Real Old Cuban Casino chip. This type of Casino chips were made by casinos for very important people, in this case this very rare chip was made with the initials TEP, Tomas Estrada Palma, (1832-1908) the first President of the Republic of Cuba in 1902.
We have heard of this type of chips with individual names or initials before but never seen one of these.
This chip is made out of pearl and what it looks like gold inlay with the initials and also the Cuba coat of arms with one Cuban flag on each side. The size of the chips is 34 mm diameter and 8 mm in thickness. On one side of the chip has a small nick that is visible in the image at about two o'clock.
Our research on Cuban chips shows that gambling houses were in existence in Cuba since the middle of 1800's, and an article at the Cuban Numismatic Association Newsletter at their website, dated in Oct 2005, by By Dr. Luis A Alvarez and Frank Hinrichs include the following statements:" ...private sets of chips made especially for VIPs in Cuba... can go for many thousands of dollars, and these tend to be some of the most beautiful chips in the world....Higher denomination chips are particularly valuable to collectors due to their rareness. There are Ivories and Mother of Pearls chips with denominations of 50, 100, and 500". You can read the entire long article about Cuban chips, including ivory and mother of pearl chips at the CNA website.
Any comments or additional information about this chip will be most appreciated, please write us if you know anything about this chip.