The Mark Jeweler Variant
Mark Jeweler Advertisements:
Today I thought we would begin discussing one of the many variants found in the comic world. There are so many different types, I am going to break it down to a specific variant each time so as not to confuse anyone.
Today we will discuss the Mark Jewelers Variants. These are usually a 4 page centerfold from Mark Jewelers that advertise jewelry. These books are exactly like the regular comic sold, except they have the centerfold ad insert inside. These variants were only sold near U.S. military installations in the United States and overseas. They were inserted to help soldiers buy jewelry (especially engagement rings) for sweethearts back home. You could also buy watches, class rings and necklaces as well as other jewelry.
To the best of my knowledge, Marvel and DC Comics began running these ads in 1972 and stopped in 1986. My research tends to show that a majority of these ads were 4 pages and made of a glossy card board like stock. So they are easy to recognize. The book feels heavier and is more rigid. But I did find books that had a one page ad printed on a regular paper page. I have not been able to find the significance of this printing.
The numbers on how many of these books compared to the regular issues are not known, but are said to be significantly lower. Prices on these variants can vary, but can run as high as 30% higher than their counterpart in very fine to near mint condition. There are some who do not believe there should be a difference in these books, and will not pay the higher price. So if you are looking to sell these, you should look for completest, and variant collectors for the most part.
I personally love these books because there are so few of them compared to the regular issues, and like Newsstand editions, these books are very difficult to find in super high grade. Biggest reason being, because soldiers took them into the field and to work to read. My personal opinion, if you get a chance to add any of the Mark Jeweler variants to your collection at a great price in high mid grade and up. Buy them up.