“I don’t gamble … I chip”
In 2020 it was my honor to have the opportunity to purchase the Gary Acquistapace Collection. The following page is dedicated to him and the collection he assembled over many years.
Gary Acquistapace was a Life Member (LM-0289-14) of the Casino Collectable Association from the early days of its formation. Within his collection he collected just about everything casino-related to include chips, tokens, plaques, jetsons and even slot cards from all over Nevada and internationally. Over the years he amassed a very impressive Nevada collection that included over 6500 individual chips and tokens. What was even more impressive was his international collection of chips, jetsons and items from all over Europe, the Caribbean, and other far-off lands. His collection is well over 2000 items. After talking with members of his family, Gary’s commitment to the hobby went well beyond collecting chips.
Gary was an extremely active contributor to the “The Chip Guide”, the Museum of Gaming History online catalog of casino collectables. With over 4000 individual submissions (click to see submissions), he achieved a place in the top 15 of all contributors. The submissions Gary made will help educate current and future members of our hobby for generations to come. In addition, to the work he did with “The Chip Guide” he was also a contributor to the largest Nevada casino chip price guide known as “The Chip Rack”.
Though I never got to meet Gary, one can get an idea what he loved to collect by examining his collection. Below you will find several themes of hand-selected items that I hope represents this collection and a lifetime of collecting.
Rare Nevada Chips
Gary was able to acquire some of the rarest Nevada chips. His passion to spend hours sorting through racks of chips to find the very best paid off with some one-of-a-kind items. Here is a select few of some true rare Nevada Chips.
Gary did not collect just chips but also amassed a very large Nevada casino token collection. He collected tokens from 50 cents all the way up to $100 for some select casinos. His overall Nevada token collection was well over 2000 individual items and included tokens made of all different metal types, to include many made of silver. Below represents some of the rarer casino tokens from his collection.
When examining this collection and talking with the family, it became clear that Gary was indeed a master harvester. A harvester of chips is someone who spends hours on the road traveling from casino to casino to find the best chips. Here are just a few of the small-town casino across Nevada that Gary visited during his travels.
The Set Collector
Another aspect of this collection is how complete some of the individual sets were. It did not matter how many were needed to complete the set … he had every one. Here are four examples of some of the complete sets in his collection.
Circus Circus Emmet Kelly
Pahrump Nugget Salute to the Services
Rio 12 Days of Christmas
Hot August Nights
It would be a mistake not to include his collections of Nevada Hot August Nights chips. He loved collecting these so much he had most of them framed for all to see. Due to large number of individual chips, I will be including only one from every casino.
After talking with the family, it was said that if Gary was not at work, he was either in Nevada, on a cruise or overseas collecting chips. His international collection is a true masterpiece. Some of the jetsons and plaques he acquired are quite striking. Here is just a sample of a chip, jetsons, plaques or token he acquired during his travels.
Plaques Click on picture to see full image.