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Limited Edition Holiday Casino Chips

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The holidays are here and I thought I'd share a few $1 casino chip that were produced in limited quantities just for this time of year. All are from Nevada, California, and Colorado to celebrate Christmas, New Years Eve, and Chinese New Year. As you might have guessed, the majority of the New Years chips were produced in 2000 for the millennium. Let's have a look at some of them, starting with Christmas.

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Sunset Station Christmas 2002 and Harvey's Christmas 2000 (both sides shown)

In 2002, Sunset Station in Henderson , NV, issued a 5-chip set of limited edition chips for Christmas. These chips were manufactured by ChipCo and featured a common front and unique backs. The set included the $1 chip (shown above) with an elf carrying Santa's mailbag with 1,250 chips being produced. The $2.50 chip depicted a child in bed dreaming of presents and the $5 chip showed Santa's coming down the chimney. Both of these denominations were limited to 500 chips. The $25 chip continued the story with the child finding a Christmas tree surrounded by presents. Only 70 chips were produced. The final chip in the series is the $100 chip showing the child diving into their presents. A mere 25 of these chips were produced. In 2000, Harvey's in Central City, CO, issued their own 2-sided Christmas chip. These are the only 2-sided $1 casino chips made for Christmas.

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Mahoney's Silver Nugget 2001, Opera House 2001, Four Queens 2002, and Four Queens 2003

A number of 1-sided Christmas chips have made an appearance over the years. Above is a set of 4 from Nevada. The Mahoney's Silver Nugget casino in North Las Vegas issued this Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer chip in 2001. That same year their sister property, the Opera House casino, issued their own limited edition Christmas chip. Both were limited to 1,250 chips and included $5, $25, and $100 chips with various Christmas designs. In 2002 and 2003 the Four Queens issued Christmas chips in just the $1 denomination. Not very decorative, the 2002 chip simply replaced their standard black website text running about the inlay, with alternating green and red text. (They issued a similar chip for Halloween with black and orange text.) The next year they limited production to a quantity of 2003 chips which included the words "Happy Holidays" with red and green inserts along the edges.

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Johnny Z's Christmas chips 2013 to 2015

Johnny Z's casino opened in 2010 and started producing Christmas chips a few years later after a casino chip collector pitched them the idea. The 2013, 2014, and 2015 chips are shown above. The new design for 2016 should be released later this week.

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New Years Eve chips from Sonoma Joe's, Sunset Station, Saddle West, and Hollywood Park (both sides shown)

Now for New Years Eve. The four chips above are nice examples of 2-sided chips issued by Sonoma Joe's in 1995, Sunset Station in 2003, Saddle West in 2001, and Hollywood Park in 2000. For those old enough to remember, the new millennium brought a fear that many computer systems would malfunction because they were originally programmed with a 2-digit year. Now a 4-digit year was needed and programmers spent 1999 applying patches to make their code Y2K compliant. Hollywood Park casino issued this clever Y2K Chip, complete with a circuit board background and a play on Intel's tag line.

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New Year chips from Fortune Valley and the Four Queens

In both 2004 and 2005, Fortune Valley in Central City, CO, issued these similar $1 chips. (I guess they saved money on the art design.) The Four Queens got into the act with their own limited edition New Years Eve chips in 2001 and 2004 whose quantities matched the new year.

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Double Eagle, Creeker's, Gilpin, and Harvey's millennium chips (both sides shown)

When the year 2000 was upon us, casinos looked to profit by issuing a number of chips commemorating the millennium. Let's kick thing off with Colorado and the four 2-sided chips above. The Double Eagle casino issued a series of limited edition numbered chips which included the $1, $2.50, $5, and $25 chip -- all with identical graphics. This $1 chip is number 350 and is etched into the ceramic. A similar 4-chip set was issued by their sister property, Creeker's casino. It's hard to see in this scan, but #269 is etched into the chip just below the blue scrollwork on the reverse. The Gilpin casino issued this Baby New Year chip for the millennium. Most unusual, especially years later, is this Bill Cosby chip issued by Harvey's casino. They had a relationship with Mr. Cosby and used his likeness on 5 different $1 chips, including one for the 4th of July and another for St. Patrick's Day.

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Fiesta millennium chip set (both sides shown)

Perhaps a better looking millennium chip was this pair of $1 chips issued by the Fiesta casino in North Las Vegas. Only 1000 chip were made, one depicting Father Time a second before the new year and the other chip showing Baby New Year a second after. Issuing two chips doubled their profit.

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Four Queens millennium chips (both sides shown)

Not to be outdone, the Four Queens proclaimed themselves "The Official Hotel/Casino of The Millennium" and issued the three 2-sided chips shown above. All 3 are extremely similar. Can you spot the differences?

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Mandalay Bay Chinese New Year chips (only 1 side shown)

While the casinos profit from the Christmas and New Year crowds, nothing compares to the Chinese New Year hysteria. Asian's are notorious gamblers, and big bets on New Year's Eve are an accepted way to begin a lucky new year. In 2000 Mandalay Bay issued a beautiful $1 chip commemorating the Year of the Dragon. They continued this practice through 2004.

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Sonoma Joe's and Wynn Chinese New Year chips (both sides shown)

The first Chinese New Year chip issued was this $1 Sonoma Joe's Year of the Pig chip in 1995. The Wynn recently revived this practice and in 2014 issued this Year of the Horse chip. They followed that up with a Year of the Goat chip in 2015 and a Year of the Monkey chip in 2016. Can we expect to see a Year of the Rooster chip next month? Stay tuned...
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