My dentist DR.BOB PINNEY of Detroit, Michigan, in addition to being an excellent dentist (he doesn’t hurt much) is also a good magician. BOB and his wife MARGE are regulars at the annual get-together at ABBOTTS. I was in his office one day on a professional visit and we were discussing the effect known as a “SILVER EXTRACTION”. This is an effect that was invented by another dentist/magician DR. BORIS ZOLA of Saginaw, Michigan. It’s a clever idea where a regular half dollar is switched for a clear, plastic one (made of dental acrylic) and dropped into spectator’s hand. Magi then states he will “extract the silver”. A small lump of silver is apparently removed from the back of the spectator’s closed fist. When spectator opens his fist, there’s the CLEAR coin. A nice effect. As we were discussing this, I noticed a small coil of copper wire lying on Bob’s work counter, and it triggered the following, updated version (cheaper too!) of Dr. Zola’s original effect.
Borrow a QUARTER from a spectator (better yet, use your own). Have him hold it up and look at it edgewise. When he does, he will see the usual layers of copper and silver (U.S. coins only). Ask him if he knows what percentage of the coin is copper? Whatever his reply, offer to show him an unusual experiment. The quarter is placed on the palm of your left hand, and the fingers are closed over it. Removing a packet of matches, you ask spectator to take out a match, light it and wave the lit match underneath your closed left hand. “Just that much heat sometimes causes the metals to separate – look!” When the left hand is opened, there is the quarter AND a small loop (quarter size) of COPPER WIRE. Needless to say, when the spectator examines the quarter more closely, he will note that the tell-tale rim of copper is MISSING from the quarter’s edge.
You’ll need a small ring of copper wire (the hardware stores sell this as BELL wire) and an ALL SILVER QUARTER. The last year these ALL SILVER coins were minted was 1964, but there’s still quite a few around, or you can buy one at a coin shop. The copper loop, and a packet of matches are in your right coat pocket. The all-silver quarter is finger-palmed in your right hand. Have the spectator hold the copper-content quarter up and look at its edge. Take the quarter from him with your right fingers, and apparently drop it onto your left palm. Really what happens, is that you SWITCH it, allowing the ALL silver quarter to drop onto the left palm. The right hand goes into the side coat pocket, drops the coppered quarter, and finger-palms the loop of copper wire. When the right hand approaches the left to close it, this copper loop is secretly dropped onto the coin in the left hand.
I’ll close this off with the observation that most dentist/magicians close-up routines run a little long. The reason? Before they start, they walk around the table and ADJUST each spectators CHAIR.