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The Hobby of Collecting Dice

Updated on August 6, 2017
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David collects some unusual things, which he likes to share by writing about and showing off pictures of those collections.

The Hobby of Dice Collecting

I have been collecting dice for over 20 years, displayed them for public viewing, and even won awards for my collection. This article covers what you need to know before you "roll" into the hobby of collecting dice.

Yes, I just made a dice joke.

This is just a small example of the variety of dice out there to collect.
This is just a small example of the variety of dice out there to collect. | Source

Do you currently collect dice?

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Dice Collection

The beginnings of a dice collection.
The beginnings of a dice collection. | Source

Pros to Collecting Dice

The pros to starting your own dice collection are:

  • There are multiple ways that you can display a dice collection. You can lay them out on a flat surface or you can place them in containers to show them off. More about this will be featured later in the article.
  • You can find dice in a variety of places. Las Vegas, online, and many stores sell a large variety of dice. Though eventually you'll need to turn to specialty or online stores to find the more unusual dice.
  • With the right tools and materials you can make sets of dice yourself. However, this can be an expensive process, so going through sites such as Kickstarter could be the best way to get the funds.
  • You will never run out of dice to add to your collection. New types of dice are being produced frequently. Kickstarter is a great place to find dice if you are willing to take the risk. Some unusual and unique dice can be found through Etsy and other sites like it as well.
  • Dice are easy to gift. Just tell family and friends to give you dice for special gift-giving events and you will always be surprised. Even if you receive duplicates, it's still more dice to add to your collection.
  • Dice can also be made into other types of items. Salt and pepper shakers, pillows, necklaces, coasters, and dice you hang in your rear-view mirror can be included in your collection.
  • People will be into your collection. Dice are sturdy and don't get that dirty. So, let friends and family handle them. Each time dice are handled and manipulated, your collection will look new and different for the next person to enjoy.
  • Dice can cross over into other collections. There are Las Vegas dice, Star Trek dice, animal dice, and other types of dice that you could display with your current collections.

Dice Collection on Display

My entire dice collection displayed at the county fair.
My entire dice collection displayed at the county fair. | Source

Cons to Collecting Dice

Naturally they are some cons to dice collecting:

  • No simple way to organize and sort your collection. It will be difficult to tell if you have two of the same die, making organization difficult. I am sure it is possible, but it would be extremely time consuming.
  • The costs can skyrocket. Specialty made dice, as well as older sets of dice, can go for a lot of money. If you want the best of the best then you can be expected the fork over a lot of money. However, this isn't required for dice collecting.
  • Transporting them can be a pain. When I moved from an apartment to a house I had to pack my dice collection. It was difficult and very heavy to transport. Setting them back up took a lot of time and didn't look the same as I had it before. Plus some of the dice did break due to the extreme weight put on them by other dice.
  • You will get duplicates - often. Unless you know each die one-by-one, you will have duplicates in your collection. If you are someone who likes having a collection of unique items, then dice are not for you.
  • It's easy to be taken. There is no guide that says how much dice are really worth or if one die is nicer than another. You have to trust your own judgement. You shouldn't be in this for the worth of the collection anyway. You should be doing it because you enjoy collecting.
  • They are easy to lose. Dice tumble and roll around easily. I have lost quite a few after moving or organizing them a different way. They are also not a child's toy, so keep them out or reach of children as they are a choking hazard.
  • You will never run out of dice to add to your collection. I know this was listed as a pro, and to me it is. But if you like having a complete collection of dice, you will never achieve that.

What do you consider is the biggest con in starting a dice collection?

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Dice in Multiple Containers

Displaying dice in the appropriate container can make or break a collection.
Displaying dice in the appropriate container can make or break a collection. | Source

Displaying a Dice Collection

There are a variety of ways you can display your dice collection:

  • Bowls - Bowls are one of the easiest ways to display your collection. If you have multiple bowls, you can have different types in each bowl. The only problem with large bowls is that they will bury a lot of your dice which will remain hidden or have the potential to break.
  • Display boxes - Small display boxes have the advantage of displaying off a small, but unique, set of dice.
  • A flat surface - If you have the room, you can lay out all of your dice. If you have a glass plate above them, that will prevent them from being moved or played with.
  • Separate the large from the small - Larger dice take up more space, so they can require a larger container. It's a good idea to keep those away from your smaller dice.
  • Use unusual display cases - Fish tanks, vases, and other unusual containers can make your collection stand out. Just use something clear so your collection can be seen.

A top-down view of a dice collection.
A top-down view of a dice collection. | Source

I Started my Collection with a "Pound-O-Dice"

Interesting Dice Facts

Below are some interesting facts about dice for those who are interested in collecting.

  • Kevin Cook has the world's largest dice collection with over 10,000 dice.
  • Known uses of dice for gaming and gambling pre-date recorded history.
  • Dice used to be made out of bone and ivory. More recently dice are made out of plastics. Dice can also be made out of wood and stone, but usually are not used for gaming.
  • Dice can have numerous sides. The most common being 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20-sided. The rarer varieties can range from 1 to 100-sided.
  • Dice come in a variety of sizes, colors, and unusual shapes.
  • Las Vegas and other gambling establishments use dice for Craps and other gambling games. Their dice are considered to be 'precision' dice. They are made in such a way to prevent cheating.
  • Dice grew in popularity through board games and Dungeons and Dragons. Dice are used in D&D to determine the outcome of random events.

Interview with the World's Largest Dice Collector

Close-up of Dice Collection on Display

Close up my dice collection submitted to the county fair.
Close up my dice collection submitted to the county fair. | Source

© 2012 David Livermore

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      Julie 3 years ago

      I really liked reading your advice on Dice Collecting. I was just at San Diego Comic Con and they had a huge display of dice for sale. I was so mesmerized at all the different colors sizes. It was really fun to hold and look at all the dice. I bought 6 dice for $20. I'm going to start collecting now. I have so many glass vases all sizes I can put the dice in the vases to show off my collection. Thanks

    • davidlivermore profile image
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      David Livermore 3 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      My collection is small compared to some other collections I have seen. Thanks for the comment.

    • ilikegames profile image

      Sarah Forester 3 years ago from Australia

      Now that is a lot of dice, an interesting hobby but I think it's quite a cool one.

    • profile image

      calculus-geometry 3 years ago

      Have you ever checked any of the out on-demand 3D printing sites where you can order custom dice? Many of the dice collector sites mention Shapeways as the place where they buy the rare and hard-to-find dice. I found a designer on Shapeways who sells all kinds dice with unusual polyhedral shapes and numbering schemes I've never seen before, beyond the usual Platonic solids. I don't really play dice games, but being a mathematician I just had to take the plunge and order this 72-sided die that I've been eyeing for a few months now

      https://www.shapeways.com/model/1128663/numbered-d...

      Makes me want to collect again, though I'm trying to be good and kick my accumulation habits. (Bad enough that I'm married to a bit of a pack rat.)

    • profile image

      Kevin Cook 4 years ago

      A very nice article

      A bit of a rebuttal to the earlier statement of "No simple way to organize and sort your collection." ... actually it can be quite easy ... if you are organized ... take good notes on each of your dice ... and store the notes in a database ... for example ... http://www.dicecollector.com/SEARCH/index.php?sa=D...

    • davidlivermore profile image
      Author

      David Livermore 4 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      It's funny you mention that, I collect card decks as well. Though that display is nicer than my dice. Thanks for the compliment!

    • profile image

      calculus-geometry 4 years ago

      Very nice set of dice you have, I'm a little jealous. I used to collect playing card decks, then I started collecting dice. But since seeing the show "Hoarders" I've tried to keep my collecting impulses in check for fear that I might someday have a house filled with game pieces.

    • davidlivermore profile image
      Author

      David Livermore 5 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Thank you very much. :3 Glad you enjoyed it.

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      Thessik 5 years ago from Columbia, MO

      An interesting and entertaining hub. I liked the personal touches and the photos of your impressive collection.