- Casino chip collecting
Casino chip collecting is the practice of intentionally taking
casino chipsfrom Casino premises or trading or collecting online, or in person, for the purpose of collection. Casino chip collecting is a variety of exonumia, or coin collecting. Before it became a more serious hobby, casino chip collecting was simply a case of people keeping them as souvenirs from a casino they may visit. The biggest boost to the hobby came with the creation of the online auction site eBay. Ebay has now become the most popular way to collect and trade casino chips with listings in the casino category regularly including over 20,000 items for sale.
Casino chip collecting became increasingly popular beginning in 1988, with the establishment of the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC>CC). The club was formed after it was realised how popular the hobby had become and how many people were involved in it. The club held its first annual convention at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in 1992. The convention still runs to this day and in 2008 will be held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.
As the number of collectors grew, the demand for an official grading system as one was necessary to determine the value of the chips. In 2003, members of the CC>CC agreed on a grading system that would be used worldwide. This also came with the publication of the club's book, The Official U.S. Casino Chip Price Guide, now in its 3rd edition. Some chips are considered high-value and some worth up to $50,000. The largest recorded sale for a casino chip to date is $39,000. Below is the system that is currently used to grade them:
As well as the system for grading chips, there is also a system for identifying chips shown below:
There are many different ways to collect casino chips. Because of the amount of chips available and the increasing price of some, collectors have begun to specialize. A collector might choose to collect every chip from a certain casino or one from every Las Vegas casino. Collecting by denomination is also very popular, such as only $1 or $5 chips. The first rule of proper care and storage is to keep them away from sunlight, the same goes for fluorescent light. The best way to store a collection is to keep them in a folder. As opposed to coin collection, cleaning the chips will not decrease their value but is still not recommended unless really necessary.
* [http://www.ccgtcc.com Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club official site]
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