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Collecting Dice

Dice come in many shapes and designs, and there are collectors with thousands of different examples.  If you want to collect dice you could collect a specific or specialised kind of die or collect across the whole range of different types.  Here are some tips and ideas...

When collecting dice you may want to look at their condition.  Worn corners, faces and edges with dents, nicks and scratches make them less desirable.  What about the spots or graphics and markings on the die's faces?  They may be worn and faded.  If the dice were issued in sets, are they all there?  It's all down to your own personal taste and judgement and if the dice are particularly old or interesting then condition may be less important to you.

Dice with markings set into their faces are more collectable than those with markings printed or transferred onto the surface because of the susceptibility to fading from wear.  And dice made of materials other than plastic are rarer and so more sought after.

Read about the different types of dice and learn how to categorise and identify them.  Try to find out as much as you can about the dice you collect - history, dates, locations, materials, manufacturer and anything else you can think of.

Drawstring bags are the most common and appealing way to store dice.  They come in leather, suede, felt, velour and many other fabrics.  You can even get chain-mail dice bags.  You will need a number of draw string bags if you have a large number dice because they tend to come in small sizes, only able to hold a few dozen or so dice.  Flat boxes like cigar boxes are another popular method of storage and are good for displaying dice too. Large glass jars and bowls are useful to hold large numbers of dice if you want to have them out on display in your living room, for example.  

There is such a vast range of different dice around that you will never have a complete collection. There will always be new dice to find and discover. This could be a positive or a negative thing to a collector but it means you could always be on the lookout for new additions to your collection.


Casino Dice

Collecting casino dice is most common in the USA where there are an abundance of casinos with Craps tables. They can be found in the casino itself or in souvenir shops in cities with a casino presence. US swap meets and collectors fairs are good places to find dice, as well as antique shops. eBay, the online auction site, can be a useful source too.

Casino dice come in pairs and some collectors prefer that the dice have matching serial numbers.  However, it is said that matching numbers becomes less important the older the dice.  The history of the casino where the dice came from is an important aspect a collector should investigate.  The rarer the dice the more valuable they become and collectors will pay for them although the prices are not too excessive yet. 

A lone casino die, without a match, is known as a single and may still be considered collectable by an enthusiast.

Cancelled dice are still collectable as long as they don't have logos and markings too heavily defaced.  Collectors usually want dice that have actually been used and played with in their particular casino. 


Ordinary Standard Dice

Ordinary standard dice come in many different materials and from all over the world.  Collectable and sought-after dice include those made from Bakelite, bone, ivory, different metals, semi-precious stones and minerals, and aren't too prohibitively expensive as to deter a dice enthusiast.  Antique ancient Roman and Greek standard dice can be bought but will cost a fairly significant sum of money.  Asian standard dice with their differently arranged and differently coloured spots are an interesting addition to any dice collection.  Of course, cheap ordinary plastic dice come in a vast range of colours, sizes, finishes, and from a range of different manufacturers, and are a very inexpensive way to increase the size of a dice collection and are very easily found. 


Crooked Dice

You could collect crooked dice for novelty value, but certainly not for profit in a game. It would be illegal and dangerous to try this.  Their appeal and fascination is in the ingenuity with which they were devised and made.  Their great to show and impress friends, although they may not want to play a dice game with you after, but not to play with socially.  You can dream of making fortunes with them but don't try it for real.  


Souvenir, Novelty and Promotional Dice

Souvenir, novelty and promotional dice are an inexpensive way to collect. Souvenir dice often have a location on them and can be found in places with a tourist presence.  You could collect different countries' souvenir dice or the states of the USA.  Promotional dice are distributed by their respective commercial businesses or sports teams.  Why not collect the sports teams in a league or particular sport or collect dice promoting food and drink products. e-Bay is a useful source to find promotional and souvenir dice.  You may find some interesting dice being sold by the online retailers linked below.  The collectors links may help as they often want to swap and trade spare dice they have.


Polyhedral Dice

Polyhedral dice are avidly collected by players of Role Playing Games (RPGs) and Collectable Dice Games (CDGs).  RPG players may be more interested in collecting the games than the dice but dice as accessories can be an interesting area too.  They come in all sorts of sizes, patterns and designs, transparent gem to marble effect and marked in many ways.  Dice may be more important to CDG players who must collect them to succeed in a game.

Polyhedral dice often come in standard sets of seven - d4, d6, d8, 2d10, d12, d20.  One d10 will be marked in tens, 0 to 90, so it can be used with the other as percentile dice (d%).  See standard dice notation for an explanation of the 'd' and number sequence.  

You could collect different shapes, sizes, colours, finishes or markings.  There are a wealth of different polyhedral dice to find. 

You should be able to get polyhedral dice from your local game retailer.  If you can't, try the retailers' links below to order some on the World Wide Web.


Dice Related Collectables

Dice accessories like throwing cups, rolling devices (such as chuck cages), dice throwing trays, bowls, drawstring bags and storage boxes are not that uncommon and very collectable.  There are allsorts of these dice accessories made just for general dice use, or for product and commercial promotional purposes.  There are also a range of unrelated products that feature dice as a theme, from clocks and jewellery to many other everyday objects. 



Try the dice collecting links below to find dice for sale or trade.

Check out these Dice Collections on the web.

Buy dice from these Dice Retailers and Manufacturers.

Groups and sites for dice collectors/players...  Dice Links








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