ring dropping, ringing the change | ring dropping | ringing the change | ringing the change ring dropping | meaning

  • [Law]
    RING DROPPING, RINGING THE CHANGE - This phrase is applied in England to a trick frequently practised in committing larcenies. It is difficult to define it; it will be sufficiently exemplified by the following cases. The prisoner, with some accomplices, being in company with the prosecutor, pretended to find a valuable ring wrapped up in a paper, appearing to be a jeweller's receipt for "a rich brilliant diamond ring." They offered to leave the ring with the prosecutor, if he would deposit some money and his watch as a security. The prosecutor having accordingly laid down his watch and money on a table, was beckoned out of the room by one of the confederates, while the others took away his watch and money. This was held to amount to a larceny. In another case under similar circumstances, the prisoner procured from the prosecutor twenty guineas, promising to return them the next morning, and leaving the false jewel with him. This was also held to be larceny. In these cases the prosecutor had no intention of parting with the property in the money or goods stolen. It was taken, in the first case while the transaction was proceeding, without his knowledge; and, in the last, under the promise that it should be returned.

    RINGING THE CHANGE - A trick practised by a criminal, by which, on receiving a good piece of money in payment of an article, he pretends it is not good, and, changing it, returns to the buyer a counterfeit one, as in the following case: The prosecutor having bargained with the prisoner, who was selling fruit about the streets, to have five apricot's for sixpence, gave him a good shilling to change. The prisoner put the shilling into his mouth, as if to bite it in order to try its goodness, and returning a shilling to the prosecutor, told him it was a bad one. The prosecutor gave him another good shilling which he also affected to bite, and then returned another shilling, saying it was a bad one. The prosecutor gave him another good shilling with which he practised this trick a third time the shillings returned by him being in every respect, bad.

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PC Version