In my series of dice identification guides, this time I’d like to focus on two other lines of dice that get easily confused: Crystal Caste Silk and Dice & Games Marble. Both are two-coloured styles with one dominant colour and white swirls, but they do have some features that can help you tell them apart.
General Naming Information
The dice that collectors call Crystal Caste Silk nowadays are those that Crystal Caste sold under that name many years ago, made by the German acrylic factory in in the mould that some people call “old German mould”. (The same one that was being used for the Ice Cream, Porcleain and Satin lines.)
The interesting part is that Crystal Caste actually also sold the dice that collectors call D&G Marble under the name Silk at some point, most likely after the German factory stopped making the old Silk line and Crystal Caste switched these over the dice that D&G themselves sell as Marble.
In order to have a distinctive way to tell these dice apart, collectors have started calling the old version of Silk Crystal Caste Silk and the newer version D&G Marble, which is the distinction I will also make in the ID guide below.
Differences in colour spread
While both lines have one dominant colour and a portion of white mixed in, the ratio and spread of the coloured and the white material is different. Marble has more pronounced opaque white, while Silk has a swirlier, more subtle white.
Closed vs. Open 4
Perhaps one of the easiest features to tell Marble from Silk is the number 4. Marble dice have a top-closed 4, Silk have a top-open 4.
The percentile die
The D&G Marble line always comes with a percentile die, where the number alignment is parallel with the die equator. Old Silk sets came with a differently coloured d10 instead (often Jade d10), although percentile dice were made later.
These Silk percentile dice have numbers perpendicular to the die equator, look very similar to the modern Chessex mould, and can only be told apart from the Chessex mould by the fact that the 7 in the Silks is not hooked and the 1 doesn’t have an upstroke. It is particularly the Chessex Vortex percentile dice that can be very easily confused with the Silk ones, which is not helped by the fact that they come in the almost the exact same colours.
Other Notable Features
- The Marble dice are smaller than the Silk dice.
- Marble has a dot behind the 6 on all dice, Silk has an underlined 6 on the d10 and d12.
- Number arrangement on the d20 is different (8 below 20 for Marble, 12 above the 20 for Silk).
- Marble comes only in gold ink, Silk comes in gold, black or white ink.
Comparison with other Similar Lines
Crystal Caste Silk and D&G Marble are not the only dice out there that mix one colour with white swirls, there are a number of other manufacturers and lines that use this design, and could potentially also be confused with Silk and Marble. I have picked out a few below, although the list is not exhaustive.
- Chessex Vortex: different font, different mould and number alignment, different swirls, colour of Vortex and Silk similar. (Please note that this Vortex Purple was reinked from gold to light purple.)
- Crystal Caste Silk: only die with an open 4, mould the largest (together with Vortex), but font and number alignment different.
- D&G Marble: opaque and pronounced white, larger numbers, similar mould and font to Dragon Bones Series 1.
- Dragon Bones Series 1: die base distinctly translucent, purple colour veers more towards red.
- Chessex Rainbow: smaller font, different number alignment, die colour more purplish pink, more colour variation
in the swirls, only comes with white or black ink.
- Dragon Bones has a 14-below-20 alignment on the d20, Silk a 12-above-20, Marble an 8-below-20 alignment.
- Silk is the only one of the three lines that has an open 4.
- Dragon Bones has a much more translucent die base than Silk and Marble, with milkier swirls.
- Crystal Caste Silk Green: only die with an open 4, swirls are white.
- Dragon Bones Series 1 Green: swirls are yellow and milky (same for Dragon Bones S1 Red).
- D&G Marble Green: green colour is much darker and more opaque.
- Crystal Caste Silk Black: only die with an open 4, black is opaque.
- Dragon Bones Series 1 Black: die colour is lighter (dark grey rather than black) and more translucent, swirls are milky white-grey.
- D&G Marble Black: black and white are opaque, more distinct white.