Shelled Folded and Hooked

John Ramsay's "Hanging Coins" plot is one of the neo-classics of coin magic. Here is my very simple and straightforward handling of this effect.

Requirements and preparation: You will need a folding coin (folder), an expanded shell to match and some double-stick scotch tape. You'll also require three matching regular coins, a banker's clasp, some electrical tape and a large safety pin. If you do not like or have the ability to sleeve, you'll need a topit.

Put a small piece of the tape in the shell. Fold the ends of the banker's clasp back so that they are even with the top or "bend" of the clasp, and wrap the bent sections onto their respective sides of the clip with the electrical tape (photo 202). Slide the safety pin through the bend at the top and pin this to the inside of your jacket, just above the hemline on your right side.

Insert the three normal coins into the clip (photo 203).

Put the folder on top of the shell, placing them in your left side jacket pocket.

Method and performance: As you remark that you have created an interesting way to save money, reach into your left pocket and remove the shell and folder, keeping your fingers cupped so nobody has a clear view of what's in your hand. Both hands move toward the center of your body. As they do, the left thumb pulls the right side of the folder to the left on top of the center portion, pinning it there as it slides the folder to the left across the shell (photo 204).

As the hands meet, the right hand takes the shell and sets it on the jagged right edge of the folder, immediately taking both coins by their edges between the right thumb and forefinger (in French Drop position) and displaying them as three coins (photo 205).

This entire process happens in about a second, and should appear that you merely removed the coins from the pocket and transferred them to the right hand.

Explain that you have invented "invisible skyhooks." "I'll give you a quick demonstration. I've got several right here." Reach into your left pants pocket. As you bring your hand back out, stop suddenly, the hand still halfway in the pocket, and widen your eyes as you go up on your tiptoes. "Whoa! Gotta be careful with these hooks!" Bring the hand out and open it, "displaying" three invisible hooks.

Photo 202

Photo 203

Photo 204

Photo 206

Photo 207

Photo 208

Pretend to place the hooks in the air in a row in front of you, just above your eye level.

Apparently take one coin from your right hand. Really, your palm down left hand moves to the right, fingers covering the stack (photo 206).

Your left thumb secretly pivots the left two portions of the folder to the right, flattening the folder (photo 207) and then the left hand moves away as if it holds a coin. The right hand remains motionless, and as the left hand moves away, it is clear that the right holds only two coins.

"You just hang the coin on the hook and it stays there until you need it." Keep the back of the hand toward the audience as you move toward the first "hook." Act as if you are hanging the coin on it and then open the hand and drop it, palm up, revealing that it no longer holds a coin.

"The neat thing is that, when the coin hangs on the invisible hook, the coin becomes invisible as well. It's a theft-proof system!" As you speak, the palm down left hand returns to the right to take the next coin. As before, your left fingers cover the stack. This allows your thumb to secretly slide the folder under the shell and press it upward, causing the folder to adhere to the tape (photo 208). The left hand moves away as if it holds a coin and the right hand remains, very fairly and obviously holding only one coin. Pretend to place the second coin on the second skyhook and then show the left hand obviously empty.

For the third and final coin, the right hand moves to the left hand, either topiting the coin or actually putting it in the left hand which then sleeves it (or you could do the pumpkin seed vanish into the sleeve or between the buttons of your shirt—see Bobo's The New Modern Coin Magic). The left hand mimes holding the coin as the right hand gestures, casually allowing everyone to see it is empty. The left hand acts out hanging the coin on the third hook. Brush your palms together and then gesture, showing both sides of both hands.

"There's only one problem. You have to remember where the hooks are! Let's see, one was there, one there and one there." The right finger points to the hook on the right and then drops to your side as the left finger points to center hook and then to the left hook. Meanwhile, steal the three coins out of the clip in right finger palm

"Or was it there?" Point further to your right with your right index finger, the coins hidden in Ramsay Subtlety (photo 210).

"Just to be safe..." Make a sweeping motion across the "row of hooks" with your right hand, closing it into a fist and allowing the coins to clink together. Drop the hand and open it slowly to reveal the three coins.

Pocket the coins as you say, "Now that I've demonstrated them, who wants to buy some? They're a buck each. Now where did I put the rest of them?" Look all around you as if trying to spot invisible skyhooks


As an alternative to sleeving or using a topit to ditch the shelled folder, you could use a tie servant or breast pocket vanish (see New Modern Coin Magic for the latter).

If you prefer, do a false transfer and an acquitment (I do Bob Kohler's from John Bannon's book, Smoke and Mirrors). Then hang the imaginary coin on the imaginary hook (imagine!). Use the Malini (Kaps) Subtlety if the coin is classic palmed (page 47) or the Ramsay Subtlety if it's finger palmed (page 13) to ostensibly show the dirty hand empty. After appropriate time misdirection, produce the palmed coin. As you do, steal the other coins (you would only need two in this case) in the other hand and then produce them to end.

Photo 210

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