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The earliest form of this trick is the flight of a borrowed ring from one hand onto the selected finger of the other. A dummy ring is hooked to a watch barrel up the sleeve, to effect the vanish. This is described in Joseph Pinetti's Physical Amusements and Diverting Experiments, 1784, p. 57.
Al Koran popularized the effect with the ring traveling to a key wallet, publishing it in Professional Presentations, 1967, 109.