An unsuspecting buyer purchased what he thought was a real salesman-sample NFC Championship ring and put it on ebay…..Then he got an earful from me.
There’s a guy in the Philadelphia area who single handedly ruined the salesman ring sample market place. Literally all by himself.
Salesman sample rings used to be rings that were made by ring manufacturer’s and sold to salesmen in the field.
Jostens and Balfour employ hundreds of salespeople throughout the country. Most of these salespeople visit High Schools and Colleges and sell class rings. They buy rings from the manufacturers because showing a little bling never hurts when trying to impress potential customers. The sales people are not supposed to resell the rings, and the manufactures will usually allow them to return the rings for credit or refund.
Sometimes a real salesman sample ring will fall into the market place and in the old days they would go for a lot of money. More and more of the rings in the market place today are fake, and the guy in the Philly area has sold dozens (or perhaps hundreds of fake rings). To add insult to injury, “Irv”, has his fakes engraved with “Balfour” or “Jostens” or the famous “J” logo inside the ring.
This week on ebay, a 1972 NFC Championship Ring appeared. The seller claimed it was a real salesman sample. I contacted him to politely inform him it was not real. At first, he was insulted and sure it was a real ring. “Hey, the ring has a stamp inside that it was made for Jenkins.” The only problem with the ring was that it was not real, Jenkins was not authorized to make the ring, Jostens was.
Furthermore, the ring was too light to be the same size as a real ring and the Indian head has much less detail than a real ring, and the pony tail and shape of the hair-part were quite different. You will notice on the real ring, the hair-part is straight and it’s curved on the fake ring. On the real ring, the pony-tail has a lot of detail, while the fake ring has virtually none. The fake ring was probably made using a wax-mold process where a real ring was used and a wax mold was made. Typically this process results in a fake ring that’s 20% smaller than the original. After speaking with the seller, it was apparent that the difference in weight from the real ring to the fake ring was about 20%!
The seller refused to remove the word “Salesman sample” from the auction and disbelieved everything I told him. Finally I told him I would buy the ring on ebay using paypal and American Express. I own a real ring so a side by side comparison will clearly show it’s a fake ring. If I prove it’s fake I will alert American Express that the seller committed fraud and to please get my money back from Paypal. In the past American Express has done this and forced paypal to take the money back from the seller. I told him I would send the ring to the NFL or Jostens and he would lose his money and the ring. He finally backed down and agreed to take the words “Salesman Sample” out of the auction.
Folks, please don’t get fooled by salesman samples rings. I have never seen a real “Jeter” Yankee Ring salesman sample and I have never seen a real 1950′s or 1960′s Yankee salesman sample ring. I have seen plenty of fakes. Someday, I hope to write in detail about Irv and his fake Yankee rings.
Irv, if you are reading this, I encourage you to sue me for slander or defamation of character. Go ahead. I look forward to the discovery process where my lawyer(s) can ask away and get to the truth about all the rings you acquired, and how you sold them to unsuspecting victims.