Information on old Cresent Moon Poker chips? (1 Viewer)

Singerman23

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Hi everyone, happy friday!

I found an old poker set that I think looks really cool, and I would like more information on it. I have searched the web to the best I can and still cant find much. It's a cresent man moon with an owl sitting on the moon. I would guess they are from 1890s-1930s? The set has different colors, red, black, and white.

I really like these chips.. do you have any more information? Realistically how much should one pay for a set?

Thank you.

Screenshot_20220805-141453_Gallery.jpg
 

CrazyEddie

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These are engraved chips, made by the US Playing Card Company. I think 1890s is too early; I think that they're probably no earlier than 1910, but I can't say for sure. @Jeff in Iowa may be able to pin down the range more closely.

The specific design you've found is on display here, along with some other examples of this type of engraved chip; there are more such examples here and here.

These chips are old but they're not particularly valuable. You can find them on ebay easily, but usually only in small lots mixed in with a lot of other old and otherwise unremarkable chips. Some ebay sellers may be asking ridiculous prices for singles, but very few poker chip collectors would be interested in paying much for these, if anything at all. These are generic designs, marketed by USPCC to the general public for home use, whereas most poker chip collectors are more interested in chips that were actually in use in casinos and card rooms rather than home games.

That said, if you like them, they're worth whatever you want to pay for them. I agree that the design is pretty cool. One big consideration is that while these chips are pretty common, finding a complete and matched set of them is fairly unusual. If you want a playable set, you'll either need to wait for a complete set like this to come up for sale (which isn't very often) OR you'll need to build it yourself over time by picking up small batches here and there and hoping that the colors match each other.

If you like them, buy them, but don't expect anyone else to like them as much as you do, and don't expect to get your money back out of them if you decide to sell them. The seller isn't likely to get much interest from anyone else either, so you ought to be able to negotiate a pretty low price if you feel like negotiating rather than just taking their asking price. Ten cents per chip wouldn't be unreasonable for either the buyer or the seller. The chips on their own aren't worth even that much, but there's some value simply in having a pre-assembled set that you like the design of.

These are vintage chips, and as such have a very different look and feel from modern chips. Mostly here on PCF we talk about and prefer modern chips. Don't let that stop you from picking these up, but understand that if you try to compare them to any other chips you might purchase you'll find they're very different. That's not necessarily bad... just different.

Welcome to the forum!
 

Singerman23

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These are engraved chips, made by the US Playing Card Company. I think 1890s is too early; I think that they're probably no earlier than 1910, but I can't say for sure. @Jeff in Iowa may be able to pin down the range more closely.

The specific design you've found is on display here, along with some other examples of this type of engraved chip; there are more such examples here and here.

These chips are old but they're not particularly valuable. You can find them on ebay easily, but usually only in small lots mixed in with a lot of other old and otherwise unremarkable chips. Some ebay sellers may be asking ridiculous prices for singles, but very few poker chip collectors would be interested in paying much for these, if anything at all. These are generic designs, marketed by USPCC to the general public for home use, whereas most poker chip collectors are more interested in chips that were actually in use in casinos and card rooms rather than home games.

That said, if you like them, they're worth whatever you want to pay for them. I agree that the design is pretty cool. One big consideration is that while these chips are pretty common, finding a complete and matched set of them is fairly unusual. If you want a playable set, you'll either need to wait for a complete set like this to come up for sale (which isn't very often) OR you'll need to build it yourself over time by picking up small batches here and there and hoping that the colors match each other.

If you like them, buy them, but don't expect anyone else to like them as much as you do, and don't expect to get your money back out of them if you decide to sell them. The seller isn't likely to get much interest from anyone else either, so you ought to be able to negotiate a pretty low price if you feel like negotiating rather than just taking their asking price. Ten cents per chip wouldn't be unreasonable for either the buyer or the seller. The chips on their own aren't worth even that much, but there's some value simply in having a pre-assembled set that you like the design of.

These are vintage chips, and as such have a very different look and feel from modern chips. Mostly here on PCF we talk about and prefer modern chips. Don't let that stop you from picking these up, but understand that if you try to compare them to any other chips you might purchase you'll find they're very different. That's not necessarily bad... just different.

Welcome to the forum!
Wow. Such an incredibly detailed reply. Thank you so much. I come across vintage chips often while flipping, and always just want to keep them for myself lol. I looked it up and people do ask a lot on ebay. There is only one complete set I could find and they were asking like 1300, and selling individual chips for like $4. There were 0 "sold" sets, and only a few "sold" individual chips. I couldnt find any information on them, or what they are actually worth.

Thanks again.
 

CrazyEddie

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Spend a few dollars and buy a grab bag of vintage chips, including some of these, just so you can get your hands on them and see how they feel and whether or not you like the way they feel. Then buy a few samples of some other types of chips and compare them. Browse the classifieds here on PCF to get an idea of what some other types of chips are, and be sure to check out the New Members Start Here thread.

Nothing wrong with vintage if you've got your heart set on them, but for that kind of money there are lots of sets of chips you could buy that anyone on PCF would prefer over vintage, by a long shot.

What was the breakdown of that $1300 set? Which colors, and how many of each color?
 
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These are engraved chips, made by the US Playing Card Company. I think 1890s is too early; I think that they're probably no earlier than 1910, but I can't say for sure. @Jeff in Iowa may be able to pin down the range more closely.
Dale Seymour in his book "Antique Gambling Chips" traces the evolution of early poker chips. The book reproduces dozens of pages from 19th and early 20th century catalogs.

Engraved chips very similar to those in the OP first show up in a dated 1880 catalog. By the late 1880s there are dozens of engraved chip designs being sold by different retailers.

Die-cut inlaid chips first show up in a catalog he dates to 1895. The Monarch (Raised Circle) mold and the large "C" mold date to about 1900.

The first experimental "Crest and Seal" chips with a protective coating over the whole chip date to about 1900, but the process was not perfected until about 1910. Richard Hanover has a good timeline for that here; http://www.oldpokerchips.com/CSdates.htm
 
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