Collection Detail
Ring Guide 

Robert M. Overstreet collected comic books, fossils, mineral specimens and Native American relics as a child, becoming a serious comic book collector in 1952. The popular EC Comics grabbed his attention and caused him to seek out back issues during the decades ahead to complete his title runs.

His first book project was a price guide on Native American arrowheads. Beginning in the 1960s, he began researching the various point types that would be featured in a compilation of drawings encompassing the entire United States. Concurrently, the comic book market was booming, with prices rising every year. Since the relic market was stable, he shelved the arrowhead guide and began researching a comic book price guide. Familiar with coin collecting, he knew the value of Yeoman’s Red Book and dreamed of the day when comic books would have their own price guide and be accepted as legitimate collectibles.

After exhausting his extensive library of dealer lists, letters and fanzines to create the initial listings for his book, he began soliciting cooperation from the leading comic experts, collectors and top dealers who provided even more information. Soon, the style and form of Overstreet’s Guide was finalized. Overstreet’s very first book, The Comic Book Price Guide was published in 1970.

The first edition was a success. The first of its kind, it was quickly accepted and used as the only authoritative reference and pricing tool in the market. It was also the first price guide to provide information about where to buy and sell by allowing advertising to dealers and collectors. This single tool brought the whole market together. With its valuable information now available to anyone, the market began to grow rapidly.

The Overstreet Price Guide achieved national distribution in 1976, establishing it as the top reference tool and was regularly used by dealers and collectors from coast to coast as well as abroad. Many became dealers during the 1970s selling their newly acquired inventories through mail order or at comic conventions. Some of these dealers began to open stores which stocked new comics as well as the valuable old comics. Spurred by a 1980 Associated Press news story, a huge demand for the Overstreet Price Guide came to be, necessitating an additional 10,000 copies being reprinted late in the year. Overstreet was rapidly becoming a household name.

During the 1970s and 1980s Overstreet branched out, publishing multiple volumes of The Overstreet Indian Arrowheads Identification and Price Guide as well as three volumes of The Overstreet Premium Ring Price Guide. This auction features a number of rings from The Robert M. Overstreet Ring Collection, many of them being photo examples from his guides.

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