If your card does get damaged, it will probably chip at the corner or crack. Take note that replacement cards are no longer available since the sale of Kem to The U.S. Playing Card Company. Kem continues to manufacture and supply the cellulose acetate but the cards are now printed by the USPC. It is the cellulose acetate that gives Kem cards their unique feel and quality. No other playing card is made from this type of plastic and Kem's will remain in a league of their own because of this.
Cardboard box of KEM playing cards, of the single-deck variety, come in a sturdy cardboard box. The box has no problems remaining closed and is very durable. Kem cards have a tendency to bow and/or warp. It is advisable to store your cards with a cut card and weight on top. This will help prevent warping. Make sure to store your cards in a cool, dry environment. Do not expose your cards to direct sunshine or place them near a heat source.
The date of manufacture of your Kem cards is printed on the ace of spades, just to the left or right of the spade stem, using one of two methods. If you have three or four numbers, the last two numbers represent the year and the first two numbers represent the month. The second method uses a letter for the year (A=1998, B=1999, C=2000, D=2001) followed by the month.
Kem and COPAG cards are of similar thickness but the Kem's feel slightly thicker and stiffer than the COPAG's. The Gemaco cards feel even thinner and the A Plus and Dal Negro feel thicker. The thickness of all 52 Kem playing cards is 16.12mm. Ten cards weigh 22.0 grams.
Kem cards have been the standard in playing cards in North America for many decades. It is getting difficult to find good deals on Kem cards. The going rate was $20 and up for a set of two decks but as of the summer of 2004, the Kem Card manufacturing plant was temporarily shut down. This means that Kem cards were in short supply and much harder to find, resulting in higher prices. Wide size Kem Arrow cards are somewhat rare and high-priced. Probably the most sought-after poker playing card available today would be the Kem Arrow Wide Regular Index in either red or blue.
Kem cards were sold to The U.S. Playing Card Company, the same company that manufactures Bee, Bicycle, and many other playing cards. Kem Plastics now only supplies the cellulose acetate (plastic) to The U.S. Playing Card Company who manufactures the cards. Kem cards once again went into production in the spring of 2005, but only in bridge size. Poker (wide) size cards also started production a few months later. New Kem cards have "Kem Cards by USPC" printed on them. Original Kem Plastics cards have "Original Kem Cards" printed on them. Only Arrow and Paisley bridge size decks are available. It is rumored that only a couple additional styles of decks will be manufactured.
For more information on Kem Playing Cards, visit Kem Playing Cards