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Forty Cents – Coin Trick by Frank Lane – Edited by Blifaloo

Forty Cents is what we’ll call this one because we use four dimes. This is really an after dinner trick, but you could use it after breakfast or on a rug, if you have one. It’s the principle of four objects placed in the corners of a napkin or a handkerchief and finally they all reach one corner. Lots of fellows who read this book are magicians who wish to entertain their friends with the minimum of effort in practice and this will suit them to a “T”.

I’ll detail the method I use, as I do this in restaurants just as the check comes. The idea is that you spread out a napkin and place a dime at each corner, or about an inch or an inch and a half in from the corner. Now you take a playing card, or a business card and cover the upper right dime, and taking another dime in the left hand, you reach under the table, hold the edge of the dime against the table with left hand, and then let it bang flat against the table itself, giving the impression that it has gone thru the table, then your right hand lifts up the card and there are TWO dimes, where there was only one a moment before.

Maybe I should tell you that you have an extra dime with a tiny little magicians wax on it, and this is stuck on the face side of the playing card, or as I do, stick it on one side of your business card, because it is more natural to use a business card in a cafe. Looks more impromptu.

When you cover the upper right dime with the card, your second finger releases the waxed dime, as you lay the card down. Now your left hand goes under the table with another one of the dimes, as described above, and as it comes out, the dime is resting on fingers of hand, your right hand picks up card and spectators see the two dimes.- Your right hand goes over dime in left hand, your left hand takes the card with dime underneath, and then transfers the whole business to the right hand, which deposits it again on top of the two dimes.

You repeat this move with the other dimes, and finally you have the four dimes under the one card. You have two methods of getting rid of the other dime, the last one you placed under the table. Either snap it up your left coat sleeve, or allow it to drop into your trousers cuff.

Sometimes I have a little wax in my finger nail of left hand. The first time I go under table with my hand, I deposit the wax there, and when I am ready to get rid of the last dime, I simply stick it to the table. When I go out, I whisper to the waiter that there is an extra dime (yes, extra) stuck under the table, and to go get it. They may think you’re kidding them BUT THEY’LL ALWAYS LOOK.

From “Here’s How” by Frank Lane (1934)

PS: Check your coins to see if you have a rare one.


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