The current rules suggest using a poker chip to give to the player with inspiration as a token to remind them and you that they get a do-over roll by handing it in.
You're probably award of the multitude of metal coins available to gamers great and small, ranging from the baffling to the bewildering, in a multitude of styles, and that's not counting the metric ton of inspiration counters, coins, tokens and d20 holders that can be found in all corners of the Internet with a simple search.
I'm not knocking any of those things. They are great. I've ended up with a few metal coins and tokens as ancillary throw-in items, and again, they look just fine and would doubtless make perfectly serviceable inspiration tokens.
But I wanted something a little different.
I love the idea of a durable poker chip, because players are, in very general terms, ill-tempered savages. The only problem is, modern poker chips are liberally festooned with card pips, aces of spades, and other gambling symbols, as well as being colorful and cheerful and oh just never mind. You could special order some chips, but that costs a ton of money. Likewise wooden nickles, although if I had my druthers, I'd use them exclusively. They look and feel old and you can put what you want on them. Now I just need to justify spending a hundred and fifty bucks to get 4 Inspiration Tokens and I'm all set!
While we wait for that little miracle to occur, I found a solution in the form of vintage poker chips. I was originally looking for anything that looked old, like something made out of Bakelite, but really quickly I stumbled across these. Look! It's a dragon! Or is that a griffin? They are old clay chips from the 1920s or 1930s. And as you can see, they are perfect.
There are a lot of other styles out there, moons and stars, owls, laurel wreaths, sailing ships, lighthouses, and so on and so forth. You can find them in groups of 1 to 12 (or more) and they are relatively inexpensive. I scored a lot of around a 140 chips for twenty bucks plus shipping. With so much surplus chip action at my disposal, I decided to experiment a bit.
Beige is boring. I wanted something that looked like a metal coin; that would be cool. However, I don't usually like the resulting texture of metallic paints, so instead, I used Rub 'n Buff. It's a wax polish with metallic pigment. It comes in a variety of colors, but I'm using silver.
I apply the Rub 'n Buff in linear strokes, all going the same direction. This is because doing it the other way makes for an uneven coat. The goal is to lightly hit the surface, ignoring the small grooves that make up the dragon (griffin?). Do one side at a time, waiting for it to dry each time. It doesn't take long. Then you go around the edge and you are done. Unless you don't want to be.
You can do a thin wash and hit the groove if you want, or you can get a soft sponge and push/press the silver leaf into the grooves, and then smooth it out again. You can even paint the whole chip beforehand. You have options, here.
Now, let's talk about the aforementioned "variety of colors" that Rub 'n Buff comes in. This stuff is designed to add accents to furniture and other decorative pieces. In a weird fit of pique, I bought a set of 12 different tubes, just to try them out for myself.
There is also a patina color that you can apply over their metallic brass. I tried it, but you have to be very sparing with it, and I could never get it to look right. But if you can, I'd do these chips in Grecian Gold and hit the anchor with a touch of the patina and call it a day.
The colors of Rub 'n Buff that yielded the best results for this particular project were the silver and gold, hands down. But your mileage may vary. You could even paint them (and seal them) some other color. Silver and Gold are the two colors of Rub 'n Buff you're most likely to find in craft stores. Anything more exotic than that and you'll have to mail order it.
One quick warning about these chips; they are durable, but not indestructible. I've dropped a chip from a height of about five feet onto a concrete floor and it shatters like rock candy. For flipping across the table, they hold up just fine.
I think these inspiration tokens add a little something extra to the game; it's not a prop, but it's more than a check box on a character sheet. And there's something tactile about handing it to the DM to get that extra roll. Everyone's game is different, but these suit my play style perfectly.