Archive for July, 2013

Fake Salesman Samples Are Abundant on Ebay

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.

Fake NFC Championship 1972 Super Bowl VII Salesman Sample Washington Redskins Ring

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.

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San Francisco Giants Fan Wins World Series Ring


Sometimes life finds a way to reward loyalty as a lieutenant with the San Francisco Fire Department, a U.S. Navy veteran and life-long Giants Fan, was declared the winner of the Giants ring raffle and received his authentic world championship ring.

San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series Ring

As a boy growing up in San Francisco, Tony Rivera would get home from school, don his Giants hat and take to the streets of the Mission to play baseball with his friends. They would each take on a persona of a different Giants player, with Rivera always playing the role of John ‘The Count’ Montefusco, the Giants star pitcher and Rookie of the Year in 1975. He has been a fan ever since.

Sometimes life finds a way to reward loyalty as Rivera, a lieutenant with the San Francisco Fire Department, a U.S. Navy veteran and life-long Giants Fan, was declared the winner of the Giants ring raffle and received his authentic world championship ring at a ceremony on home plate at AT&T park Saturday.

“We were sitting down to dinner when I got the call,” Rivera said. At first he though his fellow firefighters were pulling a prank on him, but as he realized that he had indeed won a World Series ring, jubilation set in.

“I went from disbelief, to belief, and back to disbelief,” he said. “It was kind of unbelievable.”

The ring itself is a heavy, jewel encrusted thing that Rivera describes as a “Liberace starter-kit,” but that didn’t stop him from sleeping with it the night he brought it home.

But, to Rivera, it’s less about the ring itself and more about what it signifies.

“The ring is a beautiful piece of jewelry,” he said. “But I think of it as more of an heirloom that I can pass on to my kids and they can pass on to theirs. Honestly, it’s kind of emotional.”

But Rivera wasn’t the only winner to come out of the raffle. The Giants Community Fund netted more than $500,000 from the fundraiser. The non-profit arm of the Giants organization sponsors the Junior Giants, a program that provides uniforms, equipment and training for more than 20,000 children across California, Nevada and Oregon.

Though the Giants are going through a bit of a slump following two World Series victories in three years, Rivera hasn’t let the team’s struggles dampen his spirits.

“I grew up in an era when the Giants weren’t that good, but I’ve been with them through thick and thin,” he said. “I have other memorabilia, but the ring means so much to me and also my kids.”

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The NCAA Basketball Champion Louisville Cardinals Get Their Rings

On Monday, July 22, the players and coaches from the Louisville Cardinals’ championship-winning 2012-13 men’s basketball team received their championship rings.

NCAA Champion Louisville Cardinal Championship Ring
Kenny Klein, the school’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations, announced the news on Twitter.

The next stop for the Cardinals is a visit with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

With the exception of Russ Smith, every single one of the UL players from last season will be making the journey to Washington D.C.

Smith, the team’s leading scorer in 2012-13, will instead join other top college players in a program that sends Div. 1 kids to Europe each summer to play against foreign national teams. He said, ‘It’s nothing personal to the White House and Mr. President Obama, but as a basketball player, I feel like I have things to work on, and just constantly playing basketball will help me.’

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Police find stolen Super Bowl and College Football Championship Rings

Former Steelers running back Justin Vincent will be getting his four rings returned to him. The rings include his Super Bowl XLIII ring and 2004 LSU National Championship ring. Vincent had given the rings to a friend who was to place them in a safety deposit box.

steelers super bowl ring and lsu national championship ring

The rings were, police believe, stolen from a residence by a person hired to clean the residence.

The rings were recovered during a homicide investigation, according to the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Vincent was on the Steelers’ practice squad for part of the 2008 season, earning his ring despite not having been on the active roster. He was also the MVP of LSU’s National Championship victory over Oklahoma at the end of the 2003 season.

The rings were allegedly stolen from Vincent’s friend’s residence. The police took into custody 26-year-old Baton Rouge resident Courtney Henderson on suspicion of stealing the rings when she was hired to clean the house, and Vincent’s friend is not a suspect.

According to ESPN, Henderson took the rings because she believed they were left there by the owner, who was in the process of moving out. She was also arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm with a controlled substance.

Congratulations to Vincent for getting them back. Very few football players can boast they won both a College National Championship and a Super Bowl.

Vincent bounced on and off the Steelers’ practice squad between 2007-10, and is retired from football. He is currently the Assistant Athletic Director of Player Personnel at LSU and is also the host of the FOX program, Louisiana Sunday Kickoff.

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Cheap Replica Ravens Super Bowl Rings For Sale On eBay

Why Jostens and the NFL permit this to happen is a mystery. Not only does it cheapen the accomplishment, it hurts Jostens in the wallet since they offer much better quality Ravens rings for sale on their website.

Replica Super Bowl ring for the Baltimore Ravens superbowl

If you want something cheap in price that’s similar to what the World Champion Ravens are wearing, eBay has a large selection of replicas. Most are made in China and list from $89-$250.

Some look fantastic. Other look like crap.

For $250 you can get a Joe Flacco replica in silver that looks really good. According to the seller’s description, the ring is solid copper and is silver plated with cubic zirconia stones (cheap, imitation diamonds). My experience has been that often, the materials of the rings don’t match the description. And if you plan on wearing them, they may oxidize, tarnish, wear, pit or rust. The gold-tone rings (gold in color) often wear and fade to silver color. Experience has shown that if you have patience and wait, the prices for these rings drop significantly over time.

Your favorite player’s name, or your name, is sometimes available. Some rings includes a fancy presentation box and custom finger sizes are sometimes available to fit your finger properly.

Some listings include the engraving of the postseason scores inside, just like the Ravens real rings. Others do not.

If you’re looking for something more official, and a ring that can be worn and hold up, Jostens sells a fan ring for $400. It’s similar to the ones the players and coaches wear, but is smaller and slightly modified.

And, if you are not a Ravens fan, the folks in China produce almost every winning (and sometimes losing) team’s championship rings. Just search on eBay.

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