U5-U8 Diamond Matchbooks and Diamond Matchbooks College Rivals
1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Color / Black and White
Number in Set
1933-38 Diamond Matchbooks Overview
A total of eight pre-war football Diamond Matchbook Cover sets exist. Each set covers either professional or collegiate football players. Sets with individual pictures of collegiate or professional players are simply called Diamond Matchbook sets while the matchbook covers with generic cartoons and team flags are referred to as ‘College Rivals’ sets.
The eight Diamond Matchbooks sets are:
U5 1933 Diamond Matchbooks Silver – Various Players
1934 Diamond Matchbooks – Various Players
U8 1934 Diamond Matchbooks College Rivals
1935 Diamond Matchbooks – Various Players
U8 1935 Diamond Matchbooks College Rivals
1936 Diamond Matchbooks – Only Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles
1937 Diamond Matchbooks – Only Chicago Bears
1938 Diamond Matchbooks – Only Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions
The two College Rivals sets feature specific games and only teams while the other sets feature individual players.
It is noteworthy that this is one of the few football issues listed in the American Card Catalog. Jefferson Burdick named these sets either U5, U6, U7, or U8. While the U5 (silver border set of 90) and U8 (College Rivals) issues are easy to distinguish with his listings in that book, U6 and U7 are a little more difficult.
All of the matchbook covers have some value regardless of condition. But complete books with the matches unused generally bring a premium. Because these were matchbook covers, they are often heavily worn with creasing, tears, and other flaws.
Fronts of the matchbooks featuring collegiate or professional players have a picture of a player on one side and the other has a short biography as well as the place to strike the matches. Fronts of the College Rivals series’ depict a generic drawing of a player as well as the school flags. Insides of both books (where the matches were stored) are blank.
The most valuable matchbook covers in the series belong to Bronko Nagurski and Red Grange. Theirs can sell for more than $150 if in decent condition.