|Considered by collectors to be the hobby's Holy Grail, a rare casino chip, went under the online hammer at eBay for a record price of $33,000. |
The bright blue and red US$5 chip from the Las Vegas Sands Hotel is one of only five of its style known to exist is reportedly from the 1950’s. Cast in a classic arrow and die mold around the edges and is emblazoned with the slogan ‘A Place in the Sun’ it was put up for sale by California seller James Campiglia. The Sands was the favored Las Vegas retreat of the famed “Rat Pack,” which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr was recently torn down in 1996 to make way for the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.
The anonymous buyer, ‘Achipguy’ got into the bidding fray that opened March 9 at $999.99. Just before the auction closed, the buyer posted the final bid with just seven seconds to spare — by far topping the previous bid of $25,555.55. The sale shattered the previous single-chip record price of $15,100 paid three years ago, also on eBay, for a similar US$5 chip from the Hacienda Las Vegas, which was mowed down to build the Mandalay Bay Casino.
Over a period of five days, the rare chip drew 40 offers from 20 people bidding under names such as ‘Brooklyn Fats,’ who dropped out at $20,000, and ‘Chip Rocker,’ who finally quit at $20,989.01.
According to Len Cipkins, spokesman for the Nevada-based Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collectors Club the chip in the limelight is the Holy Grail of chips.