The loot from Jackie Gaughan's vault is valuable in and of itself because it's made from gold and silver.
But the items from the El Cortez owner's collection, which was recently purchased by a California rare coin dealer, will have another element for buyers to assess: A direct connection to Las Vegas history.
"You've got a gaming pioneer that collected this over the years," said Joe Woody, vice president of finance at El Cortez. "Nevada-specific gaming items, some unusual items that most people don't have."
And if they do, chances are they haven't been keeping them in their very own vault inside their very own historic Fremont Street casino.
Spectrum Numismatics International announced Thursday that it had acquired hundreds of silver and gold coins, silver bars and custom-made gaming tokens from Gaughan. The items will be available to collectors starting next year.
The gaming tokens are particularly interesting, said Ronald Gillio, Spectrum's acquisitions coordinator.
They're made of gold and were struck in 1988 for the El Cortez and the Union Plaza Hotel, which Gaughan owned at the time.
Spectrum has all 10 of the $1 Union Plaza tokens made, along with six $1 El Cortez tokens and three $5 El Cortez tokens. Records show only five of the $5 tokens were made.
"I think of all the collectible items that are in this, that's going to be the most exciting, because no one knew they existed," Gillio said.
That's true, confirmed Woody: "They were just forgotten about, more or less just stashed away."
Spectrum said the purchase price was "in the six figures." The sale came about as part of "general cleanup" during Gaughan's estate planning, Woody said.
Other items sold include hundreds of silver dollars, half-dollars, quarters and dimes from before 1965, including a collection of silver dollars from 1878 to 1935; $5, $10 and $20 U.S. gold coins minted before 1932; and more than a hundred bars of silver.
Casino memorabilia is a small part of his business, Gillio said, but it brings him into contact with unique items.
In 2004, he acquired old coins, gaming chips and tokens from the Nevada Club and Fitzgerald's Casino in Reno and Lake Tahoe that were stored in a warehouse, and in 1999 he was involved in buying the display of 100 $10,000 bills at Binion's Horseshoe.
There's already a lively market for rare historic coins, but coins with cachet are even more special, Gillio said.
"We buy and sell them every day," he said. "But when you can say, 'This is from a certain collection,' they do bring in more money.
"That makes it more interesting. That means something to the people who collect them."
El Cortez has been open at the same location since 1941, when it was a 59-room hotel. It has 300 rooms now.
Since the 1950s, Gaughan has been involved in several casinos in addition to El Cortez and The Plaza, including the Flamingo, the Golden Nugget and the Las Vegas Club.
Contact reporter Alan Choate at email@example.com or (702) 229-6435.