Mark Levy

Here's an offbeat mental item with coins. You write a prediction on a piece of paper and give it to a spectator to hold. You spill a glassful of pennies of all different dates on the table for them to examine, scooping them back into the glass afterward. The glass is given to the spectator, who selects one of the pennies, the date of which matches your prediction. Everything is examinable.

It's clever. You need two duplicate glasses. Fill one with about twenty-five pennies of the same date (say, 1974) and place it between your knees. You must be seated at a table opposite the audience. Take the other glass and fill it with about twenty-five pennies of various dates. Put four pennies with 1974 dates on top of them and you're ready to perform.

Display the glass filled with pennies and place it on the table. Write 1974 in large numerals on a piece of paper and fold it several times. Hand it to a spectator for safekeeping, asking him to hold it in full view at all times.

Pick up the glass and spill the pennies onto the table from left to right (fig. 827). You must keep the four 1974 pennies on the left as shown. Transfer the glass to your left hand and spread the pennies out with Your right hand.

After the spectators have looked at the pennies to make sure most of the dates are different your left hand moves the glass to just below the table edge while your right hand scoops the pennies into it (fig. 828). Scoop up all but the four 1974 pennies. As you lean forward to reach for them at the outer left your right arm will completely obscure your left hand from the audience (fig. 829). Your left hand quickly switches glasses, placing the one it holds between your legs and grasping the one with all 1974 pennies. It moves upward to the table edge as your right hand sweeps the four 1974 pennies into it. Raise the glass above the table.

Hand the glass to a spectator and ask him to hold it beneath the table and, without looking, select a penny. He's then to hand the glass to you beneath the table. take it with your right hand and, as you bring it up on your side, switch it for the one with all different pennies. Let him read the date on his penny out loud, and then open your prediction which, needless to say, matches.

This clever impromptu routine uses only four coins, three silvers and a copper, and can be done either sitting or standing (for teaching's sake I'll assume that you're standing at a table).

To start, all four coins are on the table. Pick up the three silvers with your right hand and do Roth's technique for Classic Palming One Coin of a Group, then turn your hand palm up to display the coins, one of which is in classic palm position. Turn your hand over retaining one coin in palm and catching the other two at your fingertips in a stack. Without pausing toss them into your left hand, which immediately closes into a fist around them. Turn your left fist palm down.

As attention is momentarily on your left hand your right hand settles into a relaxed fist and allows the classic palmed coin to drop to fingertip rest. Lower your right hand over the copper coin that's on the table and, as you pick it up, do Geoffrey Latta's One-Hand Turnover Switch. As you straighten your right fingers during the switch move your left fist beneath them. When you slap them down, they go onto the back of your left fist (fig. 830). I'll assume you've flipped back to Geoff's section and reminded yourself of his handling of the switch. When you do it here your thumb must drag the copper coin farther up along the side of your first finger than it normally would - that's necessary for the loading move (which is Ross Bertrans) which follows (fig. 831). (A variation of L'Homme Masque's Load.)

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