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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Depository » » Question About Old Card Deck Values (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

LarryG
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I have half a brick of unopened decks of Jerry's Nugget playing cards (each with USPC seal intact and unbroken cellophane, and with the brick's original cardboard box), an opened but unused Jerry's Nugget deck (the seal is unbroken, but dried out but is only half attached, and there is no cellophane around the box), a couple of decks of Los Angeles Olympics Bicycle cards, and a couple of double decks of Sahara cards. From what I have read the Jerry's Nugget decks may be the pearls in the oyster, worth in the neighborhood of $500 each (ref. https://www.artofplay.com/products/jerry......g-cards)

I saw a Lee Asher video (ref. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_htHzYWtAg) on dating the Jerry's Nugget cards, and since I had a partial deck (I had been using the cards for gaffs!), I opened up the side of that box to check, and it is dated 1970. If they really are worth $500 now, I sure wish I had not used up the rest of the brick over the years!

As to provenance, the best I can say is that I bought them back in 1981 or maybe 1982 at the Magic Castle at one of their "sidewalk sales". I've been a member there since 1981. I don't remember who was selling them. At the time I was just looking for different-back cards and bought a brick of them and a few of the double deck packaged Saharas. If I recall correctly, Daryl had an packet trick out then (maybe Cardboard Chameleons? I forget.) which required a variety of backs and I wanted to make extra sets. Eventually the unused decks just got shoved to the back of a drawer and then packed up as I moved from Los Angeles to Illinois in the late 1980s and then back to Los Angeles in 1991. I've just retired this past month, and started refreshing my close-up skills with an eye to performing again. So I was sorting through some of my old props to see just what was there. (Did you know that Tannen's magician's wax becomes hard as a rock and unusable after 35+ years of storage? And invisible thread on a reel is no good anymore either?) Anyhow, I rediscovered the decks looking for something else and wondered if they were worth anything. Enter Google. And hence my query here.

Thinking about it a bit more, the decks may have been sold by Neil Lester (Cards By Martin) at the sidewalk sale. I remember that he would drive in from Lancaster for those sales. I do have one of his price lists from that period, but don't see the decks listed there as for sale. So maybe not. I just can't be certain who I bought them from after all this time.

In any event, does anyone know what these decks are currently likely to be worth? Is $500 per deck for the Jerry's Nugget decks real??? Are the Saharas worth anything? Or the LA Olympic decks? Any information is appreciated.

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MaxArtifice
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You can probably do better than $500/deck for genuine Jerry's Nugget cards on ebay. I've seen them there for as much as $1,000.00 Don't know if they sold for that. RarePlayingCards.com had a small number of Jerry's recently that they were getting about $525.00/deck and they sold them out. Unless you need the money it would probably be best to hold on to them because (unless the person who bought out the remaining 40,000 decks from Jerry's gift shop starts flooding the market) these will only get harder to find and they are much sought after. I would really like to get a deck but will probably have to pass at the $500.00 and up price level...my wife would kill me.
LarryG
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Thanks. I've never sold anything on ebay. Bought, yes, but not sold. I may look in on that. Your advice about holding on to them is probably good. It's like the advice about investing in land since they aren't making any more of it and it will always be in demand. I'm just not certain that these cards will always be in demand. They are a bit of a windfall for me. I didn't intend to keep them, and it is just good fortune that I didn't throw them out in one of my moves around the country. I wonder is there is away to get a honest retail appraisal? ebay doesn't seem to have historic pricing that I can find, and all the retails outlets I've seen that sold them sold out of them years ago, so no luck there in determining a fiar price today. I don's see anyone selling them just now.

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MaxArtifice
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I am seriously into collecting (did I mention I need a deck of Jerry's?) so I scan ebay several times a week. It took me a year to find a deck of Bicycle Golden Luxe (Metal Luxe Series) that I could afford. They were still pretty expensive but I was able to pick them up for a fraction of what they normally go for. So, yeah, I've been looking for Jerry's cards for a very long time and I have seen them occasionally on ebay. They are always outrageously expensive.

If you want to get an honest retail appraisal you may be able to get an opinion from the site operators of rareplayingcards.com As I mentioned in the previous post, they have had Jerry's cards for sale recently. They have a "contact us" link on the bottom of their main page that takes you to a contact form. I would give that a shot. They might offer to sell them for you on consignment.
LarryG
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I sent them a message via their "contact us" option on the 6th but have not yet heard back. We'll see. Thanks.
LarryG
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Still no response. I guess I may offer them at $850. Maybe all 6 together for $5000 with the 7th opened but unused deck thrown in for free. I really don't know if that is reasonable or exactly how to go about it. Ebay?
MaxArtifice
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Yeah, go ebay.

If it were me I would do a straight auction (no "buy it now" price) with a starting price of $1 and a reserve price of at least your $850 price. Make it a long auction time period...say, two weeks. That will give it enough time for a lot of people to see it.

Auction one at a time and see how the first auction goes. Or maybe start with the opened deck with no reserve and see how that goes.

But definitely put a reserve price on the sealed deck(s) to protect your investment. If they don't sell don't sweat it...just hold onto them. They are like land, they aren't making any more so the value should only go up.
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