Collecting Criteria for Lambros Pool Cues
The collector’s value of Lambros Pool Cues can be determined by evaluating any given cue, relative to select criteria. While the following list and subsequent descriptions are not a complete set of criteria, they should form a solid basis for assessing collector’s value:
- the age of the cue
- original sales agreement
- the previous owners and tournament lineage of the cue
- a Mike Lambros signature on the cue
- the uniqueness and overall appearance of the finished cue;
- an “Ultra” jointed cue with current ownership certificate.
The relative age of Lambros Pool Cues may be determined by examining the butt cap material and the company logo engraved on the butt cap. The earliest Lambros Pool Cues were made of a now obsolete type of plastic which tends to change in color over time from the original off-white to more of a pale yellow. Also, the earliest Lambros Pool Cues had the simple “M L” logo, Mike Lambros’s initials, on the butt cap. These cues, which are now approximately 5 years old, should be considered to be worth 125-200% of their original retail purchase price.
When Lambros Custom Cues was created in 1992, a formal company logo was created, and consists of Mike Lambros’s last name, with the bottom of the first letter “L” extended as an underline below the other letters. Also around this time, the material of the butt cap was changed to the newer white delrin plastic. These cues are now approximately 1-4 years old. Depending on other criteria, these cues should be expected to hold their original value in the short term and then begin to increase in value over time.
In the late 1995-early 1996 time frame, the Lambros logo on the butt cap was modified slightly, with respect to the type font and the depth of the engraving. This logo is now being used on every cue. The approximate date of introduction is not particularly significant, relative to the collector’s value of these types of cue, but is more significant in defining the group of cues described in the previous paragraph.
Each Lambros “Ultra” Pool Cue and Billiard Cue has a slightly modified logo on the butt cap. This logo was introduced with the “Ultra” design in the Spring of 1996.
Original Sales Agreement
This criterion applies to Lambros Pool Cues that were originally purchased in retail from the factory. Keeping intact the copy of the original sales receipt should enhance the collector’s value of the cue over time. This criterion is not considered particularly significant in the short term, but should add some value to the cue over time, as the Lambros name becomes more synonymous with the great cuemakers of this century.
Previous Owners/Tournament Lineage
Some Lambros Pool Cues have been made for and used in competition by top tournament professionals. This criterion is partially dependent on accurate traceability, which may be difficult. It is also partially dependent upon whether or not the cue was used for a tournament victory. Again, this criterion is not considered particularly significant in the short term, but should add some value to the cue over time.
A Mike Lambros Signature
On a very select few Lambros Pool Cues, the signature of Mike Lambros may be found on the handle, underneath the wrap, or between two points in the forearm. The quantity and present ownership of these cues is a company secret and will not be casually divulged. The decision to sign a given cue, is made solely by Mike Lambros. His reasons for deciding whether or not to sign a cue are also a company secret.
The presence of a Mike Lambros signature on a Lambros Pool Cue, is extremely significant in assessing the collector’s value, because so few of these cues actually exist. And it shall increase in significance over time, as Mike’s stature in the cue making world rises to the top.
Uniqueness/Overall Appearance of the Final Design
Lambros Cues Inc. never has been or ever will be an assembly line, mass production-oriented cue making operation. We take great pride in our abilities 1) to create a nearly limitless array of custom designs for general sales, 2) to design a custom cue from given a set of customer requirements, and 3) to interact closely with customers to help develop and refine their personal cue designs.
Lambros Cues, Inc., purchases only the very best hard rock, curly and birds-eye maples and ebony, rosewood, snakewood, zebrawood, Bacote, Ziricote, Cocobolo and other sustainable yields, exotic hardwoods. We believe our cue engineering, manufacturing, quality control, and overall product consistency are unmatched in the cue making business.
Even with these extremely high cue making standards, every once in a while we do produce cues that simply stand out among the others. And we believe this fact is an important criterion in assessing the collector’s value of a cue. There are many factors to be considered in this criterion. Some factors and related questions are:
Is there a unique hardwood or ivory inlay design? Is the point/veneer design unique? Does the cue have an ivory joint and ivory shaft ferrules? Does the butt sleeve have points, windows, and/or inlays?
Is there a unique color match with the stain, points and veneers?
Ivory “Buska” style rings, dash rings, and triple rings are more unique than double, single, or plain rings.
Does the cue have an exotic hardwood, curly maple, or birds-eye maple forearm? Does the curly maple seem to really “glow?” Is the birds-eye maple loaded with linear, uniform “eyes?”
Is the wood grain in the forearm exceptionally straight and tightly spaced? This property is a typical indication of exceptional wood strength and will result in a superb hitting cue.
“Ultra” Jointed Cues
In the Spring of 1996, Lambros Cues, Inc. introduced the “Ultra” joint, which is an optional feature for Lambros Pool Cues. For a small fee, original owners of “Ultra” cues may purchase a special certificate which will contain details such as the cue’s description, production number, date of purchase and the original owner’s name. The certificate will also display the Lambros Cues, Inc., corporate logo and will be hand-signed by Mike Lambros.
If the original owner decides to sell the cue, then the subsequent owner may send the certificate back to the Lambros Cues, Inc., factory, to have his (or her) name added to the certificate, with the date the ownership was transferred. Only original owners will be offered the option to purchase the certificate and replacement certificates will not be offered. Therefore, we believe these certificates should enhance the authenticity, traceability and overall collector’s value of “Ultra” cues.
Collecting Criteria for Lambros Billiard Cues
In general, collecting criteria for Lambros Billiard Cues are the same as those for the Lambros Pool Cues. However, there are some discriminators which make Lambros Billiard Cues unique, in their own right.
First, in the 1993-1994 time frame, Lambros Custom Cues and Lambros Cues, Inc., produced an initial set of seven billiard cues for the carom billiard games. Prior to 1993, and from early 1995 – early 1996, Lambros Cues, Inc., did not produce any billiard cues.
Because of their design, age and limited production, these seven cues are unique among all other Lambros cues and have a special collector’s value. Some owners of these cues have already been offered 150-175% of the original retail sales price.
Second, Lambros Billiard Cues were re-introduced in 1996, but with a brand new, optimized design. And each new Lambros Billiard Cue will have the “Ultra” joint, so the previously stated criterion will apply.
Third, because of the unique requirements of the carom billiard games and because of the stringent Lambros Cues, Inc., quality standards, it is substantially more difficult to design and produce a world-class billiard cue, than a world-class pool cue. Therefore, a certain extra collector’s value may be added to each Lambros Billiard Cue.