Are there any imperfections in ceramic chips that I should be aware of?
The chips are created using a high density solid composition material. While the chips are commonly known as ceramic, they are actually made by injection molding of a special plastic\resin compound.
A bit about the process that is used to ‘print’ the images on to blank poker chips. The artwork on the chips is ’embedded’ into the surface of the chip using a process called dye sublimation. Basically, a chip’s artwork is printed on special paper that can hold the ink. Using a heated press, the ink is heated to the point where it turns into a gas, which is absorbed into the chip’s surface.
This upside of this process is that the image won’t wear off, or peel off like a label since the ink is deep into the surface of the chip.The downside is that it is a very manual process that will result in some variation across the chips.While these variations are minor, it’s important to understand that it is normal and should be expected.
During normal play, you probably won’t notice these minor variations, but we like to be very transparent with our customers.
- Color Bleed – Some times, there can be a bit of bleed from the face image to the edges. This is quite minimal, but might be noticeable on chips that have a dark and light color meeting on the rolling edge.
- Centering – Another possible variation is the centering of the artwork. Since all custom chips are aligned by hand during the manufacturing process, they can occasionally be very slightly off-center.
- Color – The colors on your computer screen may appear a bit more vivid than the actual chips. This is true when comparing just about any physical object to an image on a screen.
- Dimples – Another thing to note is that ceramic poker chips have a small dimple on the rolling edge of each chip. This is part of the manufacturing process.
- Edge Alignment – Creating chips with aligned edges is a manual process. This can result in minor variations where the decorative accent marks on the face and rolling edges don’t match up precisely. This is normal and expected. Variances between 0 and 2mm are considered to be within the normal range by ceramic chip manufacturers. Our manufacturer has assured us that a 2mm would be atypical.
To minimize the these variations, we have chosen to use a very reputable chip manufacturer based in the United States who is very experienced in making chips for small orders to large casino orders.
How durable are ceramic chips?
Our ceramic chips are very resistant to normal wear. Due to the manufacturing process that embeds the artwork directly into the chip material, you don’t need to worry about the artwork peeling or scratching. With normal use, ceramic chips will last many, many years. Please be aware that the chips can ‘chip’ or crack if they fall on a hard surface.
It appears that not all of my chips are perfectly centered. Are these defects?
Due to the process of printing, which incorporates high temperatures and high pressure, it is impossible to have perfectly centered images. The reason is that the chips expand very slightly when heated to extremely high temperatures. This expansion means that there must be some “give” when the chips are in the printing jigs. Therefore, there is an industry standard for tolerance of the print centering. There are the occasional rejects where something shifts during printing and the prints are significantly off-center. These are almost always caught during quality control. However, it is possible that some of these can slip by us. Be sure to take photos and send them to use if you feel you have any of these rejects.
My chips have a dimple on each edge. Is this normal?
Yes, this is completely normal and every ceramic chip from every manufacturer has this mark. These marks are a caused when the blank chip is created. There is no way to create these chips without some sort of dimple. We have created a mold to reduce the impact of the dimple as much as we can.
What are the physical dimensions of the chips?
Diameter: ~39mm (standard size poker chips)
Why do my chips have scuff marks on them? How do I remove those marks?
By the nature of this ceramic composite product, freshly printed chips may show some “chalky” scuff marks. These are completely normal. Most people won’t do anything to actively remove these marks and within a game or two, which will consist of chip shuffling and handling, the marks will disappear when exposed to the oils that are naturally on a person’s fingers/skin. If you want to actively remove these marks before you use them in a game you can use a damp cloth to wipe both faces. The chips are completely waterproof and the image will not wipe off or fade by wiping them off – you can even leave them in standing water without any degradation of the image.
Are these chips expensive for poker chips?
One of the common questions we often field is related to the price of our chips. A quick search on Amazon will return poker chip sets in the $30-$50 range. So why are the chips found on this site so much more expensive? That’s a fair question that we’ll answer.
There are many different types of poker chips on the market. They range from the very inexpensive plastic “Supermarket chips” which can be purchased for about a penny per chip to the very high end casino grade chips. The best chips on the market generally fall into two categories: casino grade ceramic and casino grade clay.
A search on the internet will reveal that most high quality ceramic chips generally sell for about $1 each, and high quality compression clay chips in the $1-$2 per chip range. You’ll find that our prices are competitive with the other high quality ceramic chips that are available in the market.
So why do ceramic chips cost about a buck each?
There are many costs involved in creating a ceramic chip
- The cost of the blank chips
- Freight costs to have the blank chips
- Each chip must be handled at least 7 times before it ultimately is wrapped for sale.
- Waste factor of chips that do not meet quality standards. This can be very high, especially for chips with aligned edges
- Costs of ink and related production supplies
- Costs related to running production presses
- Building overhead,
As you can imagine, these costs all contribute to the question of why $1 per chip