"Operator 5" Premium Ring (Argosy, 1996)

The pulp magazine, not in the collection.
"His name was Jimmy Christopher, and he was America's Undercover Ace, fighting spies and foreign agents from 1934 until the beginning of World War II. He was known as Operator #5 and was read by many each month in the pulp magazine of the same name. Written by Frank Davis, his mission was to save the United States of America from harm and destruction.

Jimmy Christopher emerged in 1934 in the inaugural issue of Operator #5 published by Popular Publications Inc. The same publisher also published the pulp magazine The Spider which offered it readership a costumed vigilante hero.

As Operator #5, Jimmy Christopher not only fought to save the United States from numerous threats, but he also worn an intriguing ring. The ring featured the image of a skull which bore the number 5. 
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His ring was offered as a premium to readers of the pulp magazine who could sign up and join the Secret Sentinels of America. The club, like many of the day, was created to support the patriotic interests of many citizens of the era. The magazine also featured letters from the various members of the Secret Sentinels of America.

The Operator #5 premium ring is considered one of the top rarities in premium rings. One of the main reasons for its rarity might be the staggering original cost of 25 cents in either currency or stamps that had to be submitted for the ring. A copy of a pulp magazine or comic book at the time was only a dime and the publishers were asking for two and half times the cover price of a magazine to obtain an Operator #5 ring.

The ring in near mint condition is worth $16,000 today with only twelve reported examples known and only one in mint condition. Unlike many other premium rings, the Operator #5 ring was offered as a non-adjustable sized ring. The ring was produced in sizes 6 to 11 with the issue of the rings non-adjustable size also being a factor in its scarcity. The ring was sent in a small red ring box that is also considered rare."
-- from "Scoop" website

This is a 1996 reissue of the ring, produced by Argosy, in a limited edition of 250, of which this is #93, individually numbered engraved inside the ring. This time it has an adjustable band. It's the next best thing to owning one of the most sought after premiums!

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