This routine is a combination of three coin effects: (1) a penetration; (2) a unique appearance which can be repeated ad infinitum; (3) a final disappearance. The heart of the routine is the mysterious appearance of a coin in a handkerchief, using a move attributed to Jimmy Hume. (Austin was shown the move by Rick Johnsson.)40
We saw Larry perform this routine at the 1970 Southeastern Convention. He not only puzzled everyone, but Paul Diamond, weighed down with his gaffed coins, was convinced that Austin was using a fantastic, new, gaffed coin. The entire impression of this routine is strong. This is mentioned for the usual reason. There is often an incredible disparity between how an effect looks in competent hands and how it reads as lackluster exposition.
Effect: A coin is tossed into the air, then dropped into the pocket. The coin penetrates the pocket. It is apparently placed into a handkerchief for safe-keeping. Actually, the spectator sees the coin go into the magician's pocket, but when the handkerchief is shown, the coin is "there"
40 This later upset Rick Johnsson because he showed it to Larry Austin in strictest confidence and did not at the time want this technique tipped.
or to have magically reappeared. This sequence is repeated several times. Finally, the coin disappears completely.
Requirements: (1) Two matching half dollars, which are placed in your right trouser pocket. (2) Your jacket should have an outside, breast pocket. (3) A white pocket handkerchief.
Method: Reach into your pocket, classic palm one half-dollar, and bring out the second halfdollar at your fingertips. Rest the half dollar on your forefinger. (Fig. 1) Flip it into the air with the aid of your thumb and a slight upward arm motion. Say, "A little thing using a half-dollar." If you are right-handed, your right side should be toward the audience so that the palmed half-dollar does not show.
Catch the half dollar on the base of your second and third fingers, push it onto your forefinger with your thumb, and flip it again. This should convince onlookers that you have only one coin in your hand. Hold the coin between the tips of your right thumb and first finger with the other three fingers out of the way. Then hold the trouser pocket open with your left forefinger. (Fig. 2) You may need to rotate your hips slightly to the left.
Say, "If we take a half dollar, drop it into the pocket, and count one, two, three, we find that the half-dollar, just like all money, has a tendency to burn a hole in my pocket." Drop the coin into your pocket and with a smooth, flowing action, drop your right hand down the outside of your pant leg to the bottom of the pocket. On the way down, the palmed coin is released and allowed to drop into your right fingertips.
Grab a piece of the pants material with your right thumb and forefinger, forming a "tuck-under" with all four fingers. Release the grip of the material with your right forefinger and pivot the coin into view with your right middle finger. (Fig. 3) Do not allow your right middle finger to show. Nobody should know that this finger is actually controlling the coin.
Take the coin with your left forefinger and thumb and toss it, spinning it side over side, into your right hand. Say, "But it just so happens that I've come specially prepared for this emergency situation, for I always carry with me a 'portable piggy bank'." Take out a handkerchief from your left jacket pocket and with your right hand drape it diagonally over your left hand and forearm. Continue: "Whenever I have a half-dollar that wants to burn a hole in my pocket, I always take the half-dollar and deposit it in my 'portable piggy bank', where it will be safe...as safe as Wells Fargo."
Holding the coin between your right thumb and middle finger, run the coin through your left hand as your left fingers close, thus making a "pocket fold" in the handkerchief. This "pocket fold" apparently contains the coin. Actually, the coin is visually and openly retained by your right thumb and middle finger as your right forefinger points in and out toward the (empty) handkerchief. (Fig. 4)
Very casually place your right hand and the coin into your right pants pocket (as if it meant nothing) and immediately put the coin into a classic palm position. Say, "However, the next day my wife comes along and she wants to go on a shopping spree. So, the first thing she does is ease on down to the bank and withdraw my half dollar." Bring your right hand out of your pocket (containing the palmed coin) and grasp the corner of the handkerchief on the left forearm with your right thumb and first finger. (Fig. 5)
With in and out (forward and backward) jerks on the handkerchief with your right hand, the coin is released from its palmed position. Inertia will propel the coin into the "pocket" of the handkerchief formed by your left hand. It is important that on the first few jerks that the handkerchief be restrained by your tightly closed left hand. Then, on one of the quick downward strokes of your right hand, the palmed coin is released. Your left hand simultaneously opens slightly—just enough to receive the coin, then closes quickly and tightly after it receives the coin.
Your right hand continues tugging on the handkerchief until it is pulled taut, forcing the coin into view. (Fig. 6) During the tugging action of your right hand on the hanky, the coin is actually "shot" into the handkerchief's pocket. The coin travels so fast and is covered by the jerks of the handkerchief that, with practice, the coin can be shot from a distance of six inches without being seen. Practice your aim and timing in this move and beware of wrist watches and finger rings that might produce a tell-tale noise, causing the coin to "talk."
Pick up the coin with your right thumb and forefinger and display it. Say, "So there I am, bank account...zero. But I work hard for a week and earn another fifty cents... I'm a magician you know! The first thing I do is take my half dollar and deposit it in the bank where it will be safe... safe as Wells Fargo." Repeat the actions just explained.
Continue: "Of course, the next day my wife comes along and wants to go on another shopping spree. So, she eases on down to the bank and sweet-talks the teller into giving her my fifty cents." Repeat the actions that accompany this patter, then add: "So there I am, bank account, zero. Of course, right about now you probably don't know what you've seen... because you see..." Blow on your closed right fist and finish the patter line: "... there was never any half dollar!"
Holding the coin between your right forefinger and middle finger, with your palm downwards and the majority of the coin to the back-side of your fingers, display it. Then proceed to perform the back thumb-palm explained in Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, p. 8. Open the fingers of your right hand, disclosing that the coin has apparently disappeared. Say, ".and there's nothing over here!"
Place the handkerchief from its position on the left hand over onto the right hand, showing that the left hand is also empty. Say, "But the next time I'm in this area, remind me to show you a little thing with a handkerchief. You know.where you just give it a tug and a half-dollar comes out. I think you might like it!" Turn your right hand palm downwards as the handkerchief is draped over your left hand again. Grasp the coin into a "pocket" of the handkerchief with your left hand. The position now should look like the one depicted in Figure (7), except in this case the handkerchief "pocket" actually contains a coin and the right hand is empty.
Now your right hand can openly and deliberately tug and jerk on the handkerchief corner as shown in (5) and the half dollar will reappear by being forced out and into view. (Fig. 6)
Say, "You have to remember, however, that easy-come, easy-go and if you aren't careful with your money and don't hold onto it as tightly as you can, you'll discover someday that your last half-dollar has disappeared forever!" Hold the coin between your left thumb, forefinger, and middle finger and hold a corner of the handkerchief between your right thumb and forefinger.
Stroke the coin beneath the handkerchief until it comes out and into view at the other end. Repeat this action. On the third time, execute the well-known vanish from Bobo's coin book. ("With a Handkerchief'—Number One, pp. 53-55, The New Modern Coin Magic). Since this is a complete coin vanish, the sleeves can be shown empty. There is a definite advantage if you are wearing short sleeved shirts.
September 7, 1970
Was this article helpful?
Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.