Thank you, Mom!

by Ariel Frailich

This quick trick with a story was inspired by a riddle posted on Facebook by Vancouver magician Mike Norden. The riddle comes from “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” and was slightly adjusted for the trick.

Effect

A small lump of coal turns into a diamond between your hands.

Preparation

Get a piece of coal or charcoal about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch large. If necessary, varnish it to prevent smudging. You’ll also need a large, fake diamond, which can be a fancy crystal rhinestone, a toy plastic diamond, a novelty item, etc. It only needs to be instantly recognizable as a diamond, and large enough to be visible and easy to hold.

Put the diamond in your left jacket pocket and the piece of coal in your right.

Method

The trick is simply an in-the-hands switch set to a rhyme. The switch can be as simple as a fake transfer of the piece of coal, with the diamond hidden in the other hand and revealed at the end. This is how it will be described, but you can use any technique you like.

As you start the trick, reach into both pockets as if looking for something, then bring your right hand out, openly holding the piece of coal, followed by your left hand, which has the diamond finger palmed.

“Black as night, I’ll always be…” Show the piece of coal with your right hand.

“Until my mother smothers me.” Do the fake transfer and make your left hand into a tight fist, apparently squeezing the piece of coal. Drop your right arm and secretly maneuver the piece of coal into finger palm position, if it’s not already there.

“Then clear as ice I will become.” Reveal the diamond as you reach the end of the line.

“For which I say: ‘Thank you, Mom!'” Open your left hand to reveal the diamond, then pick it up with your right fingertips in a way that suggests that the hand is empty, à la Ramsay Acquitment. Drop both items into your pocket and continue with your next trick.

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