Frontier Gilley’s Chips & Silver Strikes.

Did you know that the Frontier casino in Las Vegas issued gaming chips, silver strikes ($10 tokens made with .6 ounce of .999 fine silver surrounded by a brass ring) and a 5 piece Medallion set to promote their Gilley’s club? Well they did. Here is what we know and what we have in our collection.

Gilley’s Gaming Chips

The Frontier casino issued casino chips in December of 1998 to commemorate the opening of the new Gilley’s club. This issue is one of the few chips ever released in Las Vegas with each chip individually numbered. There were 300 $25 chips and 2000 $5 chips issued.  So the total issue was 2300 chips ($17,500 total face value).

The existing supply is somewhat smaller. This is because when the Frontier Hotel and Casino closed in 2007, they (as required by Nevada gaming laws) offered to cash in any chips turned in to the hotel within a designated period of time. I have spoken with several collectors who stated that they did turn in a number of Gilley’s chips, and it was confirmed to me, by the hotel president, that they were shredded as required by state law. So which, and how many chips are still in existence is unknown.

GilleysMuseum.com has probably the largest collection of Limited Edition Gilley’s Grand Opening casino chips anywhere. Included in our collection are a number of pairs with matching numbers. Below is a picture of the eight matched number sets (the serial number of the $5 & $25 chips are the same) currently in the GilleysMuseum collection.

GilleysMuseum.com's 8 matching set of Gilley's LE Chips

GilleysMuseum.com’s Gilley’s LE Chip Sets

Obviously all sets are numbered below 301, since the highest $25 chip made was #300. Matched sets are especially valuable since it is so difficult to find both chips with the same serial number on them. This is probably due to the random way the chips were originally released in the casino.

Small numbers of chips, with random serial numbers, were put on different table games thoughout the Frontier casino over a period of days. This meant that you had to be lucky enough to be at the right table at the right time just to have a chance to get one. Players had no control over which chips, and which serial numbers, were available at any game, so they had to take whatever they could get. To put together a matching set you would have to find the person who got the chip that matches yours and convince them to sell it to you. Not an easy task.

Our total collection of these chips (both $5 & $25 denominations), most of which are in a safe deposit box, numbers in the hundreds. We are always looking for more, so if you have any you are ready to part with please email us at GilleysMuseum@gmail.com so we can make a deal . And if you’re wondering, both sides are identical, with the serial numbers hand stamped in gold print on each side.

Finally, here’s a bit of trivia that I bet most chip collectors never noticed. All chip types do NOT weigh the same. There can be quite a variation depending on materials used and design differences. For instance, the last issue chips from The New Frontier weighed in at 0.38 ounces each. But the Gilley’s Grand Opening December 1998 Limited Edition chips weigh only 0.28 each, a full one tenth of an ounce less that the other Frontier chips. And yes, they are all the same size and thickness, so it’s the difference in materials that makes the difference.

(September 2012 Update) We now have 12 matching pairs.

Gilley’s Silver Strikes

The Frontier Casino issued a total of 10 different $10 silver strikes and one $200 strike (in two versions, one numbered and one not). The GilleysMuseum collection includes complete sets of all of them, with extra strikes specific to Gilley’s club. The six strikes most relevant are the Frontier building with Gilley’s on the sign in front, Cowboy riding a bull, Cowboy riding a bucking bronco, the very rare and valuable Gilley’s Saddle, Gilley’s logo, and the exceptionally rare and valuable Gilley’s Bronco. Below is a picture including all of them.

Gilley's $10 silver strikes

GilleysMuseum.com $10 Gilley’s Silver Strikes

Notice the top right bronco rider is very similar to the Gilley’s Bronco below it. The Gilley’s Bronco includes the Gilley’s logo to the right of the rider. Do not confuse the two as the Gilley’s Bronco is worth many times the value of the plain rider strike.

As mentioned, our collection includes more than one of each of the above, again stored in our safe deposit box. It is believed that only about 100 of the Gilley’s Saddles and a smaller number of the Gilley’s Bronco were released before the silver strike machine was removed from the Frontier casino in 2004. My casino sources, without being more specific, seem to confirm this.

FYI, the reverse of each of the 10 $10 strikes is the same (except the Gilley’s Saddle and Gilley’s Bronco, which do NOT have the “F” logo), showing the “F” logo over the New Frontier logo above the “.999 FINE SILVER” marking.

We continue to add more strikes to our collection as they become available.

Frontier Casino Limited Edition Commemorative Set

This set of 5 commemorative tokens, or medallions, was issued by The New Frontier Casino in 2004 and is labeled as “Series 1.” A subsequent series never materialized.

It includes two different Gilley’s logo styles, the Frontier Hotel and Casino sign, a view of the front of the casino, and a view of the hotel tower. The opposite side shows The New Frontier logo, and all are the same. There was a limit of 1000 for each token. How many were actually issued is unknown, to the best of our knowledge.

These tokens were sold in the players club in exchange for $10 each in Rewards Club comps. If you purchased all 5 at one time you got the blue felt display box free.

The blue felt display box  for The New Frontier Commemorative Medallions set measures 4″ by 6″ and is pictured below.

The New Frontier Commemorative Medallion Box

2004 The New Frontier Commemorative Medallion Box

The next picture shows the 5 Commemorative Medallions inside the display box.

The New Frontier Commemorative Medallion 5 piece set.

The New Frontier Commemorative Medallion 5 piece set. Front view of medallions.

This last picture shows the back of the medallions. They are all the same.

The New Frontier Commemorative Medallion - back side.

This is the back side of each of the 5 The New Frontier Commemorative Medallions.

While there seems to be some dispute about the metal content of these tokens it is clear to me that they are NOT silver, whether that be solid, sterling or plated. There is no mention of silver in the promotional materials used by the hotel, no stampings on the medallions, and the finish looks more like chrome to me. So despite the fact that some sellers are claiming these medallions to be silver I would buy them as collectible metal tokens only. Here is a picture of the promotional material.

The New Frontier Commemorative Meddalion Set Info Sheet

The New Frontier Commemorative Meddalion Set Info Sheet

We’d love to hear your stories, relevant info, etc. on these very cool chips and strikes. Feel free to post below.

See ya,

Bubba

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: