Review of The Official U.S.
Casino Chip Price Guide
following article was posted by Jim on
Chip Board on April 22nd, 2005
Since its publication, I have spent the greatest percentage
of my unallocated "free time" reading "The Official U.S.
Casino Chip Price Guide" by James Campiglia and Steve Wells.
In my humble opinion it is the finest book of its kind on
the market. No chip collector regardless of what might be
collected should be without this excellent publication!
I must tell you honestly it took my breath away. The
improvements made since the first and second editions have
put it in a class by itself. I seriously doubt any future
competing publication can come even close in providing the
reader with pertinent material that reflects our hobby at
this moment in time. It is so well done that my criticisms
must be left to the few obvious pricing errors that were not
recognized and corrected in the proof reading stage. What a
book! I canít put it down.
First of all the grading standard implemented in the past
editions is gone; and I say good riddance. The authors have
incorporated "The Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors
Club, Inc." five level grading standard as the criteria for
condition. Only the top three grades are utilized in the
publication but nothing is lost by the elimination of the
two bottom grades.
The first 26 pages of the book by themselves are worth the
selling price of $29.95. Valuable information is provided in
the "Chip Collecting 101" section that will be useful to new
collectors as well as those collectors who have been around
awhile. The color pictures of chips are breathtaking.
Believe me when I say you could be in our hobby two
lifetimes and you will never see the actual chip of some of
those featured in this book. It is obvious the authors
convinced a few of the "deep pocket" collectors in our hobby
to let them take pictures of the rarest and one of kind
pieces that would never be available for viewing by the
general public without publication of this book.
The prices for some chips displayed and described, at first
glance appeared to me to be a little low. I wondered whether
the authors relied heavily upon auction sales to reflect
market for those pieces. It isnít many pieces but enough to
peak my interest in that area. Upon further evaluation I
realized it was me and not the pieces. I was reacting to a
market where all pieces increased but not at the rate or
percentage attributed to "rare" or unique chips. When I
thought about it I recognized that rare chips would
obviously increase in value greater than more common chips.
The State of Nevada is the primary focal point with an
added bonus of chips from Colorado, South Dakota, Indiana,
Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri and New
Jersey. The book is approximately 400 pages. The cost to you
the reader is a little over 7 cents a page. Just think, for
a little over 7 cents a page you will have pictures of chips
you would most likely never ever see. That to me is a
bargain at any price.
I purchased my copy of this excellent publication from my
longtime friend and chip dealer Andy Hughes. I purchase all
the books I read and use since that way I donít feel my
objectivity can or would be questioned when I write about
In addition to the beautiful pictures of chips throughout
the book there are reproductions of actual postcards
depicting casinos long gone. As though that were enough
plenty of pithy comments are made by the authors providing
history and information relevant to the casino chip being
displayed. This book is just chuck full of pictures,
comments, history and the effort of two individuals that
should not go unnoticed. Campiglia and Wells have created a
work of art. A piece of history combined with contemporary
happenings. This contribution to our hobby should not go
unnoticed and if I have anything to say about it Ė it will
When the first and second publications were released I
objected to the word "Official" being in the title. Today, I
believe this book deserves that title. They earned it!