Switching the coin

The Bent Coin

In this routine, you need to switch the borrowed coin twice. One of them, which is bent, is in your left jacket pocket. The other is in your right jacket pocket along with a magnifying glass.

After you take the coin from the spectator with your left hand, take the magnifying glass and your coin out of your pocket with your right hand. Immediately pretend to take the spectator's coin from your left hand with your right hand, to hand it and the magnifying glass to the spectator so he can look at the date and remember it. Retain the spectator's actual coin in your left hand. Allow the left hand and its concealed coin to fall casually to your side.

Ask the spectator to look at the coin and call out the date. At that point, you can place the spectator's coin into your left jacket pocket and take the bent coin out of it. After the spectator has told you the date, take the magnifier back and place it into your trousers pocket. Then take the coin from him in the right hand, hold it up for a moment to show it to the audience, and apparently place it into your left hand using the A1 Baker coin switch.

Now, the left hand shows the bent coin to the audience, 22 and the right hand goes into the right trousers pocket, leaves the other coin behind, and brings out three crayons or grease pencils.23 Now the routine continues as indicated in the presentation.

22 The coin is only slightly bent. The audience is not supposed to be aware of the bend in the coin at this point in the routine. BP

23 Permanent felt tip markers, such as 'Sharpie' markers would work well here, too. BP

In the earlier version of the routine, I held the coin and had the spectator color its edge. This posed a problem because, sometimes the spectator wanted to hold the coin himself. This would allow him to notice the bend in the coin. Now, I hold the crayons in front of him on my open hand, and I allow him to choose a color and a symbol. Then draw the chosen symbol on the coin using the chosen color. Then I hold it up to show the audience the identifying mark. The bend is not heavy enough to be noticed.

Meanwhile, you have taken a small bag out of your pocket. Place the coin into it, close the bag and place it into the chest.

(I use a one handed coin switch24 to change the oins. I described this switch in Der Wahrtraum. I will pare you from learning this switch. Remember: The :ss the audience is aware that you can perform »leight of hand, the less you have to fear that they will discover your methods. They will also find your performance as a mentalist more believable. Always bear this in mind - mentalism is the most mature style of a magical performance.)

The A1 Baker Coin Switch

This sleight is universally useful and indispensable for coin magic. You can practice it while you are riding, walking, watching television, or while you are doing almost anything else, without one thing interfering with the other. You should learn to do it from either hand to the other. It does not require any more effort than learning to do it in only one direction.

24 This switch is basically the DeManche coin change, which is described on p. 153 of The Modern Conjuror by C. Lang Nell and on p. 292 of the Firming edition of Magic Without Apparatus by Camllle Gaultier, translated by lean Hugard. BP

It should be understood that any coin switch may be used in our routine. I am simply showing you a standard sleight that can also be practiced with billets and other objects. You can do it right under the noses of the spectators, if you know how to do it. If you do not know any switches, you can begin with this one. I know a prominent mentalist who uses only the so-called A1 Baker switch when he is doing his billet vork. I will show you how it is done.

The chest is on your left. The spectator who lends rou the coin should sit in the middle or on the right, iold your coin in the left hand in a finger palm posi-ion, resting on the central sections of the ring and niddle fingers.

Take the coin from the spectator at your right inger tips. The coin is held in place with the right humb in such a way that it can be drawn down into lie same position as the coin in the left hand. Take a :ouple of steps backwards toward your table. At the same time, apparently transfer the borrowed coin to he left hand to place it into the chest.

Actually, as you step backwards and the hands ipproach one another, slide the coin in the right hand nto the finger palm position and the one in the left land up to the tips of the fingers. Timing is everything Lere. Practice this in front of a mirror. If you do it cor-ectly, you will fool yourself! If your table is to the ight, it is understood that you would do the whole peration in the opposite direction.

The A1 Baker switch:

The coin to be switched is passed from right to left.

The A1 Baker switch:

The coin to be switched is passed from right to left.

The Glass Miracle

You say that you knew this one! Oh, you didn't know it? And then you want to say that you are up to date on magical literature! "Prince Rupert's Drops" actually were mentioned in a magic book from 1713, although they were not explained. See for yourself.

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Caption under drawing from 1713 edition of German magic book, "The Book of Natural Magic":

"As soon as one breaks the tiniest fragment off the point, then it will break into more than a hundred thousand pieces in the blink of an eye, and nobody will know where this piece of glass has gone so quickly."

Afterwards, they were forgotten. What could you do with this? How would you sell the effect?

In 1983 Ray Piatt sent me a large version of these drops. I dreamed about them again and found "The Interrupted Dream" ideal for the presentation.

I had the idea of placing the bent coin into a small plastic bag, which has the advantage of making the bend in the coin almost indetectable. I knew that the glass drop belonged in the bag with the coin. I am presenting this refinement here in the hope that, one way or another, it will create a source of supply for these drops.25

When the spectator is given the little bag containing the bent and marked coin, say:

"We will place this coin from 1975 into the chest with the rest of the objects. First, I will add a secret testing device, which somehow seems to hover between time frames - a Prince Rupert's drop.

(Open a small jewel box containing the drop.) "The Prince Rupert's Drop was reported in a magic book from 1713. It is the symbol of the eternal combined with the ephemeral. Properly protected, it can endure for centuries, as if it were of pure gold. Not even a blow from a hammer can destroy it.

"But the invisible power of a vibration, which is caused by a certain sound can cause it to disintegrate, as a champagne glass can be shattered by a tone from a violin or the high frequency sound of a jet airplane.

"Thus, the Rupert's drop hovers between the planes of time. So a shift in the layers of time will have an effect upon it. As you see, it can withstand a blow from a hammer. What will happen to it if we send it

25 Viking-Haenchen Mfg., P.O. Box 1778, McAllen, Texas 78502, stocks these. BP

into the realm of dreams along with your coin?"

Place the drop into the bag in such a way that the date of the coin is not covered. Then seal the plastic bag with a paper clip or a rubber band. It is extremely effective to pound on the drop with a little hammer. You won't break it. For safety's sake, I have glued a sheet of rubber to one face of the hammer. First you hit the drop fairly gently with the normal face of the hammer, to produce the sound of iron striking glass. Afterwards pound on it even harder with the rubber face.

At the end of the routine, when the lady takes the bag out of the box, take it from her:

"Did anything happen to it? No...no time warp."

Give the bag containing the coin to the spectator who lent it to you, along with the magnifier.

"Is the date still 1975?"

At this point you are helping him by holding onto the bag. You should also be gripping the tail of the Prince Rupert's drop through the bag, in preparation for breaking it.

"The date is still the same. But shouldn't something have happened to it?"

Then break the tail, and right before the spectator's eyes - magnified by the magnifying glass, the drop will disintegrate. You and the spectator must be standing with your sides toward the audience!

"That was the time warp. The date on the coin has not changed. The teeth of time have tried to take a bite out of it. We appear to have darned hard currency."

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