As I sit down to write this I have two of my new purchases by my side. Poker chips. I mention this only because they are new to me. I’m the type of person who likes to keep his hands busy. I fidget with things. I was looking for something new to fidget with and I decided to look for some sort of coin to flip as I sat around doing nothing. I looked into challenge coins and the like but they are fairly expensive. That’s when I stumbled onto poker chips.

It’s not like I haven’t had any poker chips before but I don’t think I’ve had any in a while. I’m not a poker player but in my youth I had a box of cheap plastic chips like the ones a lot of us had. Nothing special but the times I did play poker lots of players would fidget with the chips as they played. Occasionally I would play a game with friends who were much more into it and had better set-ups than most. This is when I discovered that expensive poker chips feel better than the cheaper ones.

When I write “Expensive Poker Chips” they’re not really that expensive. A challenge coin, which is just a coin they put a design on, can cost between $10 and $20 a coin. It goes up form there too. I searched online for some poker chips and they ranged from dirt cheap to fairly expensive. And the expensive ones were only expensive because you need five hundred chips to play a game of poker.

I wanted some of the higher end chips because I knew those ones felt the best. The good ones are also made of clay and are heavy. So I found some that were a clay composite and 14 grams. They cost $12 for fifty chips. If I was playing a game of poker and needed 500 chips that would be expensive at $120 but I was only looking for one or two chips to fidget with. So I picked out a nice green color and ordered them.

I got my chips a few days later and they feel good. 14 grams is a nice weight to either flip of twirl in my fingers. They make a nice clinking sound when two of them bump into each other so sometimes I twirl two of them in my hand so I can make that satisfying noise. I’m very satisfied with them as fidget toys.

I’m also thinking I can use them as art supplies. After all I have fifty of them and only need a few to fidget with so why not do something with the rest? The chips are about an inch and a half wide with a playing card design around the edge and a blank circle, about an inch across, in the middle. I think I can make a small drawing inside that circle. I’m not sure if I should use paint or a marker but I think I can draw a small face in that center circle. It might be fun.

The chips also have a metal core. This surprised me. I only found out about it because of my laptop (on which I’m writing this very blog). My 2013 MacBook Pro have two magnets in the lid that keep it closed. My laptop sits on the endtable next to my easy chair and that very chair is where I sit and watch TV. Of course watching TV is an excellent time to play with the poker chips. Sometimes I found myself setting a chip or two on top of my laptop where, much to my surprise, they stuck to the magnets. I guess that’s what the “Composite” part of “Composite Clay” is.

Also by my easy chair is one of the things I’ve accumulated over the years. Dice. I started out buying various colors of six sided dice back in the early 1990s and have bought lots of them in fits and starts over the decades since. Next to my chair I have a 13x9x3 inch bin of about 400 dice in many different colors. I often pick them up and make “Color Compositions” out of them. I line up eight dice in every changing color combinations usually between my fingers on the back of my hand. For the past six months or so I’ve been posting photos of my dice color compositions on Instagram (my handle is artbyosborn).

I really like the hunter green color of the poker chips I bought. I thought it looked the best of the five colors available in this set. But, of course, after I opened them and handled them for a while I was disappointed that I only had one color. After all I had fifty different colors of dice so how could I only have one color of poker chip? The problem was that I didn’t really need two colors of chips. I was just using one chip at first and hadn’t even tried the two chip flip. Yes, it was after playing for a while with two chips in my hand that I decided to get a second set of chips.

I also had the problem of where to keep the chips. They came in two columns, shrink-wrapped in plastic, in a Ziplock bag. That was okay for only having fifty chips of one color but now I would have a hundred chips and two colors. As I was looking for what second color to buy I discovered I could also buy chip trays to keep them in. They’re clear plastic, have a lid, fit 100 chips, and costs $7. With that my cheap $12 fidget toy is now costing me $31. That happened fast.

In the end I ordered some purple poker chips in the same style of the ones I already have. The ones I have are green with black accents and the new ones are purple with yellow accents. I almost bought some black ones with purple accents but then I noticed those ones had an extra $10 shipping on them. No thanks. I’m trying to keep my fight toys cheap!