A Jerry's Nugget $5 Chip
The following article was
posted by Jim on
Chip Board on October 25th, 2005
following story you are about to read involves a very
special chip as well as a very special man. It took place in
front of Bill Akeman’s Collectable store previously located
in a part of Las Vegas known as “Chinatown”.
Richard Averill and I decided to stop at Bill’s store and
peruse the chips Bill so proudly displayed in various
showcases located throughout his establishment. Some of the
chips were for sale others were classified as “my
collection” and not for sale. It didn’t make any difference
since whenever Averill and I stopped to look at Akeman’s
chips the ones we were interested in were never for sale. As
I look back I believe Bill really enjoyed doing that to us.
For a guy who always seemed to need money he never wanted to
sell anything at least to us.
I averaged two or three stops a week just to discuss chips
with Bill and his staff. On this particular day Averill
maneuvered his SUV into the head on parking space next to a
broken down brown or tan piece of junk others might call a
car. We started to get out of our vehicle and were taken
back a step by who was exiting Bill’s store.
Harvey Fuller. You couldn’t miss Harvey by his unique bent
over walk and infectious smile that always had a way of
saying – Hi! I should have known when I saw the “Junker” it
leaving Harvey? I asked as I moved slowly around him so as
not to knock him off balance. Yeah, Bill’s not here, the kid
said he went to the bank. You going to wait around? Nah – I
got a few other stops I got to make. Harvey, you got any
chips with you? Let me take a look. He opened the trunk to
his beat up Junker and out come a box with one chip in it.
He scratched his head for a minute and said I thought I had
a few left but guess not.
chip N6631 as listed in the 10th edition of “The Chip Rack”;
a Jerry’s Nugget five dollar, orange inlay small crown with
4 green inserts. A beauty! Brand spanking new with edges one
could cut yourself on. It looked like it was made yesterday.
Harvey I asked? He said for you if you promise to be my
friend tomorrow - $40.00. Harvey did have a strange sense of
humor. Averill quickly asked do you have another? Harvey
looked and looked and looked in that cluttered trunk. I
think I have another one at home he said. I’ll get it for
you next time. Of course, my friend Rich never did get one.
I’m sure I got the last one, and with it the short story on
how Harvey ended up with the 24 brand new pieces he started
with years ago.
ever tell you where I got this chip from? No Harvey you
didn’t. Jerry gave them to me. Which Jerry? Jerry Stamis.
The two Jerry’s who owned the casino at that time – Jerry
Stamis and Jerry Lodge were remodeling Jerry’s Nugget and
found them in an inside wall that was being torn out. They
located me in the Keno lounge and asked if I would like
them. They knew I collected chips and just gave them to me
as a present. Jerry Stamis told me that all the others like
these had been destroyed and these were all that was left. I
thanked both of them and offered again to at least pay face.
They wouldn’t hear of it, smiled and left me looking at
these beautiful pieces of history.
Harvey it was a great story and would cherish the piece in
my collection for years to come. I also told him I would
share the story with other collectors who would enjoy it as
much as I did. Harvey pulled on his bolo tie, smiled and
slowly walked over to the driver side of his car. I told
Averill let’s get out of here before he backs up; Harvey’s
eye sight was not so good which accounted for the dent
fenders and smashed up side panels. I believe that was the
last time I saw Harvey on a one to one basis.
– well today in my opinion it is worth at least $400.00.
Campiglia & Wells list it at $200.00. The Chip Rack as an
“L”: The “Official….” have the rarity correct at R-7 but I
believe they are off on the value. It would be my educated
guess there are no more than 30 pieces in total that are in
collections. I rarely if ever see the chip for sale and when
I do it is coming out of a total collection that is up for
auction or sale. I am told the chip is never on eBay. The
next time you are at a show look for the piece. I bet you
will not see one.
who don’t know Jerry’s Nugget is located in North Las Vegas
at 1821 Las Vegas Blvd. N. It is a local’s casino. Years ago
I took an official tour of the premises and could not
believe the cleanliness of the kitchen where food is
prepared. Jerry’s Nugget specializes in Prime Rib. Is it
good? I would guess so but I have not eaten in their
restaurant in years.