There are a lot of ways to bling out tabletop board games. In our last #GamerGiftGuide I listed a ton of cool ways to improve your existing games. While looking for items for that list one thing just kept coming up: replacement money for games.
I only put one set of coins on that list, but there are a ton of other options for upgrading your in-game currency and I wanted to feature some of them in this #GamerGiftGuide: Money, money, money.
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One of the first things a lot of players do when sitting down to play a game is toss out the paper money and grab some poker chips. The first time I saw this done was in Power Grid but it’s a common practice. Now Poker Chips come in a huge variety of weight, materials, thickness, etc. One of the most popular sets is this 11.5 gram Dice Style 500 Piece Set by Trademark Poker. If you want something high end the Brybell Ultimate 14-Gram Heavyweight Case may be for you. Now that I have my Brass Lancashire Kickstarter, I can’t help but mention the Iron Clays Luxury Gaming Clays from Roxley games. These are fantastic chips that lack any traditional dice and cards gambling iconography.
Now, most people don’t like paper money but there are a surprising number of players that do dig it. One of the cheapest ways to get some paper money is to buy play money meant for kids. Many of these sets are under $10 and some even include coins. Like this set from Learn & Climb. Not all paper money has to be American either. Check out this 400 Pcs Chinese Joss set. One of my favourite paper money sets is this awesome set for Firefly: The Game. The Big Damn Money Deluxe Accessory. The problem with this set is that it starts at $100 so doesn’t work with many games.
Gems and Jewels
A growing number of board games have started coming with acrylic gems, often replacing the humble wooden cube. You can get gems of your own in a variety of shapes and colours. There’s this 190 piece pack of Acrylic Color Ice Rock Crystals available in a variety of colours. You can also find plastic gems in a more traditional diamond shape. Like this set of 240 pieces available in assorted or one colour. If you want something larger try this set of 1″ Diamond Crystals.
If you want modern money, again, kids play money tends to be a cheap option. Like this set of Learning Resources Play Money. There are a crazy amount of gold plastic Pirate Coins out there as well. Here’s a pack of 144 for a very low price. I also dig this set of Plastic Coins (in assorted colors) and you can use them similar to poker chips, with different colors representing different values.
Metal Coins – Generic
Metal coins have really grown in popularity and more importantly dropped in price. One of the most popular and affordable sets out there are these Metal Pirate Coins. You can get a 30 pack, a 200 pack, and even a 500 pack. Chinese Fortune Coins are also very easy to find, very affordable and work great for a wide variety of games. For something more modern check out this Generic Metal Coins: Set of 55.
Metal Coins – Fantasy
There are so many metal coins out there I figured it was best to break them up. Norse Foundry makes some amazing fantasy coins in different denominations with different themes. Check out these amazing elven style adventure coins from them. I really dig this one set of Dwarven Forge Master coins as well. For something with a bit more of a generic fantasy theme to it check out this Barbarian Coin Set, though I do wonder what barbarians mint their own coins.
Metal Coins – Sci-Fi
While not quite as popular or common as fantasy coins there are some pretty great sci-fi themed coins out there too. This set from Norse Foundry is very unique, just don’t cut your fingers on the edges. If you prefer your coins in the traditional round shape, this set is a bit more basic but still has the sci-fi theme. I personally own a set of rectangular metal CAP coins for Hegemonic that I use in a variety of sci-fi games. These were originally on Kickstarter but it looks like you can still get them from Minon games.
Metal Coins – Game Specific
You can also get metal coins made for specific games. Like these Wondrous Metal Coins for 7 Wonders. Or The Deepwater Metal Coins for Lords of Waterdeep. How about these Clans of Caledonia Metal Coins? Many of the game-specific coins don’t have anything that really ties them to the game they are for either, so many can be used for a wide number of games in your collection.
Unique ways to track money
Here are some items I thought of that didn’t really fit in anywhere else. Consider these Mahjong counting sticks. These copper, silver and gold tokens are meant for Terraforming Mars but would work great in any number of games. Lastly, the amazing people on boardgamegeek love using Artscow to print their own custom decks of playing cards. One unique deck that applies well here is this Deck of Power Grid replacement money. I dig the idea of replacing paper money with cards.