Rather than e-mail this to a few people I thought I would post it here for general comentary, spitting & sputtering etc. No grammer remarks please.
The price of older chips in many catagories have escalated lately as evidenced by the buy prices in the Herz & Mera Auctions. Chips of early Nevada casinos more & more are selling for high TCR prices or even higher. NCV's are climbing as well as roulettes & free play chips. Have you priced a common dovetail lately? We are experiencing these price fluctuations due to the growth of the hobby & newly established rarity in proportion to collector demand. Hopefully this will continue for many years to come due to growth. The positives are these chips are finding their own levels of worth in proportion to demand. There is no problem with a chip seeking it's own level of value in todays market. Of course what it will be worth in the future is a question impossible to answer. As stocks are earnings driven chips are rarity driven. There may be still 200 of a given chip that used to sell for $50 but instead of being desireable to 500 people it is now desireable to over 1000. This has to affect the price. As dealers sell old inventory they are forced to pay higher prices for the new...increasing their prices. This is healthy growth. There are many values in todays chip market as there are values in the stock market. The same principals of research can apply. Rarity can be assesed by looking at the offerings of many dealers. You can do this at shows or simply by going through as many dealers monthly lists you can obtain. The more you do this the more you will find. Manipulation of the price of a chip can only happen if we are not well informed or we don't do our homework. Did you ever buy a stock with an inflated price? Who was at fault when it went down? Simply put this is a great hobby but like any other hobby or business the determination of value is in the actual purchase price of the item. The person paying the cash sets the value in any transaction, auction or whatever. Spend your cash wisely.