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How to Do the 21 Cent Coin Trick

Bring this trick to your next gathering to impress your friends.


  • Step 1: Show the coins Display the coins on a table. Then show the audience the four coins: a penny, a dime, and two nickels.
  • TIP: Do not show them the back of the nickel -- it's a gimmick coin.
  • Step 2: Tell them a story Tell the audience you have 21 cents to purchase candy.
  • Step 3: Place the coins Place the shell nickel in your palm, shell-side up. Then, place the penny, dime, and the other nickel on top.
  • TIP: Cup your hand as you're putting the coins in your hand so the audience can't see the shell.
  • Step 4: Ask audience As you're doing this, ask the audience to help you count. When they add up the coins, they should say "21 cents."
  • Step 5: Press down with finger Make a fist and press your fingers down to snap the coins in place inside the shell. You now have what appears to be one nickel in your hand.
  • Step 6: Take away coin Tell the audience you forgot to purchase a piece of candy for your sister so you're going to take a nickel out of your hand and place in it your pocket.
  • Step 7: Keep hand in fist Keeping your hand still in a fist, ask them how much money should be in your hand now that you took a nickel away. They should say "16 cents."
  • Step 8: Open hand Open your hand to reveal the magically disappeared coins.
  • FACT: The 2006 five-cent coin is the same weight and metal alloy as it was when it was first minted in 1866.

You Will Need

  • 21-cent trick set
  • Table

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