The Astral Coin Rides Again

Effect: This is a most puzzling sequence with a coin and two cards, characterized by an extremely fair looking handling of the props, in which everything is done at the fingertips.

While seated at a table, the performer exhibits two cards on all sides, then lays them down together. He takes a quarter or other small coin from his pocket, displays it, then vanishes it from his hands. When he raises the two cards, the coin is found under them. He covers the coin with one of the cards, while placing the other card some distance away. He then makes the covered coin travel from the one card to the other.

He next covers the coin with both cards, but it does not remain there. Instead it passes through the table, to conclude the routine. Method: Mr. Elmsley's inspiration for this effect was Tan Hock Chuan's "Astral Coin" (ref. Pentagram, Vol. 7, No. 1, Oct. 1952, pp. 1 and 5). The Elmsley method (which owes something to the old Eggs from Handkerchief trick) is exceedingly clever; so much so that, after its publication, at least one dealer marketed a bastardized version of the trick, without a word regar ding its parentage.

Aside from a simple coin vanish, no sleight-of-hand is required, A gimmick must be constructed. It consists of a quarter or other small coin attached by a hair to a playing card. The trick was devised before the ultra-thin threads of today were available. Obviously, these can be substituted for the hair.

The hair measures approximately two inches in length, and, for purposes of invisibility, it should be blond. Glue one end of the hair to one edge of a playing card in the following manner:

With an X-acto knife or razor blade, carefully separate the layers of pasteboard near the center of one side. This separation is not large: less than a quar ter of an inch long and more shallow than a border-width (Figure 179). Squeeze a tiny drop of glue between the separated layers, and with a pin point tease one end of the hair into the slit. Then press the card flat until the glue is dry. A knot in the end of the hair will aid firmer adhesion in the glue. This procedure requires a steady hand, but is not difficult.

Glue the free end of the hair, preferably also knotted, to one side of the coin. When you are finished, the hair, when stretched taut between card and coin, should measure approximately half the width of the card (Figure 180).

For practice, you can merely tape the ends of the hair to a card and coin.

With the gimmick understood, the actions of the trick can now be explained. Besides the card-and-coin gimmick, you require another playing card and a duplicate coin. Carry the latter in your left trousers or coat pocket.

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