Continuing our exploration of casino memorabilia, let me state, unequivocally the majority of casino memorabilia collectors focus only on CHIPS. That may be a mistake! There are many other casino-related items that can be collected – and, in many cases they are far more attractive than casino chips!
I will acknowledge casino chips are believed to carry greater value into the future than any other casino collectible. But, they are not necessarily the items you should/could/would collect if you had made the alternate choice early on!
Here are some other options for collectors of casino memorabilia:
MATCHBOOKS: Some collectors insist, to be a valuable collectible, matchbooks must have the matches intact. Other collectors insist they do not. Whichever way you go, casino matchbooks are very informative about the casinos they represent. Moreover, they are very colorful and, in many cases, downright gorgeous! It is fairly easy to collect the lower-end matchbooks in terms of value. But, they are becoming increasingly harder to find as the population drifts away from smoking.
ASHTRAYS: There are some mighty fine ashtrays out there. They tend to be heavy and somewhat difficult to display; but, there are some that are legendary in their rarity and beauty and certainly less expensive in most cases than casino chips.
NAPKINS: These are truly hard to find because they are very fragile. Napkins from early casinos are highly collectible and in many cases outshine the chip or the matchbook.
TOKENS: This collectible has really fallen on tough times. Since the advent of Ticket in-Ticket out (TITO) machines the need for tokens has dried up dramatically. There are some that are highly desirable but very hard to find and very, very few casinos across the USA use them at all anymore.
In addition to the above-mentioned types of casino collectibles, there are the runners-up: dice, postcards, swizzle sticks, playing cards, menus, cigarette lighters, etc. These are some very nice collectibles. However, the market does not support aggressive collecting in these categories, so you really must chase them if you want them. And, if you want them – go get them!
Collect what you like, forget the values and enjoy the chase.
Next month: Why join a club that collects casino memorabilia?