Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp

Nevada Silver Premium Gaming Tokens: 1999 Price Guide, Marvin Weaver, (1999)

75 pages, plastic comb bound, $25.70 (postpaid; $27.56 to California addresses), Silver Premium Guide, P. O. Box 8595, Pittsburg, CA 94565

Reliable, detailed information about casino tokens is unfortunately not so widely available as is similar information about chips. Marv Weaver, who has specialized in collecting silver premium tokens since their introduction into Nevada gaming, has published his fourth edition reference book and price guide to Nevada SPT's to help correct that problem! As has been the case with his last three editions, Weaver has produced a colorful and easily-used guide that every collector of these special tokens will need to own.

Silver premium tokens, for those of you who usually only collect chips, are the special coins which are usually contained in plastic covers, and which are dispensed by special slot machines which pay only in such tokens. Although all SPT's have a face amount, and can be redeemed at the cashier's cage for the face amount, they are not playable in slot machines nor are they accepted for wagers on table games.

The Weaver book contains a detailed discussion of the characteristics of SPT's, including an interesting and informative section on actual metallurgical assays of SPT's to determine the amount (and value) of precious metal in the tokens. I won't reveal the details here--you'll have to buy Marv's book for that--but it turns out that some of the tokens have no silver in them at all! The actual bullion value of those that do is also an extremely interesting revelation. In fact, Weaver successfully lobbied the Nevada Gaming Commission to require a more accurate on-token description of the silver content of SPT's. He describes the change in his Introduction.

In all, 750 SPT's are listed, described, and valued. Weaver's descriptive listings are color-coded so that the reader can tell at a glance which tokens are current, obsolete (the casino that issued them has closed) or retired (the casino's still open, but the particular SPT is no longer available from a machine). Continuing a feature introduced with his 3rd edition, Weaver has added a color section of major token varieties and errors. Printed from electronic scans of tokens in Weaver's own collection, the color illustrations are sharp, clear, and reveal differences that can only be understood in side-by-side comparison.

Each copy of the 1999 SPT Guide is personalized, and the purchaser's name will appear on the cover. A nice touch, as are the Appendices which list token variations, casino locations, and an explanation of mint marks. For collectors of Nevada Silver Premium Tokens, the Weaver book is clearly the premier reference work and price guide.