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 still rare!
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.