For this trick a shell coin, either a half-dollar or a dollar is used. The shell coin is a highly useful piece of apparatus. It is made by cutting out one side of a coin until nothing but a complete shell, one side and the edges, is left. When this is hollowed out, a second coin is cut down in its circumference till it will fit inside of the shell; its edges must be remilled. When the trimmed coin is laid inside the shell, the two will appear like an ordinary single coin. Provided with such a coin, the performer is ready for his trick. Laying the shell coin on a table, he covers it with a borrowed hat and says he will pass the money from there into his hand, or, better still, he will remove it from its position under the hat, cause it to leave his hand, and go back to the hat. He puts his hand under the hat and brings out the shell, leaving the trimmed solid coin behind. He shows the good side of the shell, palms it, lifts the hat and shows the coin there.
A prettier trick, however, is the following:—The performer stands an empty goblet on the table and places a breakfast plate on top of it. On the plate he lays two coins, the solid coin and its shell, the shell overlapping the other. Over these he places a tumbler. Picking up the goblet with his left hand and holding the tumbler with his right, he moves them about in a circle, gradually crowding the shell over the solid coin, until, at last, it slips over and covers it completely. At the moment the one coin disappears it is heard and seen to drop into the goblet, as if it had passed through the plate. The last effect is brought about by secretly placing an extra coin between the rim of the goblet and the plate; the weight of the latter holding the coin in place. Just as the shell covers the solid coin, the performer moves the plate forward a little, or tilts it a trifle by means of the tumbler, which he controls with his right hand, and causes the concealed coin to drop into the goblet.