Silver Strikes: When Slots Machines Spit Out Collectible Coins

We’ve strolled past Silver Strike slot machines in Las Vegas casinos for gawd-knows-how-long. Never thought much about them, until recently at the Four Queens, downtown.

Silver Strike souvenir tokens

We were intrigued. We live for intrigue. Well, that and brightly-colored slushy drinks.

We sidled up to a Silver Strike slot machine and fed our $20 into that ever-hungry bill slot, and a few spins later, we were the proud owner of a commemorative Silver Strike coin.

Spit out our collectible coin, baby.

Give up our “Silver Premium Token,” baby.

It was a handsome Las Vegas keepsake, courtesy of a slot machine, no gift shop required.

Four Queens token

We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.

Little did we know that Silver Strike tokens are a thing!

There’s even a Silver Strikers Club where collectors share their passion for these collectible coins. The group even has bylaws and yearly conventions where members attend for “friendship, trading, education and fun.”

Yes, friendships are being forged because of Silver Strikes. It’s comforting to know we’re not alone in our freakish love of all-things-casino.

Silver Strike coins

“Collect them all,” said the sly casino bean counters.

Apparently, these limited edition coins, dispensed in a plastic holder, have a variety of redeemable values. (Ours was a $10 coin, but a $300 coin could also come out.) But we’re not into redeeming, we’re into collecting, even when we’re still not entirely sure what we’re collecting.

The Silver Strikers Club site provided us the invaluable information that our particular Silver Strike token was minted by the Sunshine Mint in Idaho. We’re not sure how we would have managed to live a happy, fulfilled life without knowing where our token was minted, so what a relief.

The coins come in a variety of styles. Ours, pictured below, had a special Halloween ghoul image on the back. Sorry, on the “obverse,” in Silver Strike parlance. The Silver Strikers Club collects and shares all the technical specs of each token. Here’s the one we got (.pdf format).

Our coin had a blue plastic holder, so it’s officially called a “bluecap.” Fascinating, right? It’s described as a “clad brass center with brass ring.” (Clad with silver! Possibly.) We have officially unleashed our inner casino nerd, and we don’t care who knows it.

Here's our bluecap, clad Silver Strike premium token. Oh, my, we're starting to talk like them!

Here’s our bluecap, clad Silver Strike premium token. Oh, my, we’re starting to talk like them!

Apparently, Silver Strike machines can also be found at El Cortez, Mirage and Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.

Have you played for or won any of these cool tokens? Did you keep yours or redeem them? We’d love to know.

Our Silver Strike collection is currently a collection of one. For the moment, that is. Somebody has to keep those bill slots busy.

33 thoughts on “Silver Strikes: When Slots Machines Spit Out Collectible Coins

  1. Steven Brown

    I collect them. In fact when I was out there in October, I won four of them at the Four Queens and only one of them was a double (I cashed it in) but the $20 I put in I lost. The first two I won within the first five spins on the machine. I got a few as Christmas presents a few years ago, one from the Imperial Palace that was minted in 1998, one from Luxor from 2000 and a Binion’s Horseshoe one from 1994.

    There’s quite a number of strikes up for auction on eBay and there are several of the Four Queen bluecaps like yours that are going for $20-22+. and there’s one that has a “buy it now” price of $45.

    What’s odd is that some of the Silver Strikes minted are nothing more than ads for restaurants, bars and shows at a casino. I’m sure folks want one of the Planet Hollywood ones with for the Extra Lounge or Peepshow….

    Reply
        1. Stephen Emerson

          Thanks. The case is a little dirty as you can see (I probably should have cleaned it before taking a photo) but it has yet to be opened. I came across this article and decided to go through some pieces I have collected from Vegas in the past. I realized I have some pretty neat stuff from the New Frontier before it was imploded nine years ago or so, including a $25 new millennium chip that I thought was pretty cool.

          Reply
  2. Danielle M

    We used to get them years ago when it seemed like every strip casino had those machines. I think we have about 6 or 7 of them. We saw the machines at the Four Queens our last trip, but forgot to go back and try to win one (ok, we didn’t really forget, we just got too busy drinking!).

    Reply
  3. Mark S. Biernacik

    I have a shit-ton of those things (or, had, anyway)! All of the strip casinos used to have them, and I have a bunch from many of the grand openings. (NY-NY, Monte Carlo, Etc.)

    Reply
  4. Hundley Fan

    Sadly, the current silver strikes—yours included—don’t contain any silver, but you can still turn them in at the cage for face value ($10 for the small ones). Note: In the past, GN has been *very* strict about accepting only current-issue strikes for redemption.

    The older silver strikes actually do contain silver. They have silver centers that contain, usually, 0.5 ounce or 0.6 ounce of 99.9 percent silver. These all have “.999 silver” noted either on the silver center or on the brass outer ring. The silver-center strikes were discontinued several years ago when spot price of silver rose to the point that the intrinsic value of the silver approached (and eventually surpassed) the $10 face value of the strikes. (This is why the U.S. Mint stopped making 90 percent silver quarters and dimes back in 1965 and switched to clad coinage.)

    Reply
    1. Steven Brown

      This is also why casinos started getting $1 tokens minted back in the mid-60s, as silver dollar stocks began to dwindle and silver dollars were selling at a premium.

      Reply
  5. Twiggles4u

    It’s not true that Silver Strike Souvenirs don’t contain real silver, they absoltely do, They are not 0.999% though, but they tell you on the machine exactly how much silver is in them, and since one ounce of silver is worth about $15.00, you would be wiser to keep it rather than sell it for $10.00.

    Reply
    1. Hundley Fan

      This is a response to your post, but also an amendment to my older post below.

      Current gaming regulations require that the silver content be noted on the part of a strike that is silver. That is why some older $10 silver strike designs have two variations; one with the “.999 fine silver” notation on the brass ring (even though the piece in the center is the part that’s silver), and a later correction with the “.999 fine silver” notation on the silver center.

      The majority of *current* $10 silver strikes (the ones in clear capsules and in blue capsules) do *not* contain any silver. At all. If they did, the silver content would be noted on the strikes. However, the $10 strikes in red capsules *do* contain silver.

      On my trip last month, I won one strike from the machine at Palazzo. Luckily, it was the Rock of Ages design in a red capsule. The “.999 fine silver” notation is beneath the image of Sheldon Adelson, with the S mintmark under his left shoulder. The three other current Venetian/Palazzo designs (Marina Bay Sands and Venetian Macau in clear capsules and the colorized version of The Venetian in blue capsules) do not have the silver notation under Adelson’s image; instead, the S mintmark is there.

      The silver center on a current $10 strikes weighs around half an ounce. With spot silver currently at around $16/ounce, the melt value of the silver center is around $8. Red cap silver strikes are currently trending at around $25 and up on eBay, so if you have one you don’t want, offer it on eBay. You’ll get more for it there than turning it in at the casino cage, where you’ll get $10.

      Reply
  6. Deirdre james

    I’ve been to Las Vegas twice, both in the mid 90’s. I won a coin out of each casino. I still have all of them.

    Reply
      1. Hundley Fan

        Lee, I have been looking for information on these slot machines that dispensed Silver American Eagles. Do you remember the name of the machine? I have a 1994 SAE that my mom won from a casino on Fremont Street (GN maybe?).

        Reply
        1. Lee Carrier

          Like BALLY.? Im not sure but I the took a picture of one I will see if I can find it they were at the CAL NEVA in reno.they gave silver eagles way back loose machines an then they took them out and there was one left that gave MORGAN / PEACE dollars it was tight

          Reply
          1. Hundley Fan

            Thanks. Hope you can find the photo of the machine. I know my mom got at least two of them that trip, as she also gave one to my sister. If you turned them in to the cage, would they just give you a $1 bill?

          2. Lee Carrier

            Back when my dad and I won I would keep them not sure what they gave I know the pawn shops were selling and buying for $6.90 each.
            Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

          3. Hundley Fan

            Interesting, thanks. Just checked the spot price of silver for 1994. It fluctuated between $4.90 and $5.75 an ounce.

          4. Lee Carrier

            I remember those slots and just remembering how cool I played that for ever just thinking I can’t lose 25c a pull gets 1to 5 silver dollars I still have hundreds of them.

          5. Lee Carrier

            No problem I like looking at it now and then had to take the picture cause every good thing comes to an end.

  7. cousinbruce

    I have several that I got in the 80’s & early 90’s most of which I am going to be selling! All of mine are from Vegas

    Reply

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