Collecting $2.50 Chips
The following article was
posted by Jim on The Chip
Board on March 27th, 2003
Over the years, I have written different articles about
collecting various Nevada fractional chips. Nevada
fractional chips are those that have a face value under
$1.00. Nevada fractional chips are becoming more and more
difficult to collect for the average collector as well as
for the "newbie" The primary reasons are easy to follow and
First of all, very few if any Nevada casinos still produce
fractional chips. Thus, making the time frame between adding
a new chip to ones collection seems endless. Kinda like
waiting for your wife or girlfriend in a woman's department
store. Much blame can be placed upon the cost of production
of these little gems. No casino likes to produce a chip that
will cost them more than what the face value of the chip is
worth. Secondly, casinos can not keep their fractional chips
in inventory. Collectors "pounce" upon a new issue
fractional chip faster than the chip dealers can carry them
out of the casino by the "rack". The depletion is
unstoppable and leaves a terrible impression upon the casino
of chip collectors in general. Finally, inflation has made
fractional chips obsolete. Let's be honest, when is the last
time you saw a 10-cent roulette game or a 25-cent crap game?
These types of games are around but locating them is almost
The resulting situation has put undue pressure upon the
available dealer stock of fractional Nevada chips.
Collectors now collect them by denomination. We have 10 cent
collectors, 25 cent collectors and of course the 50 cent
collector. Chip dealers just can't fill the demand for these
little pieces of clay therefore the retail prices keep going
up and up and up. For a new Nevada collector to start
collecting fractional chips he or she will need to obtain a
second and possibly third mortgage on the old homestead just
to get started.
Never fear Nevada collectors! You are possibly overlooking
one of the premium collectable chips ever made for a Nevada
casino. The $2.50 cent pieces of clay known affectionately
as the "Snapper". Old time Nevada collectors have been
putting aside duplicate snappers for years. Ask one of them
why and they will tell you "it's a good chip". Guess what?
They are right! There is probably less $2.50-cent chips made
than any other denomination currently in production for a
casino. The chip "wreaks" with potential. Don't miss the
boat on this one! If you were left at the starting gate for
obtaining 10 centers; and you failed to jump on the
bandwagon for 50 centers - don't miss out on $2.50 centers.
Currently, "The Chip Rack", one of my favorite publications
when I'm not lambasting it for lack of correcting known
errors, lists 155 $2.50 cent chips in its 8th edition. Now
people if you eliminate the 28 $2.50 cent Horseshoe poker
chips and the 12 Four Queens "snappers" you have 115
different $2.50 cent chips to collect. Compare that total to
173 10 centers, 642 25 centers and 403 50 centers. You don't
have to be a chip guru to figure out in total what is the
rarest denomination to collect.
There isn't a chip show I attend browsing through various
dealer books that I don't spot 10 or 20 different $2.50's
the dealers have for sale. Compare that to how many 10
centers or 50 centers you find for sale. You get the
I have been asked on numerous occasions what $2.50 chip do
I believe to be the rarest. I usually "skate" the question
not wanting someone else to buy it in case I come across it.
Guess what? I have only seen one in five years of looking.
The one I have in my collection. It is N2815. The $2.50 cent
Del Webb Primadonna Hat and Cane inlay with no inserts from
Reno, Nevada. The Chip Rack has it listed as a "Q". Pardon
me while I chuckle! I'll pay $400.00 if you can deliver me
one in an acceptable condition. If you read my friend Doug
Saito's "Chip Chat" you would know most of these Del Webb
Primadonna chips have been destroyed. Now If I'm willing to
pay $400.00 - what do you really think it's worth? Anyone
got two dimes?