Ashtray Grading

Casino Ashtrays are a commodity and their prices tend to fluctuate. One reason is simply supply and demand. On rare occasions a large amount of a certain tray surfaces and it drives the price down to a minimal level. The best example of this happening is The “Felix’s Bank Club”, green glass ashtray. It is listed in Art Anderson’s book as FEX-02. Early on it had sold for high prices. An auction was held in Nevada and a number of full cases surfaced. It went from a $100.00+ ashtray to a $5.00-10.00 tray almost immediately

The mystique of the eBay auction website has played a major role in price determination. The prices of ashtrays that are in Grades 1-3 usually stay somewhere near where they are rated. Once in awhile a couple of spirited or inexperienced bidders will push the price up to a ridiculous level but that doesn’t happen very often. The ashtrays in the Grade 4 category are so valuable and rare that prices can be unpredictable. While they will always sell for high dollar, they occasionally sell for much more than they are probably worth due to experienced collectors with deep pockets vying for same rare ashtray.

After much discussion the following four categories were developed as a guideline for price. Each ashtray on the site has a grade assigned to it. When clicking on the small picture of an ashtray it will expand to a life-size or near life-size image. At the top of that picture the contributors name and grade is displayed.

Grade 1 – Common:

A steady and constant supply is present. Supply usually exceeds demand. May have difficulty selling or will sell for a low price. Examples are the MGM Grand, Harrah’s, most stackers and flarerd trays. Price range usually is $1-$10.

Grade 2 – Available:

Seen fairly regularly. Readily attracts attention and commands a moderate to higher price. Examples are the Mapes (MAP-02) and Mizpah (MIZ-02) Also the Lucky Strike (LSC-12) and Royal Nevada (RNV-01) ashtrays. Price ranges typically from $20-$100 and sometimes higher.

Grade 3 – Moderate to Higher Priced:

Examples are known to exist. Appears off and on or periodically. Commands significant attention and generally brings a high price. Examples are the Bird Cage (BCC-01), Tri-lobe Fortune Club (FOR-02), Bank Club Fallon (BAN-11), Bal Tabarin (BAL-34), Desert Inn (DIC-12), Royal Nevada Safex Style, Sahati’s Stateline (SSC-04), Wine House (WIH-03), Joe Din’s Lucky Club (LCD-02), and two Westerners (WCD-02 and WCD-04). Price ranges from $150-$300 and higher.

Grade 4 – Extremely Rare:

One or a few examples are known to exist. Seldom seen. Commands significant interest and attention and very high prices. Examples are the Cotton Club, Twin States Club, Stardust Tahoe, Sky Harbor, Pair o’ Dice, Mona’s Red Feather, Bull’s Head, Harry’s Club, Casino de Paris, Alibi Club, Yucca Club, etc. Price ranges from several hundreds of dollars to four figures.

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