Natural clay/terracotta colored chips?

Squakmix

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I'm looking for sets that are designed to show off the natural colors of the clays used in the manufacturing process. Older chips seem to use more muted color schemes with more browns and dark oranges/reds/blacks, and chips with those earth tones evoke a nice old timey wild west/saloon feel that I like. There's something conceptually nice about being able to see the materials used in their "raw" forms too, and I can imagine that chips with colored edge spots on a natural clay background would look great (and vice versa). I was hoping that CPC would have a "no color" option, but the closest thing I found to a natural clay color in their catalog was in the images used to show off different edge spot options (http://www.pokerchipsonline.com/pokerchips/realclay/edgespots.htm), and they don't seem to match anything in the CPC color chart.

I have seen a few custom sets designed to utilize more muted pallets and have seen some older chips like the Dragonara Palace chips that utilize some earth tones, but it seems like there aren't many sets out there designed to show off the colors of actual clay. What's out there in this space?
 
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Minus

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Have you seen "Iron Clays"? They don't seem to be talked about as 'poker chips' because they're made by a board game company and don't have a 25-chip, but the color scheme might be something you like.
 

mtl mile end

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"Compressed Clay" chips don't really have much actual clay in them, so I think you're looking for an earth tone set. Not many entities have ordered creation of such a set ("bright" is more popular), so custom is probably your best route. CPC really does have the best palette of muted colours.

Paulson's palette has brighter colours all around. And the old BCC and TRk palettes were the brightest. Old chips manufactured by Burt (which eventually morphed into CPC) are another subdued palette.
 

ChaosRock

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This chip might be the closest you could get to what you're looking for, I believe. It's a Casablanca $100 chip but the below has been labeled-over as Empress Star T5. Some call it "The Brick Hundo".


Casablanca $100 EST5.jpeg



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Squakmix

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"Compressed Clay" chips don't really have much actual clay in them, so I think you're looking for an earth tone set. Not many entities have ordered creation of such a set ("bright" is more popular), so custom is probably your best route. CPC really does have the best palette of muted colours.

Paulson's palette has brighter colours all around. And the old BCC and TRk palettes were the brightest. Old chips manufactured by Burt (which eventually morphed into CPC) are another subdued palette.
Thanks @mtl mile end , I figured that was the case. I think most compressed clay chips these days are made with a base material as close as possible to white so that they can easily color it a variety of different ways and get the most vibrant colors possible.

Thanks for the link the Paulson color chart. Unfortunately all of the colors there seem to be slightly off from what I'm imagining... I'm looking for something between Russet and orange.

You're probably right that a CPC custom set is probably the closest I'd get. I just wish the chip color in their edge spot chart were available in their color guide. I've reached out to them via email but don't hold out much hope that I'd be able to order anything in that color.
 

Squakmix

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Have you seen "Iron Clays"? They don't seem to be talked about as 'poker chips' because they're made by a board game company and don't have a 25-chip, but the color scheme might be something you like.
I hadn't seen these yet, thanks for the recommendation. Those look a lot like ceramics (despite being referred to as "clay" in the marketing materials)... Have any experience with them?

@ChaosRock thanks for the recommendation, those are beautiful. That reddish hue is nice.. I'm going to have to look up the color of those.
 

Minus

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No personal experience, sorry. Supposedly they're kind of slippery, but a light brushing of 1500 sandpaper fixes them right up.
There's a review on youtube that does a comparison between Iron Clays and Paulsons that concludes that they're very good for the price. It's in Finnish, but the auto-translator is pretty good.

 

CrazyEddie

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I'm looking for sets that are designed to show off the natural colors of the clays used in the manufacturing process.
Chips aren't made out of clay. They are a mix of materials, mostly plastic, with some clay minerals included. Those clay minerals are typically barite, which is colorless or white.

If you want chips that use earth tones and a muted palette, that's great, and you can undoubtedly make an awesome-looking set out of those colors. But "the natural colors of the clays" probably isn't what you think they are.

I can't be positive, but I believe that older chips use a duller palette because they're made by Burt Co / ASM (now CPC), and the Burt manufacturing process cures the chips at a higher temperature than the Paulson or TR King process does. This higher temperature means that, among other things, the materials have a tendency to, for lack of a better term, char. This limits the colors that can be used. Like I said, I don't know for sure that this is true (the processes are shrouded in secrecy) but I do know that this was true for Bakelite, one of the early plastics. Parts that were molded out of Bakelite were molded under high heat and pressure, much like the Burt chips were. The various Bakelite formulas included fillers (almost all early plastics were composites of multiple materials and included fillers) and those fillers would char under the heat in the molds. That's why so many Bakelite pieces were black, brown, or tan.
 

CrazyEddie

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I hadn't seen these yet, thanks for the recommendation. Those look a lot like ceramics (despite being referred to as "clay" in the marketing materials)... Have any experience with them?

Iron Clays are slugged plastics. They're very different-looking from most slugged plastics, in part because they're designed to appeal to the board gaming niche rather than the home poker market. They're very slick, about as slick as Matsuis. Like Matsuis, people have had good results with sanding them very lightly to reduce their slipperiness.

They don't feel like ceramics at all, and they're not manufactured like ceramics at all. They have an interesting design and an unusual construction that makes them distinct from any other chip; they're injection-molded in two colors and have no inlays, decals, stamping, or printing - the graphics are entirely done through the two-color molding.

For gaming counters, they're not bad. Most PCF members wouldn't like them compared to other poker chip offerings, even other slugged plastics.

Like most slugged plastics, the people selling them call them "clay" but they're completely unlike the chips that we call "clay" (i.e. the compression-molded chips that have been used in card rooms and casinos for a century).
 
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Not the terracotta you are looking for, but I have had numerous people comment about how they like the subdued colors in the BCC Samurai set. Very nicely done....and the $5s are some of the best I have ever seen!!

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Squakmix

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Chips aren't made out of clay. They are a mix of materials, mostly plastic, with some clay minerals included. Those clay minerals are typically barite, which is colorless or white.

If you want chips that use earth tones and a muted palette, that's great, and you can undoubtedly make an awesome-looking set out of those colors. But "the natural colors of the clays" probably isn't what you think they are.

I can't be positive, but I believe that older chips use a duller palette because they're made by Burt Co / ASM (now CPC), and the Burt manufacturing process cures the chips at a higher temperature than the Paulson or TR King process does. This higher temperature means that, among other things, the materials have a tendency to, for lack of a better term, char. This limits the colors that can be used. Like I said, I don't know for sure that this is true (the processes are shrouded in secrecy) but I do know that this was true for Bakelite, one of the early plastics. Parts that were molded out of Bakelite were molded under high heat and pressure, much like the Burt chips were. The various Bakelite formulas included fillers (almost all early plastics were composites of multiple materials and included fillers) and those fillers would char under the heat in the molds. That's why so many Bakelite pieces were black, brown, or tan.
Thanks for the great info @CrazyEddie. I know that some terracotta and pottery clays utilize clay with iron oxide in it that is dug from natural deposits and thought that some companies may have used it as a component in their chips.

@Seeking Alpha Social Club that is a gorgeous set, thanks for the recommendation. I love the progression of the edge spots, and the color pallet has that old school subdued vibe.
 
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