The longer Silver Bullion stays up in the market, the more we see a grey area growing between favored bullion types like Silver Eagles, Maples, Pandas, and what we call generic bullion – like those stamped by Johnson Matthey, Wallace, NWT, The Sunshine Mint, Franklin Mint, etc. The consumer market has always favored government issued silver bullion for two reasons: because it’s content and weight is guaranteed by said government authority, and because government mint issued bullion often imitates previously issued currency and can accumulate a fan following. So because of the premium that is now being paid on some government issued bullion, folks are trying to find another way to invest. And a lot of folks are looking to Las Vegas.
These gaming tokens were often won through play of a certain slot machine called “Silver Strike” which is why you might hear the tokens referred to as “Silver Strikes” in the industry. Because these little beauties are so “Vegas” they can sometimes get pretty collectible. Luckily, with silver valued on the market at around $30/ oz., the collectible value is just about equivalent to the silver value. I’ve had many folks ask me if investing in Las Vegas gaming tokens was in fact a good way to buy silver bullion without paying a premium for it’s demand. The answer is this: if you can get a good deal on it (not more than 10% above spot price) then investing in silver is always a good idea!
$10 Silver Strikes have a .999 Silver center insert outer ring is Brass, and though it is often said the approximate Silver weight is 0.60 troy ounces of Silver (or about 18.6 grams), our own testing shows that the silver in the center does vary, but the older ones have more, and the newer silver gaming tokens contain about half an ounce of .999 silver. In 2009 CLAD (no .999) $10 strikes appeared, but those that aren’t silver clearly are not marked “.999 fine silver” on the brass outer ring like the Silver strikes are.
$7 strikes are .999 Silver with approximate weight of 0.65 troy ounces (or about 20.2 grams) and have no brass ring. They are a bit thinner than the $10 tokens. These tokens have been discontinued and the machines that dispensed them are no longer in play, so many of them do have collector’s value.
All of the Silver Strike Las Vegas Gaming tokens have themes. Some of the favorites are: “Man’s 4 Vices”, “American Outlaws”, and of course, “Hawaiian Islands”. One of my favorites is The Blues Brothers! They also have a classic cars series, the zodiac, Chinese new years, and plenty more! Unfortunately where ever there is a good active collectable market, there will be counterfeits. For more information on Las Vegas Gaming tokens, Silver strikes, or how to identify counterfeits, check out the Silver Striker’s Club! They have a wealth of information on their website including the most comprehensive catalog you will find on silver strikes! If you are interested in learning more about Las Vegas Gaming Tokens, also known as Silver Strikes, please give us a call! We’d love for the opportunity to show you what they look like in person. Whatever your favorite type of silver investing, we hope you hit the mother-load!