Ever since I purchased the board game Splendor I have been thinking about enhancing it by replacing the poker chip jewels with something more life like. I searched Amazon and local craft stores for jewels and just couldn’t find any that matched the game correctly. Turns out I needed to adjust my thinking slightly to solve the conundrum.
Board Game Geek member CavemanLogic provided the spark. Instead of black jewels he used purple. Genius. The gems he purchased are by far the best I have found and they don’t cost much either. Here’s the full run down from his post.
For the green emeralds, blue sapphires, red rubies, and (purple) black onyx, I chose this set of gems from Oriental Trading Company. You gotta admit they look cool!:
Unfortunately you will only use 1/3 of the gems in the set. Each of the four colors come in all three of the facet cuts, but you will want to use only one facet cut for each color (Emerald cut for the emeralds and sapphire cut for the sapphires obviously. Round cut for the rubies. I chose the emerald cut again for the onyx since it seemed to be the closest match). If you are looking to pimp your Splendor game for the five-player variant, as I have, you need nine of each gem. You are likely to only get seven or eight of each color in the facet cut you want, so either order two sets, or be prepared to use a spare gem of another cut if necessary. Also you can get this similar set on Amazon if you prefer:
The diamonds I think I got from the dollar store or from Michael’s craft store for our wedding two years ago. Here is an Amazon page that sells them. Unfortunately Amazon sells them in a one pound bag (~240 pieces). If you look elsewhere for them, make sure to look for the 3/4” diamonds:
I collected quite a few of the metal spanish replica coins
from the now defunct DeadMenTellNoTales.com site. They had 2-escudo coins (~ the size of a US quarter), 4-escudo (~ US half dollar size), and 8-escudo (Pieces of Eight, ~US silver dollar size) coins. They came in a shiny gold, shiny silver, antique gold, or antique silver finish. For this use, I chose the 4-escudo shiny gold coins from my collection.
Nowadays it is much harder to come by all the different size and finish combinations that I collected almost 10 years ago (and at 1/2 to 1/4 of today’s prices!), but you can still get the smaller coins fairly easily. Here is a link for coins that should work just fine:
You may prefer less expensive plastic coins over the rather spendy metal coins mentioned above. Here is a nice alternative: