following article was posted by Jim on the old Prodigy Board
on December 20th, 1997
nevadaweb.com for the use of this picture
The collecting of Lake Tahoe chips is a specialty within
the hobby of chip collecting. It has been estimated by those
who buy and sell Lake Tahoe chips that there are
approximately 30 to 40 hardcore Lake Tahoe collectors. I
don't know if the figure is accurate but lets assume for our
purposes that it is.
Let's take a chip Mel offered in our recent Thursday night
auction: The $25.00 Tahoe Palace, Hrglas mold - 3 black,
Christmas Tree - N4859. This is an excellent chip!
When this chip first surfaced a while back, the Tahoe
collectors wanted it desperately for their collections. The
chip originally opened at $175.00 and was offered by
Consolidated Collectibles in early 1996. The demand by the
small core of Tahoe collectors pushed the value of this chip
to the $300.00 range quickly. In addition, those who
collected only $25.00 chips from any where in Nevada also
put pressure on the demand. Since it was a HS (Hot Stamp)
and not an inlay the appeal to other Nevada collectors was
soft. Many Nevada collectors love inlays but are much cooler
on HS. The find on this chip was in the area of 20 to 30
pieces (some worn so badly they had to be junked). Before
the finder of this chip sold out, he entered into a trade
with a chip dealer who took control of the remaining
The result was many of the hard core Tahoe collectors who
could afford this chip didn't get it. In addition, other
chips were surfacing at that time which was putting pressure
on the bankrolls of chip collectors in general. If you go
around at shows and check the stock of dealers books you
will not see the chip for sale very often. What is it worth?
Well, if your a Tahoe collector whatever will pry it loose.
Remember, once the Tahoe market is satisfied and the $25.00
collectors get theirs. What will happen to the demand for
this chip?? There won't be any unless new collectors enter
the hobby. Therefore, in my opinion this is a difficult
piece to fully evaluate. I have it in my collection. If you
want it, get it! But keep in mind all "rare" Tahoe chips
COULD be very expensive when found and loose their value
much easier than other Nevada chips over a period of time.
Especially if more surface.