Sol Stone

If you try this you'll know why I fought for it. You display a silver dollar with a small hole drilled in it near the edge. You drop a toothpick through the hole. You hand the toothpick to the spectator. You cover the hole with your thumb and drag it to the other end of the coin. After you lift your thumb the spectator can drop the toothpick through. Everything is examinable.

To prepare, drill a small hole near the edge of a silver dollar (fig. 454). That illustration shows both sides of the coin - on the back, at the edge opposite the hole, is a small black dot. It's a small circle of electrical tape that Sol cuts out with a hole puncher and simply sticks to the coin. The black dot is obviously the same size as the real hole.

To perform, your left hand holds the coin between thumb (above), and first and second fingers (below) (fig. 455). It's held at the extreme edge so that the hole is nearest you. Your right hand picks up a toothpick and slowly inserts it into the hole (fig. 456). Drop it through, letting it fall onto the table. (If you're standing have a spectator place his hand beneath the coin so the toothpick has somewhere to fall.)

Your right hand picks up the fallen toothpick and moves toward the spectator to hand it to him. As your right hand moves your left hand secretly turns over the coin. (It's not really a secret movement - just something that seems unimportant and goes unnoticed.) In detail: As your right hand moves toward the spectator he's forced to look at it. Simultaneously extend your left second finger beneath the coin (fig. 457). Start turning your left hand over and, at the same time, slide your thumb and first finger over either side of the hole (fig. 458). The real hole, covered by your first finger, is near you - the black dot now visible on the opposite end of the coin. The hole appears exactly where it should - since you've turned your hand over it should be at the opposite end of the coin. The coin's rotation cannot be seen.

Once the spectator has the toothpick turn your right hand palm down and cover the black dot with your right first finger. Your thumb moves beneath the coin, directly beneath your first finger (fig. 459). The coin should be lightly gripped so that you can simultaneously turn both hands palm up while still holding the coin (fig. 460). Note the positions of the hands - both are now palm up, your left thumb covering the real hole, your right thumb covering nothing (but the spectators think that's where the hole is).

Slowly slide your right thumb toward you across the face of the coin, as if dragging the hole beneath it (fig. 461). When it cannot move any farther because of your left thumb start sliding both thumbs toward you, your right thumb covering the spot where your left thumb was (fig. 462). Your left thumb pushes the coin forward so that it's held solely by your right thumb and first finger.

Slowly slide your right thumb toward you across the face of the coin, as if dragging the hole beneath it (fig. 461). When it cannot move any farther because of your left thumb start sliding both thumbs toward you, your right thumb covering the spot where your left thumb was (fig. 462). Your left thumb pushes the coin forward so that it's held solely by your right thumb and first finger.

Your left thumb and first finger grasp the side edge of the coin (exactly as in the beginning) as you lift your right thumb revealing the hole. Allow the spectator to drop the toothpick through.

You can scratch the black dot off with your fingernail as you hand the coin out for examination. Sol simply pockets the coin most of the time.

GEOFFREY LATTA

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