This is a routine that I do all the time in the bar where I work. It's something that I thought of one night just sitting around the house, but it gets some great reactions, and generally blows people away. I typed out the performance, comments, and some other misc. info, but not the actual method. Anyone who likes coins will know how it's done after reading this, so... enjoy.
You have three half dollars (referred to as HD's from now on) openly displayed in your right hand. You close the hand into a fist, remove one HD and place it into your left hand, which closes into a fist as well. You gesture magically with your right hand, but not with the left hand. As you open your left hand, the HD is still there, nothing has happened (because you didn't gesture magically with that hand!), but when you open your right hand, instead of the other two HD's, you now have three English pennies (referred to as EP's from now on). You take one EP from the three in your right hand and add it to the HD in your left hand. You now have one HD & one EP in your left and two EP's in your right. Both hands are made into fists again. You open your hands a second or two later showing that now you're back to having only one HD in your left (the EP has vanished), and now in your right hand you have one HD & one EP (one of the EP's changed into an HD!) Finally you take the HD from the left and add it to the HD & EP in your right. You show the three coins fairly to the audience, toss them into left hand, and slam them down on the table. You lift your hand to show that now there are only two coins left, one HD, and one EP (Note: If you're not sitting at a table, you can just open your left hand to show that one of the HD's has vanished). You explain that the name of the trick is "Eventual Copper & Silver" because no matter how many coins you start with, or what happens to them during the trick, eventually, you always end up with just one copper coin and one silver coin! Hand both coins out to be examined, and be prepared to see some shocked spectators! Remember, the audience clearly saw three coins change into four coins, back to three, and then to two coins, and every vanish is accompanied by a simultaneous change of one or more of the remaining coins!
I came up with this effect about a year and a half ago. I was looking to take the old copper/silver routine to another, more interesting level. It works at a table, or standing, or standing on a table, where ever you like. It's done fairly quickly, but slowly enough so that everyone can see the changes clearly as they happen. It all happens in your hands, with virtually no fumbling around, no going to pockets, and absolutely no suspicious movements. The changes appear to happen instantly, and performing this routine requires only a strong grasp of basic sleights and a couple of props. The simplicity of the of the method leaves the performer free of stress, allowing him or her have fun with the audience instead of worrying about upcoming moves. That's one of Eventual Copper & Silver's strongest attributes.
This effect is very visual. The lightening quick changes combined with the seemingly impossible nature of what's happening truly freaks some people out. Actually, the mind bender in this trick seems to be the first change of two HD's in the right hand into three EP's. Many spectators don't get past that one concept for the entire routine! I sometimes end performances with this trick, but more often, I use it as a set up for a signed coin through table routine (Eventual Copper & Silver sets you up perfectly for any one-ahead coin effect). As for patter, I often use some variation of the following:
"I'll show you a little something with 3 coins if you like... but I don't have a name for this trick yet, let's try and figure one out as we go..." [After the first change, I say, "should we call it the 3 copper coins and a half dollar trick? No I don't like that name... too long." [After the second change/vanish I say, "Should we call it the silver, silver, copper trick? No, that's too repetitive." [After the third change/vanish I say, "How about the 52 cent trick? No, that's misleading..." [At this point I finish off the effect, and show that only one HD and one EP are left.] Now I say something like, "I've got it! Let's call it "eventual copper & silver" since, that's all that is left! There are endless story lines and patter for this effect, that's just one of many that I use.
1. Johnson's Ultimate Copper-Silver (not just any old scotch-n-soda will work. It must be Ultimate Copper-Silver. Those of you who have it know why
2. A Copper / Silver coin
The Ultimate Copper-Silver set will cost you a few bucks, but believe me, you'll never go back to any other S&S set again. You can use Ultimate Copper-Silver for any scotch-n-soda effects, as well about a bazillion other coin routines that you can't do with a plain S&S set. This is the best one out there by far. A copper/silver coin is relatively inexpensive, and any magician who likes to fiddle with coins will, most likely, already have a few lying around the lair.