Easy Magic Tricks for Beginners - Money Dissolved in Water

For this trick the young magician needs a glass, which may be either the ordinary tumbler or a wine-glass, as shown in our illustration (Fig. 2). It must be of such a size that if a half-crown be dropped into the glass, it shall, lying flat, nearly or quite fill the bottom space.

The conjuror must be provided also with a glass disc, of the thickness of a half-crown, and in diameter exactly corresponding with the bottom space of the glass. This, when about to perform the trick, he holds concealed in his right hand, after the manner of A in Fig. 3. Filling the glass about three-quarters full, as shown in Fig. 2, he hands it to a spectator to hold. He then asks the loan of a half-crown, and a lady’s pocket-handkerchief. Taking the coin as C in Fig. 3, he accordingly throws the handkerchief over it, or, rather, makes believe to do so, for in reality, under cover of the handkerchief, he deftly substitutes the glass disc, and holds this between his fingers, while the coin takes its place in his palm.

He now asks the person holding the glass to take charge of the coin also. He is instructed to hold it (the glass disc) just over the glass, the four corners of the handkerchief hanging down around it, and at the word “three,” to drop it into the glass. The conjuror counts "one, two, three?" At the word three the supposed coin falls, and is heard to tinkle upon the glass.
magic tricks

Touch the glass through the handkerchief with your magic wand, and state that by the time you have counted three the half-crown will have dissolved. Count three very slowly, then the handkerchief is removed, the water is seen, but the supposed coin has vanished, for the disc, being of glass, lies quite invisible at the bottom; and if it fits the water may be poured away without the disc falling out, the thin layer of water remaining underneath it holding it by atmospheric pressure to the bottom of the tumbler. It is not worth while to do this unless some one challenges you to pour off the water, then the challenge should be accepted readily.

The conjurer should now pay back the half-crown, but it will assist the illusion if he pays it back with two shillings and a sixpence, or in some other coins, instead of in the form in which it was borrowed.

Excerpt from the book: Three Hundred Things A Bright Boy Can Do
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