Vintage Vegas Chips, Baby

Heritage Casino Chips specializes in buying and selling rare, collectible casino chips to collectors and investors.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stardust Chips To Make TV Appearance

As some of you may know from talking with Elliot Krasnow at the annual CCGTCC convention a few months ago, we have been working on developing a show with one of the major TV shopping networks to begin selling vintage casino chips on cable they do with rare coins. This could open the hobby up to many more collectors and be beneficial to many of us. It looks like they may have finally approved the concept for airing in January, 2007. Since the Stardust will be imploded in that timeframe, we are thinking of making this the opening segment. So, if any of you out there have Stardust chips, and would be interested in consigning them for sale for this cable TV show, please contact us for details ASAP. We will need to know which chips, specifically, you may like to sell, and at what price to make sure they will fit within the margins we need to make this profitable for all parties. Other obsolete chips from closed casinos will follow.

You can contact us at Or call Toll Free at 877-711-CHIPS. Thanks...we look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Casino Chip News from Desert Inn, Las Vegas, and Other Tips

Talk about coincidences...but first, wanted to congratulate 'chiperjrr' for having just acquired a great chip: the 7th Issue Desert Inn, Wilbur Clark $5 casino chip from 'brightmooncolor' in a well viewed eBay auction. The final selling price was $4,050. This chip has a rarity rating of R-9, meaning that there are likely no more than half-a-dozen known to still be in existence. The Desert Inn closed in 2000, 50 years after its opening in 1950. It is interesting to note that Wilbur Clark, who is pictured on this chip, actually closed the casino hotel in 1967, when it was renamed Desert Inn solely, no longer carrying Wilbur Clark's namesake, then it closed in 1993 as the Desert Inn, and finally closed officially as the Desert Inn Sheraton in 2000.

What is especially coincidential is that just within the last two (2)weeks we received a telephone call from a a supposed owner in Tennessee of one of these chips, looking to sell it. We won't mention any names here, but he did send us several scans of the chip that he claimed was in his possession since 1973, when he somehow acquired it while in the military, he said. Here is one of the several pictures he emailed to us:

Although it appeared that he was sincere in his desire to send us the chip for appraisal and possible purchase, the chip never did come in to us. And then, wouldn't you know it, another one appears on eBay within one week. Quite unusual for an R-9, but that's the fun of our business. After closely examining the photo images, it is clear that the chip we were shown is NOT the chip that was sold on eBay on October 15, 2006. Let us know what you can check the eBay chip sale by copying and pasting the URL directly below into your Address bar on your browser:

Continuing the Stardust news, even though there is growing speculation that Boyd Gaming, owners of the Stardust, are becoming seriously concerned over the initial poor revenue figures produced at its new South Coast casino complex in Las Vegas, the company has advised that they will cease accepting hotel reservations effective next month, with hotel closure before year-end. Many of the casino and hotel employees have already accepted positions at other hotels. Boyd Gaming will be razing (imploding) the Stardust in the beginning of the year to make way for their $4 Billion "Echelon Palace" mixed use gaming complex.

The Stardust casino chips have been getting more difficult to acquire at previous prices as a result of the casino closing and the chips becoming obsolete.

INSIDE TIP -- With prime Las Vegas strip property at record high values, gaming analysts are predicting the next major casino poised for an acquisition bidding war may be the Sahara. Owned by the family of the late gaming legend William Bennett, the casino is strategically located at the intersection of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. Adjacent property also owned by the Bennett's has already been listed with a commercial broker, so this is more than speculation. Our advice: START BUYING SAHARA CHIPS NOW! Opened in 1952, most of the early issue chips are already priced in the stratosphere, so start with any Sahara chips from the 5th Issue, and later, with a minimum of an R-8 rarity. Best buy, if you can locate it, with greatest potential from current levels, is the 6th issue $5 HCE. They won't be easy to collect in high quality and rarity, but definitely stay away from the commons, for now. And no Bac chips!

Feel free to call 877-711-CHIPS with any questions

Good luck, and have fun.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Collecting Casino Chips - You Should Get Into It

I'm sure most people who love casino chip collecting will tell you that it's worth the time and money. Nothing can be quite so satisfying as finding that rare and collectible chip.

Most people have a hobby of collecting something or the other. Many kids of my generation collected stamps, coins, baseball cards, comic books, etc. Kids today collect action figures, Pokemon cards, transformers, and hello kitty merchandise! Be that as it may, my new passion and only hobby is now collecting rare, vintage casino chips.

It all began when an acquaintance of mine came back from Las Vegas with a handful of chips, and a story about the growing popularity of Texas Hold-Em and the WSOP. He was not really a ‘competitor’, but we became fascinated by this rapidly expanding market for casino chips. I was both amused and fascinated by the clay chips in denominations of $1.00, $5.00, $25.00, and $100.00. Not only had I never seen chips like this before, I never imagined that people could actually collect them, even though I am a Lifetime Member of the ANA and, at one time in my career, over 20 years ago, owned one of the country’s largest retail rare coin dealers. That was before PCGS and NGC, which became popular in the early 1990’s. Nevertheless, the more I looked at them, their artwork, their rarity, their storied Las Vegas history, the more enthralled I became, and thus began my foray into the world of Las Vegas casino chip collecting. Let’s face it, Las Vegas is HOT! The building boom there over the last several years has been nothing short of phenomenal. The old classics have disappeared: the Flamingo, the Sands, the Desert Inn, the Moulin Rouge, to name but a few. The Stardust will be imploded in the next few months – talk about a hot market. Once those chips go “obsolete”, their value is likely to increase substantially. We are seeing it happen right now. By the way, we’ve got the 1981 10th Issue $500 Stardust chip, rated R-10, in SU>New condition; we believe it may be “unique”.

Today, each time we take a look at our growing inventory, a sense of pride mixed with fun and amazement courses through my body. Like any addiction, the only way to support the hobby, is to be in the business. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about.

Most collectors collect chips as a way to get to know more about the casinos and cities from which they originate, or the often notorious owner-operators. But chip collecting can also be a serious business. Rare, out-of-circulation vintage chips hold immense appeal to scores of serious collectors all over the world. And the collector base is growing for reasons mentioned above. Many may start the hobby with “non-investible” chips – just for the sheer fun of it all – but, inevitably, they begin to look at upgrading their collections as a portfolio diversification to their other financial and/or tangible assets. As noted in the previous posting, as more and more rare coin collectors discover the similarities in the market – and they number in the millions, not just the thousands like the chip collecting hobby – and more and more marketing of chips gains traction, an initiative of Heritage Chips – we can just imagine what will be happening to the values of properly selected rare casino chips.

And then, besides the passionate, there are the professional chip collectors who collect not merely for the pleasure of it, but as a form of investment. Like coins, fine art or even wine, rare chips can be worth some serious money. One chip I know of hit the $50,000 mark this past year, surpassing all previous public records for a single chip. Once locked away in family collections, it is unlikely that such a chip will be seen again for many, many years. Again, reminds me of the way the rare coin market grew over the decades. These investors often prefer important, rare chips, and scour auctions and niche dealers to find and/or trade in chips. These are not grown men indulging in a nostalgic hobby. They are professional, high net worth individuals who are serious about their investments.

Money, they say, makes the world go round. And what better way to control your portfolio than to hoard private, portable assets. Start casino chip collecting today – you can do it with $500 or less – and discover a fascinating world that will not only give you hours of fun and satisfaction, but will also teach you to appreciate American history from an entirely different perspective.

Well, are you all pumped up to start chip collecting? Many of you have already started, so I hope this blog gives you further reason to pursue your hobby. Please feel free to post your comments – all are welcome.
Good luck finding those chips

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Are RareCoin Owners Now Purchasing Las Vegas Casino Chips?

Several years ago, when casino chip collecting was its infancy, astute collectors would try to acquire large, comprehensive Nevada collections. "Everything from Las Vegas" was commonly heard. Why Las Vegas? Because it is Las Vegas that captivates historians and adds to the fun of collecting obsolete casino chips. There is intense historical interest that surrounds chips as memorabilia of the past. Chips are perhaps the only reminders of many past casinos that you can acquire at little trouble and expense. That is why there is a special thrill in owning chips from long gone casinos such as El Rancho Vegas, Flamingo, Thunderbird, Dunes, Desert Inn, Sands, and many more. Once you become aware of this historical appeal of casino chips, and the unbelievable price acceleration in certain issues, there is literally no limit to the fascinating byways through which this absorbing hobby will lead you.

This blog has been created to collect and gather more information about the vintage casino chip hobby and serve as a platform not only for expierenced "chippers", but also as a resource for the many new casino chip purchasers and sellers entering the marketplace every day. For example, one noticeable trend is that rare coin collectors and investors, who number in the millions, have been discovering the similarities, and the fun, of owning vintage casino chips.

Rare coins have denominations; rare casino chips have denominations. Rare coins are graded by condition; rare casino chips are also condition sensitive with grading descriptions. Rare coins have rarity; rare casino chips are rated on a rarity scale from an R-1 to an R-10. Rare coins reflect and help us learn history, and many were commissioned by famous artists; rare casino chips, likewise, are a wonderful way to learn about our history...especially the excitement surrounding the west and, specifically, Las Vegas. Many casino chip inserts were designed by artists, each one its own artful and historic collectibe. Many famous rare coins, once removed from the marketplace, remain locked up in family collections for decades; the same is true for rare casino chips. In both instances, collections are often put together by "sets". Most importantly, casino chip collecting as a hobby is FUN...and, because of that, like those other chips, "you can't eat just one"!

If you are a rare coin collector, or have been investing in the rare coin market, we would like to hear from you if you are looking at, or have already purchased, casino chips. What do you look for?

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