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Many moons ago, I wrote an article on the old collector's society boards about Mark Jeweler variants in DC Comics. I am repeating that article on these new boards with some updates and corrections for reference. The Mark Jeweler variant is simply a comic book that contains a Mark Jeweler advertisement that was inserted into the centerfold of the comic book. For the first few years that they appeared in DC Comics, the ads were printed on a heavier-than-normal cardboard paper and in later years the ads were printed on thin, slick paper. I would say they only occur in approximately 5% or less of any given issue, which makes them pretty hard to find. When I started looking around the internet for information on DC Comics that contain the Mark Jeweler variants, I was surprised to see how little information seemed to exist on the topic. I believe I’ve found almost every single version of the Mark Jeweler variant published in DC comics. I am providing the following in-depth description of these inserts in order to share the results of my research. I mostly collect Batman, Detective, Superman, Action, and Justice League of America. I’ve spent a great deal of time looking for the Mark Jeweler inserts in those titles and researching the topic (more than I care to admit!). Between those five titles, I believe that 692 issues could contain the insert between the cover dates of August 1972 through July 1986. So far, I have been able to confirm the existence of 594 issues containing the insert. Of those 594 issues, I actually have 521 issues containing the insert in my collection. As near as I can tell, the very first Mark Jeweler inserts were inserted into DC Comics with the indicia date of August 1972. Awe4one (an expert in Mark Jeweler inserts) agrees. I have in my possession a copy of House of Secrets 99 and Action 415 (both dated August 1972) and GI Combat 155 (dated Aug/Sep 1972), each containing the earliest known version of the Mark Jeweler insert. Jeweler inserts continued to appear in DC Comics up to and including issues with a July 1986 cover date. From August 1972 through July 1986, the only months for which I’ve been unable to find a Mark Jeweler variant have been May 1973, March 1975, and April 1975. Actually, no DC issues were released with an indicia date of solely May 1973, so I don’t think inserts were produced for that month. Furthermore, I believe that they may not have made jeweler inserts for March and April 1975 issues. I have some evidence to back up that statement. Mycomicshop has had thousands of issues with jeweler inserts, and they have never seen a comic book from March or April 1975 with the insert. I also found a run of about 15 comic books from the same collection that had star-shaped stamps on the covers (a star-shaped stamp often appears on jeweler variants -- it was a practice by military PX's to stamp the comic books after selling them). In that run, all the comic books except the one from April 1975 had the jeweler insert even though the April 1975 issue had the star-shaped stamp on it. (See image below for example of the star-shaped stamp and photos of the jeweler insert inside Detective 472). I have an insert from every month from August 1972 through July 1986 except for May 1973, March 1975, and April 1975. If you have an issue containing the jeweler insert from one of those months, I would appreciate you letting me know. It appears to me that Mark Jeweler inserts were never inserted into DC's square bound giants. This was confirmed when I found a run of jeweler variants from the same collection, and all but the 100-page giant in that collection contained the insert even though the 100-pg giant had obviously been bought at the same location as the other jeweler variants (due to the star-shaped stamp on all of them). I believe Mark Jewelers inserts were also not normally inserted into Dollar Comics and the 52-page and larger giants such as JLA 139 thru 157 and 250, Batman 300, Green Lantern 100 and 200, and Superman 400. Notable exception: Awe4one, Flaming Telepath and I all found a jeweler insert in JLA 149. I also believe DC did not place a jeweler insert in any of the over-sized issues that contained free comic inserts (e.g., JLA 193 with the All-Star Squadron insert; Batman 353 & Detective 520 & Superman 377 & Action 537 & JLA 208 with Masters of Universe inserts; Detective 544 & Superman 401 & Green Lantern 182 with Flash Force 2000 inserts; Batman 387 & Superman 411 & JLA 242 & Green Lantern 192 & Action 573 with Mask inserts). Notable exception: I found a copy of Action 509 with the Radio Shack insert (which added 16-pages to the comic book) but it also contained a Mark Jewelers insert. Thus, at 64-pages, Action 509 is the largest comic book I've ever encountered that contained the insert.I don’t know whether or not the Mark Jeweler insert was placed into all the other non-giant or non-oversized issues that were published from August 1972 through July 1986, or if the inserts were instead targeted for only certain titles or issues for any given month. I personally believe that they were placed in almost all non-giant issues (for the five titles I collect, I've found evidence that at least 85% of non-giant issues contain the insert.... for the title of Superman, I've found at least 90% of the non-giant issues contain the insert). Starting with issues dated October 1980, direct sales copies (i.e., copies that were made mostly for comic book shops) were distinguished from newsstand copies. At that time, DC Comics started marking newsstand copies with bar codes in the UPC box on the cover, while direct sales copies did not have bar codes but instead had symbols and/or catch phrases in them. I believe the Mark Jeweler inserts were only placed in newsstand copies. I have never seen a direct sales copy with the Jeweler insert inside for issues dated October 1980 and newer. In other words, don't bother looking for an insert if the issue is a direct sales issue. This makes sense to me, since I understand the advertisements were targeted for newsstands that were close to military personnel (instead of the direct sales audience). For DC Comics, I have so found approximately 30 different versions of the jeweler inserts. I have photographed each version and I will attempt to post those photos in the future. The following photobucket page shows a few of those photos:http://s1336.photobucket.com/user/kwticknor/slideshow/Mark%20Jewelers%20variantsMy system for describing the different versions of jeweler inserts is to describe the primary colors on the first page of the insert and to also add the alpha-numerical code that appears near the bottom of the order form on most of the inserts. There doesn’t appear to be any pattern or reasoning behind the numbering system used on the different versions of the variant (it would be interesting to talk to the people who designed the inserts to find out if there was a pattern to their numbering system). Following is a listing of the types of inserts I have found (if a month is followed by question marks, then I haven’t seen the insert associated with that month): Aug 1972 = black with rstuvwx and black rst; Sep 1972 = black with rstuvw; Oct 1972 = black with rstuv and black rst; Nov 1972 = black with bcdefgh; Dec 1972 = black with bcdefg; Jan 1973 = black with bcdef and black bcdefghij; Feb thru Jul 1973 = black with abc; Aug thru Sep 1973 = black with 222; Oct thru Dec 1973 = black with 333; Jan thru Jun 1974 = blue with 444; July 1974 = blue with 555; Aug 1974 thru Feb 1975 = blue with 666; Mar 1975 = ???; April 1975 = ???; May thru Jul 1975 = blue with 777; Aug thru Sep 1975 = blue with 888; Oct thru Nov 1975 = blue with 88; Dec 1975 thru Aug 1976 = brown with 999; Aug/Sep 1976 =brown with 99 (found in Hercules 6); Sep 1976 thru May 1977 = red with 111; Jun thru Jul 1977 = red with 1; Aug thru Sep 1977 = red with no number; Oct 1977 thru Nov 1978 = green with 111 (and also green 11 in Oct 1978); Dec 1978 thru Jul 1979 = blue with 222; Aug 1979 = blue with 333; Sept 1979 = blue with 222 (identical to Dec 1978 thru Jun 1979); Oct 1979 thru Apr 1980 = blue with 333 (identical to Aug 1979); May thru Jun 1980 = black with 4; July 1980 thru Feb 1981 = black with 444; Mar thru Oct 1981 = black with 5; Nov 1981 = blue with 66; Dec 1981 thru July 1982 = blue with 6 (wtih Feb 1982 also containing blue 66); Aug 1982 = black with 555; Sep thru Oct 1982 = black with 666; Nov 1982 thru Aug 1983 = gray with 77; Sept 1983 thru Aug 1984 = blue and gray with 88; Sep 1984 = red and gray with 99; Oct thru Nov 1984 = red and gray with 999; Dec 1984 thru Apr 1985 = red and gray with 99 (identical to Sep 1984); May thru Jun 1985 = purple with CCC; Jul thru Sep 1985 = gray and black with AAA; Oct thru Nov 1985 = purple with BBB; Dec 1985 thru Jan 1986 = purple with CCC (identical to May thru Jun 1985); Feb 1986 = gray and black with AAA on card (identical to Jul thru Sep 1985); Mar thru May 1986 = blue and gray with EE on card; Jun 1986 = gray and black with G; Jul 1986 = purple and gray with D. By the way, if the indicia date of the issue covers two months, then the version of the insert that appears in the issue is unpredictable. Sometimes the issue will contain the insert for the first month listed in the indicia and sometimes will contain the insert for the second month listed in the indicia Sometimes it might contain neither. GI Combat 155, Flash 223, and Hercules 6 are examples. GI Combat (Aug/Sep 1972) contains the same insert that appears in other issues dated of Aug 1972. Flash 223 (Sep/Oct 1973) contains the insert that appears in other issues dated of Oct 1973. Hercules 6 (Aug/Sep 1976) contains neither the Aug 76 nor the Sept 76 insert but instead has a “brown 99” insert. I checked publication dates of these issues, and it also provided no prediction as to what insert would appear. When looking for inserts, I should also mention that some issues contain slick advertising inserts that are not Mark jeweler inserts. Thus, when looking through a stack of comic books from the top or bottom, a book might appear to contain a jeweler insert but on closer inspection you will find that it does not. When these non-jeweler inserts appear in a book, they are in every single issue of that book so they are usually not variants and they don’t add anything to the value of the comic book (in my opinion). Following is a listing of those inserts and the issues that they appear in: Atari insert appearing in various 1981 thru 1983 issues such as Batman 340, 343, 346, 357, Detective 498, 518, Superman 375, Action 515, 521, 524, Green Lantern 156; Hostess and Saturday morning cartoon insert appearing in December 1981 issues such as Batman 342, Detective 509, Superman 366, Action 526, Justice League of America 197 and Green Lantern 147; Mask insert appearing in Batman 397, Superman 421, Justice League of America 254, and Green Lantern 204; Sword of Atom comic book insert appearing in Justice League 228 only; Jemm comic book insert appearing in direct sales issues of Batman 375 only (i.e., not in newsstand issues); Baseball products insert appearing in newsstand issues of Superman 375 only (i.e, not in direct sales issues). I believe most of these issues also have a variant that contains a Mark jeweler insert. Furthermore, if a Mark jeweler insert appears in any of these issues, then these other advertising inserts will not be found in that issue. Examples in my possession include Batman 340, Batman 342, Batman 343, Batman 357, Superman 366, Superman 375, Justice League 228, Action 515, Action 521 and Action 526 which contain a Mark Jeweler insert but do not contain the slick non-jeweler insert at the same time. All DC Comics issues dated May 1984 also had a regular one page Military Diamond Sales ad in them (not affiliated with Mark Jewelers). This included both newsstand and direct sales copies. However, newsstand issues from that month can also include the slick centerfold ad (for example, Batman 371, Superman 395 and Action 555). I have a handy spreadsheet which shows each month that the Mark Jeweler variants appeared in Batman, Detective, Superman, Action, and Justice League of America comic books. The sheet shows issues that I have in my possession, plus a listing of issues for which I have reasonable evidence that a Mark Jeweler variant exists. If you would like a copy of that spreadsheet, feel free to email me at the address shown below. Pricing of DC Comics Jeweler variants: In general, I think that people don’t usually pay a whole lot more for Jeweler variants because there isn’t a whole lot of demand for them. I usually buy them for about the same price as guide and sometimes as much as 20% more than guide if I really want the variant. If priced more than 20 percent above guide, they seem to not sell quickly. When priced about the same as guide, I believe Jeweler variants will sell quicker than the same issue without the variant. If anyone has any Batman, Detective, Superman, Action, or Justice League of America comic books with the Mark Jeweler inserts, I'd love to hear about it so that I can add the information to my database. Feel free to send me a PM or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Kirk Ticknor
https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-High-Grade-Hulk-181-BUT-High-Grade-Mark-jewlers-Incredible-Hulk-180-Htf/293332878293?hash=item444c0083d5:g:EX8AAOSw9KBdzvcd no reserve & started at $1 first bid!