Note: Background photo is of a reproduction ring,
fixed in Photoshop. Photo by Chris Kalb
The Spider TM & © Argosy Communications, Inc.
The Spider Ring

The Spider Ring was first offered in the pages of The Spider in the March 1934 issue. Not coincidentally, this issue's story, "Citadel of Hell," marked the first time the Ring had been featured in an adventure. (Though it had been shown on the cover since the first issue, presumably as a nod to The Shadow's own signature ring.) For 25 cents in coin or stamp, and the promise to curtail crime in their neighborhood, readers could own their very own replica of The Spider's ring!

The Spider Ring is one of the most sought after premiums today. Harry Steeger remarked that "thousands and thousands" were sold, enlisting proud wearers in the Spider League of Crime Prevention, but today less than 30 have been documented in any condition.

A genuine Spider Ring will have the maker's logo on the inside of the band: an arrow through the letter "U" to represent "Uncas." Around 1940, the company also started to stamp "Made in USA" on the inner band as well to differentiate it from japanese products.

GOOD $800 | FINE $2500 | VERY FINE $4500 | NEAR MINT $8500 (Hake's)

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Silver Variation with Adjustable Band
Hake's Americana has documented two cases of a silver-spider version of the Spider Ring. These have fully intact black enamel inlay, with no trace of red enamel in the spider. Inside the band are the maker's mark (an arrow through a "U") and "Made in USA" (common of rings after 1940) -- but the band is adjustable. This is most likely the ring that was distributed by movie theaters showing The Spider Returns.

GOOD $400 | FINE $800 | NEAR MINT $1500 (Hake's)

Diamond Galleries Reproduction
The Spider Ring is such a classic, that in 1996, Diamond Galleries offered a $50, 250-copy limited edition reproduction. These were produced from the original molds, but with a gold finish and adjustable backing.

Unauthorized Reproduction
These actually look more like the original premium than the gold reproduction by Diamond. Just don't be fooled by one of these on eBay being passed off as an original! It is easy to tell these are from a mold, rather than the original pressing, because there is a crude seam running all the way around the diameter of the ring. Also there are no markings on the inner band.

NOTE: Contrary to popular belief (propagated by Stan Lee in "Origins of Marvel Comics" and even Diamond Galleries on their ironically titled "Certificate of Authenticity"), the Spider did NOT leave his Spider Seal by punching bad guys with his ring -- that was the Phantom and his Skull Ring. The Spider, ever sophisticated, ever on the forefront of villian-branding technology, kept his seal in the base of a specially built cigarette lighter.