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also blue-chip, in reference to the high-value poker counter, from 1904 in the figurative sense of "valuable;" stock exchange sense, in reference to "shares considered a reliable investment," is first recorded 1929; especially of stocks that saw spectacular rises in value in the four years or so before the Wall Street crash of that year.
Of the best sort; first-rate: a blue-chip stock/ a blue-chip school (1920s+)
[fr the color of the highest denomination of gambling chip]