One of the most frustrating aspects of collecting casino chips is
when our illustrious core of self proclaimed experts
utter words of wisdom that totally destroy the value of
all the casino chips issued by a single establishment.
It happens all the time. It happens because we as
collectors fail to research the facts and instead rely
upon all encompassing statements made by respected
individuals within our hobby. It’s our own fault. I’m as
guilty as those I write about.
It has happened with the Glass Crutch previously located in Lake
Tahoe. When the Glass Crutch chips surfaced on three
different occasions the $1.00 and $5.00 including all
the different issues fell in value as though they were
hit by a lighting bolt. Dealers were lucky to get under
fifty bucks per chip. It didn’t matter whether it was
either of the $1.00 varieties or one of the $5.00 chips.
However, the significant aspect of the three finds was
the two varieties of the $25.00 chip remained extremely
rare. Yet, the self proclaimed experts ruined ALL the
Glass Crutch chips including the rare $25.00’s with
their public statement “I wouldn’t buy ANY Glass Crutch
chips” thereby destroying the value of what was and is
Very few of either of the $25.00 chips has ever surfaced.
Discussions with James Campiglia, noted author and chip
historian who was involved with the very first surfacing
of the Glass Crutch chips stated he didn’t get any
$25.00 chips. Bill Judge, chip dealer, who was involved
in the third surfacing of Glass Crutch chips purchased
all available including a few of each of the $25.00
varieties. In talking with Bill he stated that he
offered to purchase everything and did in fact purchase
everything. It was Bill’s opinion nothing was left to
purchase. The interesting aspect of the deal was that
Bill dealt with the same individual sellers who were
involved all three “sales”.
Are the $25.00 varieties of the Glass Crutch rare? You bet they
are! How rare? I would say the values listed in “The
Official U.S. Casino Chip Price Guide” are too low.
$1,800 in top condition for the small key is cheap. I
would put the value at about $3,500. The hat and cane
$25.00 is listed at $800.00 in top condition, I would
say around $1,500.00 would be a fair price if everything
was equal. In my opinion, if as many as 20 of each
exists I would be surprised.
I would guess if you look real hard you can find a few for sale.
Why, because the “experts” have painted the $25.00 Glass
Crutch with the same brush they painted the various
$1.00 and $5.00 issues. You will not find either $25.00
at a give away but you will not find it priced at what
it is truly worth. My suggestion – if you can afford it
buy them. You will not be sorry.
It has happened with the chips issued by the Boon Docks out of
Nevada. Now it is happening with Binion’s Horseshoe.
What happens is this. When a casino closes the chips
that were held in inventory are now “dumped” on the
local casino collecting market. All of a sudden there
are thousands of certain chips available that previously
were considered difficult to obtain or even rare.
The self proclaimed experts now state “I wouldn’t buy
ANY Binion’s Horseshoe chips” thereby destroying the
value of any and all chips ever issued by the Horseshoe.
The rare chips as well as the common are painted with
the same brush. Values plummet and all chips ever issued
by the casino are verbally destroyed.
The smart collector will not be taken in by the “experts” but
will do his/her own research and take advantage of the
soft market. If you find that 10 cent Boon Docks – BUY
IT! It was painted with the same brush as the entire
series. Folks there are not that many of them around.
Use your head and some common sense.