Mark Jewelers Inserts
There is a select group of comic books that contain a special set of advertising inserts.
Approximately 5% to 8% of Newsstand editions (No Direct Editions) of comic books from the early 1970s to the early 1990s contain some very interesting advertising inserts.
Colloquially known as MJIs or Mark Jewelers Inserts, Mark Jewelers is a company located in California and features a 4-page (2-leaf) advertising insert in select newsstand comic books. They typically advertised gold, silver and jewellery and the reason for these inserts are just as interesting, and are extremely rare.
It is estimated that comic book publishers, DC Comics and Marvel Comics started running these ads for Mark Jewelers jewelery store around the 1970s and continued until the 1990s.
Indeed to the astute collector, there is a definite weight difference between a MJI book and a regular newsstand edition. Keen collectors will also notice that a view from the top or the bottom of the comic can reveal its internal secrets. You can see the coloured inserts wedged between regular book pages.
Mark Jewelers Inserts were only distributed to select USA Army bases throughout the lower 50 states in the United States of America.
It is very hard to find MJI comic books in a high grade state. The reason is because of the intent of the soldiers who bought these comics, would actually read them, and treated as a pastime.
The idea behind the limited distribution was to allow US Soldiers to buy comics and use the mail-away form to order jewelery for their loved ones back home.
Star-Stamped Mark Jewelers
Another even, rarer form of MJI is the Star-Stamped version. These select comic books have a ink-stamped Star (⭐️) stamped on the cover of the book. These sometimes faint stars can be found anywhere on the cover of the comic book but in our experience, you will find them mostly on the Price Box, or on the Comic Book Code Authority stamp.
Star-Stamped MJIs were sold to US servicemen directly. They were sold on USA Army Bases and sold to the soldiers. These MJIs are extremely rare, and some have the Mail-In form missing as those servicemen actually ordered goods from Mark Jewelers store itself.
There is no estimate on the ratio of these MJIs versus unstamped copies. Via our research and experience, you can estimate this to be 1%-2% of the overall MJI Newsstand print run.
Tricks to help Identify MJIs
There's several key things to look for when searching for MJIs. All Mark Jewelers comic books will have the following traits:
- Newsstand Edition with Barcode
- USA Price Box with US Dollars/Cents
- Optionally a Star-Stamp in ink on cover
MJI will never have the following traits:
- A price variant like Canadian price of 75¢ or 95¢ or UK price variant with price: 10p, 12p, or 20p
- A Direct Edition comic
Examples of Mark Jewelers Inserts
Colours of MJI ads we've seen, all with glossy pages except where noted:
- Navy Blue
- Brown (with cardboard like paper)