I must add that there are, of course, other methods to secretly learn which coin has been removed from the box. In addition to Corinda's electronic approach, there are ways to rig a similar box using magnetism, and/or other similar principles. However, it is possible to perform the above routing without a gaffed box.
Bear in mind that the audience believes that the box contains a large assortment of coins, thanks both to the implications of the size of the box (it is large enough to hold dozens of coins), and your spoken suggestions — that there are various different countries and values represented.
Therefore, you can easily present the effect with an ordinary box — say, one which held cigars. The patter is given as in the original routine. The spectator removes a coin from the box, and holds it in his/her fist. The audience, unable to see into the box, assumes that there were many to choose from.
You now walk over to the box, and openly raise the li(i. Peering inside, you comment, "From these varied possibilities — different countries, different values — you have selected a coin." In the brief moment it takes to say this, you discern which of the four coins is missing. The audience will assume that such a brief glance into the box would not let you know which coin had been taken — after all, who could spot which coin was missing from such a large gathering?
Yes, some few critical spectators may think you have just learned the identity of the chosen coin. Too, the participating spectator is aware of the situation (as he/she knows there are only four coins in the box). However, don't forget that this is a prediction effect. So far as the audience knows, you have already committed yourself in writing to a single outcome. Thus, knowing the chosen coin would be of no apparent help here. The effect perceived by the majority of the audience will be the same as in the version with the Corinda device.
In either case, the true strength of the method lies not in the technical methodology, but rather in what the audience believes they are perceiving. Thus, it is up to the performer, though presentational management, to sell the effect to its best advantage.
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