Original Publication Date: August 1998
In a previous entry I discussed sliding a stack of coins across a tabletop. The acronym was Stack Of Coins. This entry I'm going to write about the Sound Of Coins, using the same acronym..."S.O.C.", so let's S.O.C. it too 'em again, OK?
Slydini used a very clever sleight to convince an audience that he had coins (usually three silver dollars) in both hands when, in fact, only one contained any coins. It appears in his books and is no secret but I'm sure some casual readers and fans of the Slydini COINS THROUGH THE TABLE routine feel it's not all that important, like the proverbial "extra" nuts and bolts left over when the handyman "puts whatever it is back together". Not only is this an important part of the misdirection and timing but the principle could probably be used in other coin applications as well. It adds the quality and misdirection of sound to the routine and is a highly deceptive element.
The size of the coins matters somewhat so let's use three silver dollars. Hold the three coins on the palm up, open right hand. Now close the fingers into a loose fist and turn the hand over. At this point the coins can be shaken easily but not fall from the hand. Keeping the fingers below the coins, bring the heel of the palm up against the edge of the stack, slightly lift the stack of coins, and then release contact
. You'll notice that the coins will make a riffled, jingling sound. Do this several times to get the feel. All the while the coins are held just loosely enough to allow being lifted and dropped, creating the sound.
Now hold your right fist with the coins in front of the body about chest high, ready to release the stack to create the sound. Then bring the empty left fist, held in the same manner (as if it held three coins), up between the right fist and the audience. Shake the empty left fist once and at the same time release the edge of the stack in the right fist creating the noise. The illusion is that three coins were shaken in the left hand.
Now here's the fun part. Without lowering your arms, just keep alternating one fist in front of the other, shaking the empty left fist while creating the sound with the right...and then actually shaking the coins with the right fist, when it comes out, to create the same amount of noise. It takes some getting used to but the handling will become easy and automatic after practicing a while. Again, the illusion is that you are shaking three coins in each hand, one after the other, in front of the body.
It is an incredible and devastating illusion of sound. The audience actually hears that each hand contains three coins!
I hope you will investigate the COINS THROUGH THE TABLE routines in the Slydini books. They are among the finest coin creations in magic and crammed with valuable ideas, sleights, techniques and handlings that literally form a foundation for your magic in general. Karl Fulves did a truly masterful job describing Slydini's magic in his 1976/78 collection.