Ringing The Change

David calls this his "Bell Coin Trick." It is not a feature routine, nor an opening effect. It is an interlude piece for a coin routine. Despite its brevity, this effect is typical of the charm and novelty with which David invests his coin magic.

You will need a small round bell such as are commonly found on or in pet toys or Christmas ornaments. Find one that measures only one-half inch to three-quarters of an inch in diameter. These bells have a little metal loop at their top to attach them to the toy or ornament. Through this loop you must feed about a one-inch length of good cloth or fabric tape. Fold the tape double onto itself, sticky side to sticky side, once it is through the bell's loop. This creates a sturdy half-inch tab by which the bell may be held. See Figure 1. Place this bell in your right jacket pocket.

Also required is a Franklin half dollar. This half prominently bears a figure of the Liberty Bell on its back.

When ready to perform this piece, casually reach into your jacket pocket and palm the bell by clipping the cloth tab between the tips of the right first and second fingers. The bell should hang just behind the insides of the fingers. By keeping the right thumb pressed lightly on the bell it will not jingle prematurely. When the bell is securely clipped in place, remove the hand from the pocket. This procuring of the bell is, of course, done under cover of the reaction of relaxation that follows the preceding effect.

The left hand picks up the Franklin half (which has been in play in an earlier trick) and displays it at the fingertips as the right hand is coming from the pocket with the bell palmed. Transfer the coin to the right fingertips, held mainly between the forefinger and thumb as in Figure 2. Be sure the coin is held with the Liberty Bell toward the spectators.

Make some mention of this unique symbol on the Franklin half dollars and hold the coin up to your right ear. Shake it gently. It rings! Look at the coin in astonishment and shake it again. Everyone can hear it.

At this point you can hold the coin to a spectator's ear and let him hear the bell ring if you like. Just take care not to flash the bell gimmick as you do this. It is really rather well covered by the posture of the hand.

Ask the spectator to hold out his hand and let the half fall from your fingers into it. Place your right thumb on the bell gimmick to dampen its ringing. Then drop the right hand to your side if standing, your lap or the table if seated.

Or you may prefer to transfer the coin from your right hand to your left before giving it to the spectator. The bell is pocketed at the first off-beat moment.

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