Unusual hobbies give a sense of crazy, wacky satisfaction, and at many times can make unusual money for the hobbyist. Once upon a time collecting coins and stamps was considered unusual, but take a look around and see how much cash and fame it has brought for the collectors who stuck to their hobbies! Now, there’s another unusual hobby that seems to have superb potential both in terms of soul satisfaction as well as monetary rewards – and it’s called Casino Chip Collecting.
Collecting casino chips involves taking away chips purchased at casinos or buying them online from auction sites, mainly eBay. Casino chip collecting started way back in 1988 and the hobby has grown since then. You will be astonished to know that some rare and discontinued chips are valued at as high as $50,000, with the highest-ever recorded sale being $39,000.
Grading casino chips
Since casino chip collecting began, it hooked in many enthusiasts, and by the year 2003 the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CC>CC – the official body for casino chip collecting) introduced a worldwide grading system for casino chips. Here is a brief overview of the grading system:
New chips: Chips that have never been used in games and which do not feature any marks of wear and tear.
Slightly used chips: Chips those are as good as new with only a minimum number of wear-and-tear marks on them.
Average chips: Chips that feature a higher amount of wear-and-tear marks, and whose edges are beginning to dull a bit.
Well-used chips: These chips have inlays that are still visible, but feature wear-and-tear marks that fall between the marks found on average chips and the poor chips (see below).
Poor chips: These include damaged, cracked, blurred, nicked and full of crosshatch marks.
Damaged chips: These chips will carry every possible damage mark on them – broken, cracked, missing inlays, burns, faded, etc.
Canceled chips: These are the chips that have been either canceled or modified by the casino. If you ever manage to get a canceled chip of a famous casino, you’re in luck!
Identifying and collecting casino chips
Casino chips are identified based on factors such as denomination, color, mold, inlay and their rareness. Nowadays, enthusiastic hobbyists have begun collecting every type of chip from a single casino; or, they collect just one chip from every casino so that they have an all-encompassing collection.