thumb. The flat side of the coin should be parallel to your palm. Point the fingers of your left hand slightly upward so that the flat side of the coin is toward the audience. Hold your left hand still and move your right hand, palm down, toward your left hand as if you were going to take the coin out of your left hand. Your right thumb should go under the coin and your fingers above it, which hides the coin momentarily. When the coin is hidden, release it and allow it to fall back into your left hand where it should rest on the second joints of your left fingers. Hold it for a moment with your left thumb to keep it from falling.
Now bring your right thumb up along your left fingertips. Close your right hand as if it held the coin. Move your right hand up and away from your left. As you do this, drop your left hand (with the coin) casually to your side. Be sure to keep your eyes on your right hand. Never look at your left hand. This is what magicians call "misdirection." Now get the coin into the finger-palm position. See Palming, page 9.
The movement of seeming to take the coin from your left hand should be one continuous motion. Don't hesitate, except just long enough to seem to take the coin into the right hand. This will require some practice, but it is not hard to do, and will be worth the trouble to learn. Now, with your right hand held at eye-level, rub your thumb and fingers together. It will look as if the coin dissolved. In some other tricks, you will learn how to get rid of the coin in your left hand, so that you may show both hands are empty.
COIN THROUGH THE HAT
Place an empty glass on a table and on top of it place a hat with the open side up. You will toss a coin into the hat. The coin will appear to penetrate the hat and can be heard falling into the glass.
You will need two duplicate coins (the audience must see only one), a glass tumbler, and a hat. (A derby is best, but any man's hat can be used. Borrow one from someone in the audience.) Palm a coin in the finger-palm position in the right hand. See Palming, page 9. Show the glass and pick up the, hat in your left hand and place it crown down in the right hand right on top of the coin. Now allow the coin to slip down to the tips of your right fingers under cover of the hat. Using both hands, place the hat on top of the glass, so that the coin is held on the edge of the glass by the weight of the hat.
Pick up the other coin, the duplicate coin, in the left hand, perform the French Drop (see page 28) and retain the coin in the left hand. Make a throwing motion toward the hat with the right hand, gently touching the rim of the hat, and the coin will fall into the glass. Pick up the hat in the right hand and at the same time slip the coin from your left hand into your pocket. Now place the hat aside and pick up the glass. Let the coin in the glass fall into the hands of a spectator. It will look as though you caused the coin to travel through the hat.
COIN THROUGH THE NAPKIN
You cause a borrowed coin to penetrate a borrowed napkin or handkerchief.
Borrow a coin and have the owner mark it if he wishes.
Hold the coin vertically by its flat side between thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Place the napkin over it so that the coin is under its center. Under cover of the napkin get a small fold of the napkin between your thumb and the coin. Now with your right hand lift the part of the napkin closest to the audience and drape it back on top of the other half, over your left arm, and show that the coin is still there. With a snap of the left wrist, cause both halves of the napkin to fall forward while still holding the coin and the napkin, in the center, in the left hand.
Twist the napkin to give the illusion that the coin is wrapped securely in the center of the napkin. Exert a little pressure on the edge of the coin and it will rise through the napkin. It looks as if it is slowly penetrating the napkin. Hand the coin back to the spectator and show that the napkin is unharmed.
You count a number of coins into the hand of a spectator and apparently "catch" three coins from the air, and place them in the spectator's hand. When he opens his hand, he has three more coins than when he started.
You will need thirteen coins and a magazine the size of the Reader's Digest.
Before you start the trick, secretly place three coins under the cover of the magazine, so that they are hidden. Hand the ten coins to a spectator and ask him to count them out loud, one at a time, and place them on the magazine. Hold the magazine so that the coins will not fall off. Stress the fact that you are using the magazine so that you do not touch the coins. After he has counted the coins onto the magazine, have him cup his hands together to catch the coins. Slightly curl the magazine to make a little trough, and pour the coins into his hands. (Of course the three duplicate coins that you hid under the magazine cover will fall into his hands, too.) Tell him to close his hands tightly so that nothing can get in or out.
Reach up into the air and pretend to grab an invisible coin. Hold it up as if you really see it, and ask the spectator if he can see the coin. Make a throwing motion toward his hand as if you were throwing the coin into his hand. Ask him if he felt the coin go into his hands. Ask him, too, if the coins are getting heavier. Repeat the throwing business two more times. Now ask him how many coins he had to start with. He will say ten. Have him open his hands and count the coins onto the magazine again. He will now have thirteen.
If you wish, you may use borrowed coins. Have a spectator count the coins from his pocket onto the magazine. If he has over seven coins, go on with the trick. If he has less than seven add three from your pocket. The reason for this is that if he has just a few coins to start with, he will be able to tell that you have added coins from the magazine. If you decide to use borrowed coins, have a penny, a nickel, and a dime concealed in the magazine at the beginning of the trick.
THE WARM COIN
You borrow several coins. One is scratched to mark it from the rest. The coins are placed in a hat and mixed. Without looking, you are able to reach in and produce the marked coin.
First, stick a small pellet of beeswax on the tip of your thumbnail. Collect the coins and have someone select one, and make a mark or scratch on it for identification. As you take the coin back, press the wax to the edge of the coin and drop it into the hat. Drop the other coins in and have someone mix them by shaking the hat. Then have him hold the hat up above your eye-level so you cannot see into it. Reach in and feel for the wax. Take out the coin and scrape the wax off with your thumbnail before handing it to the spectators for identification.
NOVEL COIN VANISH
A coin, placed in a fold of your trousers, vanishes mysteriously.
Take a coin, either real or fake, and attach a footlong piece of strong thin elastic to it by boring a small hole in the coin. Loop the other end of the elastic through a safety pin. Pin this to the inside of your right coat sleeve so that when the coin hangs down, it will be 2 or 3 inches above the cuff. Place a coin of the same size in your right trouser pocket.
Get the coin from your sleeve and hold it with your right thumb and forefinger, so that the elastic is hidden. Show the coin and place it on your right trouser leg right over the coin in your pocket.
Now with your left hand grasp the cloth of your trousers including the coin in your pocket. Fold the cloth over the coin on the elastic so that it is hidden. Release the pressure on your right hand and the coin will fly up your sleeve.
Have the spectator feel the coin through the cloth of your trousers or tap it with a pencil or key. It will appear as if the coin were still there, but actually it is the coin hidden in your pocket which he feels. Brush your right hand over the spot where the coin is and release the cloth with your left hand. Immediately show both hands empty. With a little practice in front of your mirror, this will be smooth and mysterious.
THE DISSOLVING COIN
A spectator drops a coin in a glass of water while it is covered with a handkerchief. When the handkerchief is removed, the coin has vanished.
Hold a glass about half full of water on your left palm. Have someone place a coin in the center of a handkerchief and then pick up the coin through the handkerchief. Tell him to drape the handkerchief over the glass and drop the coin into the water on your signal. As he does this, tip the glass toward you so that the coin strikes the edge of the glass and falls into your fingers. The noise sounds as if the coin fell into the glass. Now have the spectator let go of the handkerchief and as you remove it from the glass, allow the coin to slide directly under the center of the glass. Remove the handkerchief and allow him to look directly into the glass and see that the coin is still there.
Cover the glass with the handkerchief again and pick up the glass with your right hand, through the handkerchief. Turn your left hand over so that the coin does not show and finger-palm it (see Palming, page 9). Then, still holding the coin in your left hand, lift the handkerchief from the glass and show that the coin has disappeared.
A QUICKIE COIN VANISH
You vanish a coin by rubbing it into the back of your left hand.
Show the coin to the audience, then place it on the back of your left hand, and rub it from side to side with your right hand. Pretend to drop the coin accidentally on the floor, apologize, and bend over to pick it up. As you start to bring the coin up drop it into your right trouser cuff. Keep bringing your hand up as if it held the coin. Pretend to place the coin on the back of your left hand again and continue rubbing. Now show that the coin has vanished. When picking up the coin, do not pause as you drop it in the cuff. It must look like one smooth operation.
ELBOW COIN VANISH
A coin is rubbed into your elbow where it vanishes. This is best done while you are seated at a table. Drop a coin onto the table and say that it is a magic coin. Bend your left arm and rest your elbow on the table, holding your hand up by the side of your head. Pick up the coin in your right hand and start rubbing it into your left elbow. Rub a bit and then drop the coin onto the table. Pick up the coin with your left hand and pretend to place it into your right. Bend your left arm again and as you start to rub with your right hand casually place the coin in your collar with your left hand.
Remove your left hand from your collar so that the audience will not become suspicious, then slowly open your right hand and show that the coin has vanished.
THE COIN IN THE PAPER
A coin, folded in a piece of paper, vanishes when the paper is torn open.
Use a piece of stiff paper, about 3 by 5 inches. Lay the coin in its center, and fold the paper in half over the coin so that the narrow edges meet. Now make sure the coin is against the fold. Crease the paper down and fold it over once again so that the coin is lifted when you fold the paper, and the ends meet again. You should now have a space between the coin and the fold. In other words you roll the coin in the paper, but not too tightly, as the coin must be able to slide through the "tube" of paper.
Now turn the packet over so that the ends are on top of the bundle. Let someone feel the paper to see that the coin is actually there. Hold the packet vertically in your left hand, and fold the top part down over top of the coin. Release the pressure on the coin and let it slip down into your hand. Now fold the bottom part of the bundle up and over the spot where the coin should be. Take the packet into your right hand, and drop your left hand to your side where you slip the coin into your pocket. Now, with bath hands, tear the paper in half, showing the coin is gone. You may reproduce it in a handkerchief, using the method shown in the next trick.
COIN IN THE KNOT
A handkerchief is tied in a knot, and when it is untied by a spectator, a coin is found to be inside. You may use this method to reproduce a coin which you have made vanish by any of the above methods. Palm a coin in the finger-palm position, and borrow a handkerchief. Allow the coin to slide to the tips of the fingers and hold it with the thumb and finger tips. Fold the handkerchief by the two opposite corners, and place the coin at one of the corners, beneath the folds, and hold it in place with your thumb. Pull the handkerchief taut, and twirl it so that it becomes like a hollow rope or tube. Bring the corners together and hold them with one hand. Release the pressure on the coin and it will roll into the folds of the handkerchief and stay at the center.
Shake the handkerchief once or twice to be sure the coin is at the loop. Tie a knot, and hand the handkerchief to a spectator to hold. Make a magical pass towards the handkerchief and ask the spectator to untie the knot. He will find the coin inside.
COIN IN THE HANDKERCHIEF
You hold a handkerchief draped over your hand and ask someone to place a coin on it. When you shake out the handkerchief, the coin has vanished.
Double a small rubber band over your fingers and thumb, and place a man's large handkerchief over your hand. Poke a small pocket in the center of the hand kerchief to receive the coin. The small well or pocket in the handkerchief will be directly over the palm of your hand and the rubber band will be around, but not touching, the handkerchief. When the coin is dropped on the handkerchief, release the rubber band. This will hold the coin, and when you shake out the handkerchief, the coin will be bundled up in the center of it and will not show.