THAILAND, porcelain gaming chip


THAILAND, gaming chip, no date (19th century until 1868), Obverse: Buddha, QIAN, Reverse: XING LONG (flourishing pleasure), vase shape, porcelain, 22x28mm, KO1117, VF

4 in stock

SKU: r266a1194 Categories: ,


In the mid-19th century there was a proliferation of gambling houses run by Chinese merchants in Bangkok. Many of them made porcelain tokens for use by their patrons. There got to be so many that they circulated as small change. The government banned them in 1868. Beware of modern imitations.

people have gambled since before the beginning of money. But sometimes money was unavailable, or gambling was illegal, so people would use things other than money for their bets, so they could say they weren’t gambling. Or the gambling house would want the edge that you get by using house tokens. As long as the gambler doesn’t cash in the tokens the house gets to use the money.

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins.I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.