Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp

Collecting Casino Chips, Donald Spencer, 2nd Ed. (1997)

150 pages, perfect bound, Camelot Publishing Company; $35 plus $3 postage, Camelot Publishing Company, 39-B Coolidge Ave., Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Don Spencer's Collecting Casino Chips is probably the best introduction to the hobby for new collectors. Written in an easy-to-follow manner, the book covers all the basics the new collector needs to know about, and includes a collecting dictionary to demystify many of the terms used by more advanced collectors.

Profusely illustrated, Collecting Casino Chips is an easy book to read and appreciate. This edition includes, for the first time, a 40-page center insert of color pages. Some great old postcard photos, and photos of chips of various kinds add to the reader's understanding of the appeal of casino chip collecting. The author combines technical information with fascinating historical facts and references to tie the modern chip collector to the gambling past.

Spencer covers such topics as how to get started, where to find chips, trading with other collectors, purchasing from dealers, chip shows, auctions, and much more. Virtually everything, in fact, that the neophyte collector wants to know but doesn't know where to find the answers to.

In addition to introductory and basic information, the book also discusses subjects of interest to more advanced collectors. I part company with the author when he recommends using an eraser to clean chips, and a thin coat of shellac to preserve them, but he offers much good advice as well.

Well executed and well conceived, especially for the beginning collector, Spencer's book is the first book I recommend to new members of our hobby.