Copyright © 2005 by Ron Bauer
This is not only a unique handling for the Copper/Silver Transposition with a
penny and a silver dollar, but it's surely the most startling way of presenting
it. There seems to be no trickery because the misdirection for switching one
coin for another is integrated into the easy to follow presentation. Ron Bauer
kept CENT-sitivity! a closely guarded secret for over thirty-five years, and
avoided using it if any magicians were around. Now, though, he is releasing it
FREE for the magic community to
amuse and amaze their informal
PROPS (FIG. 1)
- Silver Dollar
- Dollar-size Copper Penny
- Copper penny
- A small bag or coin purse
- Some pocket change
- Magician's Wax
NOTES ON PROPS
If you can get one, I recommend you use either a 1878 or 1921 Morgan dollar.
These are the first and the last years of minting the 90% SILVER (and 10%
licorice) coins. I prefer these because of the story possibilities, e.g., "This is
one of the last of the Morgan dollars. In 1921, the government changed to
the Peace dollar." Who knows. Someone might even be interested in such trivia.
Actually, I really can't imagine that using a Peace or an Eisenhower dollar
would change the effect.
PREPARATION AND SET-UP
A Morgan silver dollar has extra intrigue value if you carry it in one of those
little gray jewelry pouches designed for small silver items. Whatever size
bag you use, it shouldn't be too large. I use a small drawstring bag with just
enough room to carry all the props including a small container
of magician's wax. Before your performance, you can simply
dump and distribute everything but the Silver Dollar.
The pocket change is made up of five or six small denomination
coins, quarters, nickels, dimes, but only one penny.
Use one of the quarters and the penny to make up the
The penny, by the way, should match the big penny, each
having a patina produced by age and use. It makes a good
contrast to the silver dollar, which should be polished.
Apply some HARD (not soft) magician's wax to about a third
of the penny's surface. (FIG. 2) Attach the waxed section to a
quarter so their edges overlap. (FIG. 3)
Drop this gimmick and the rest of the change into your jacket pocket. I prefer
this to the trouser pocket because it's easier to get at. The wax isn't absolutely
essential to the trick, but it makes the handling much cleaner as you will see.
Finally, drop the BIG PENNY into your right jacket pocket with the rest of the
change. You could isolate it by using your ticket pocket, but it might delay the
"You've heard that the hand is quicker than the eye? Of course it is! The sense
of SIGHT is the EASIEST one to deceive... The sense of TOUCH? That's not so
easy. I don't know whether you know this or not, but at MAGIC SCHOOL we
learn to fool people ONE SENSE at a time... and,
they start us with TOUCH because that's the
HARDEST one to fool... In fact, just to stay in
practice, I still carry my FOOL THE SENSE OF
TOUCH TEST KIT..."
- Show the little bag by swinging it from its
strings. (FIG. 4)
"Interested in seeing how good I'm getting at
this? (PAUSE) Okay. You talked me into it. Here's
something you don't see every day... unless you're
a COIN COLLECTOR, that is..."
- Remove the DOLLAR, and put the bag onto
the table. Place the DOLLAR onto to it for a
nice display. (FIG. 5)
"This is a SILVER DOLLAR... Of course you KNOW
it's a SILVER DOLLAR. You can SEE it. But, you
may or may not be able to recognize it by TOUCH
ALONE... despite its weight and all those beautiful
- Pick up the DOLLAR, and turn it slowly to show
the detail of the engraving work on both sides.
"Before I test you, I want you to hold it in your
hand. Not both hands, just your RIGHT ONE..."
- Display your LEFT hand palm-up to show the spectator what to do.
"Okay. I'm going to place the DOLLAR on your fingers, and I want you to close
your hand like this, and turn it over..."
- As soon as she holds out her palm-up right hand, place the DOLLAR on the
fingers of YOUR palm-up left hand, then close it to show her what she's to do.
"Now, get the FEEL OF IT... The point is to make it part of your SENSORY
MEMORY... The next time I have you hold a coin, you'll
know WITHOUT LOOKING, by TOUCH ALONE, if it's the
SILVER DOLLAR. Right?"
- This time you put the DOLLAR onto HER fingers,
but do it as follows. As you open your left hand,
immediately cover the DOLLAR with your palm-down
right, i.e., screen the DOLLAR from the audience's view
with your right fingers as you slip your right thumb
beneath it so you can pick it up. (FIG. 6) As soon as she
begins to close her fingers around the DOLLAR, assist her in turning it over
"Of course, using just this one coin would be too
easy. I'm going to use TWO COINS, and you're going to tell me which one
is THIS DOLLAR. Now, that might be difficult if I was using TWO SILVER
DOLLARS. So, I won't do that. Give that back, and I'll show you the OTHER
coin we'll be using..."
- As soon as she opens her hand to display the DOLLAR, pick it up the with
your right hand as in Step 5, i.e., cover the DOLLAR with your right fingers as
you slip your right thumb beneath it. Pick it up, and place it on the fingers of
your palm up left hand for display.
"Let's see... I've got some loose change here... I want give you every chance
to keep me from fooling your sense of TOUCH... so,
how about if I use this..."
- Reach into your right pocket, and quickly locate
by touch the Quarter-Penny Assembly. Grab it and
several other coins, and bring them out of your
pocket. Let the audience see the handful of change
in your right hand as you maneuver the penny end
of the Quarter-Penny Assembly to the tips of your
right fingers with your right thumb. (FIG. 7)
- Apparently, push the penny onto the DOLLAR with
your right thumb tip. (FIG. 8) Actually, press its edge
against the center of the DOLLAR while pressing the
quarter against your right fingers. The penny will pop
free. (FIG. 9) As you tap the penny with your left
thumb for emphasis, casually
press it against the DOLLAR
with your left thumb tip so
it will adhere.
"You can tell the difference
between this SILVER DOLLAR and this PENNY. Right?
Of course, that's because you're using the sense of
SIGHT. But I'm going to fool your sense of TOUCH,
not SIGHT. That means NO PEEKING at the coins..."
- Close your left hand over the coins quickly so
nobody notices the penny is stuck to the DOLLAR.
"By the way, you already know what a PENNY feels like. Right? Of course..."
- Casually drop the remaining change into your right jacket pocket secretly
securing the BIG PENNY.
"Okay. Then we're ready to go. Put your RIGHT hand out like this... Just like
you did before..."
- Bring your right hand out of your pocket with the BIG PENNY hidden
behind your fingers clipped between the edges of your first
and fourth fingertips. (FIG. 10) This is like the Front part
of the Front and Back Palm of a coin. Actually, you can just
hold it in place with the tip of your right thumb. Open your
left hand enough so you can pick up the DOLLAR and PENNY
with your right hand. By doing this, you'll
automatically and secretly add the BIG PENNY
to the group. Position your right thumb tip
against the PENNY. (FIG. 11) "Talking" is covered by the fact
that the audience knows there are TWO coins. Display your left
hand palm-up to show the spectator what to do. Relax your
right hand to help avoid anyone seeing the hidden BIG PENNY.
"I'm going to give you one of these, but I don't
want you to see which one..."
- As you gesture with your empty left hand,
casually adjust DOLLAR into alignment with the
BIG PENNY. (FIG. 12)
"So, AVERT YOUR EYES... You can close them if you want to... Either way, DON'T
PEEK... I don't want you to see which one I'm giving you..."
- Put the group of three coins into your left hand closing it to hide the
presence of the BIG PENNY. (FIG. 13)
"I'm taking one of the coins out of my hand... and putting it into yours..."
- Reach into your partially closed left hand with your
right fingers, and take the BIG PENNY, gripping as
previously established, closing your left hand to hide the
remaining coins. (FIG. 14)
"Everyone else can watch to make sure I'm not pulling
out any more SILVER
We're just using these
- Place BIG PENNY
Then close them around
turnover her hand
audience doesn't see
"Now, whatever you do... DON'T OPEN YOUR HAND
UNTIL I SAY TO... Okay?"
- Gesture with your right hand to make sure everyone
knows it's empty as you keep your closed left hand in
plain view from now on. (FIG. 16)
"Which one of the coins do you think you're holding?
Remember, the only sense you can use is TOUCH... and
I am FOOLING your sense of TOUCH right now! [BEAT]
So, I'll ask you again. Which one do you believe you're
- As soon as she answers: "The DOLLAR."
"No. You've got the PENNY. I'm making you THINK you've
got the DOLLAR with my magical power! Don't look... Just tell me if you STILL
believe you've got the DOLLAR?"
- Look at her as though you know something she doesn't. (It's up to you how
to pull that off!)
"This is how I passed the FOOL THE SENSE OF TOUCH TEST, folks. She NEVER
had the DOLLAR. But, I made her THINK so by making that PENNY really BIG!
[BEAT] I've got the DOLLAR..."
- Open your left hand to reveal DOLLAR on your fingers. (The PENNY is
stuck to its underside!)
"Open your hand and show everybody the BIG PENNY!"
- She opens her hand to reveal the BIG PENNY.
"If you wonder how the
LITTLE PENNY got so BIG, ask them. THEY were WATCHING!"
- Retrieve the BIG PENNY, and place it on the outstretched fingers of your
left hand with the DOLLAR, and let the audience see that both hands are
Drop the BIG PENNY on the table for everyone to ogle as you drop the
DOLLAR with its hidden BIG PENNY into the bag.
(TAG LINE): "You know, with a penny that BIG, this trick ought to make MORE
If anyone requests you give them the BIG PENNY as a souvenir, and it often
happens, tell them: "It really won't do any good. In a few minutes it will be
back to its normal size like all the other pennies!"
Copyright © 2005 by Ron Bauer