If you have ever visited a casino in Las Vegas or any other city for that matter then you have likely kept a casino chip or two as a souvenir. Many people keep casino chips to remind themselves of their trips or big winnings. Others have taken to actually collecting all kinds of different casino chips just like someone might collect various coins and other currency. This hobby has seen great rise over the past decade, mainly as the result of the growth of the internet and the ability for collectors to meet and exchange online from all over the world pragmatic.
Online auction sites such as eBay have skyrocketed the hobby of collecting chips over the past decade. With the ability to buy, sell and trade chips from the comfort of your own home, it’s no wonder the internet has had such a drastic impact on this hobby. Searches for casino chips on eBay return over 20,000 results on a regular basis. You can even find some super rare chips listed on eBay from time to time. The record highest casino chip sale at this time was $39,000!
Even further back, however, the hobby of chip collecting was growing due to organizations of collectors such as the Casino Chip & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC>CC) which formed in 1988. This club grew over the first couple years very quickly, and they were soon holding their own conventions in Las Vegas. They are still holding their conventions in Vegas even today. This usually happens in the month of June and is open to the public for a small entry fee.
As the hobby of chip collecting has grown, there has evolved a special grading system used to determine the quality of various chips as well as its value. The great thing about collecting casino chips is that they rarely lose their value. They will always usually be worth at least their face value, but most of them increasing in varying degrees with age and other factors. The grading system uses the following categories: New, Slightly Used, Average, Well Used, Poor, Canceled or Modified, and Damaged.
Because this hobby resembles coin collecting in almost every way, you can expect to find price guides displaying the values of countless different chips. The most popular price guide at this time is the Official U.S. Casino Chip Price Guide. This price guide covers many of the casinos across the United States and is occasionally modified and reprinted in new editions to cover the change in times and prices. If your aim is to become a serious casino chip collector, you definitely want to pick this price guide up.
If you begin to collect casino chips, be sure to keep them away from sunlight. Sunlight does the most damage to casino chips. You may choose to keep them in a case or folder. Don’t bother cleaning your chips, as this will not likely increase the value at all and in some cases could hurt the value. As a collector you might want to set a specific “specialization goal,” or a specific category of chips to collect. For example, only collect certain denominations such as $1 or $5 chips. You could also aim to collect from only certain casinos in certain cities. This will make your collection seem more organized and meaningful, but the choice is yours! Good luck and happy collecting!