If you’ve ever needed to match fabric, flooring, dishes, etc. you know how important it is that everything matches or it just doesn’t look right. The same goes for mah jongg tiles.
What is a dye lot? A dye lot is more or less a production run, most dye lots are a code with numbers and letters from the manufacturer that identify certain batches of tile. When purchasing tile it is important NOT to mix dye lots, as you may end up with mis-matching tile that varies in shade, size, color and even texture. This definition is actually referring to floor tile but also applies to mah jongg tiles.
Unfortunately, the materials used to make mah jongg tiles is rarely consistent in color and sometimes size. Many people don’t realize that a solid white tile is not universal. There’s bright white, solid white, milky white, off white, ivory, etc. (I can hear Forrest Gump saying this like when he was talking about all the different kinds of shrimp 🙂 )
We have accumulated hundreds, if not thousands, of solid white tiles over the years. Trying to match them to fill in for a lost tile or blanks for custom jokers is an arduous task. Why? Because the dye lots don’t match! Even a subtle difference will be noticeable to most and you don’t want to give anyone an unfair advantage. So when you order a new set and have the option of adding custom jokers, don’t hesitate, get them so you won’t be regretting it later. We’d hate to hear you say, “Oy vey, why didn’t I just order the matching jokers when I had the chance!”
Following are examples of solid white tiles and blue stripe tiles from different dye lots.