Archive for August, 2013

Advice to Those Wishing to Collect Championship Rings

Collecting championship rings can be a lot of fun, but also a struggle to keep from getting ripped off.

New York Giants Super Bowl XXI Ring and Fake Ring
Recently a reader of this blog asked for advice on getting started collecting rings.  I told him to be careful – there’s a lot of pitfalls to this hobby.

I would recommend potential collectors spend a lot of time learning and researching all they can about the world of championship rings before they start buying them.

If you want to collect baseball cards or game used equipment, there are plenty of resources such as books and websites to learn from.  Unfortunately, there aren’t books on collecting rings, meaning much of the research will be done on your own and take a lot of time.

Here are some basic things to be careful of :

Many “salesman samples” and some supposedly “real” rings are fakes.  Most fakes are made from unauthorized wax molds that are created from authentic original rings.  Many of these fakes are made with real gold and diamonds and then sold as “real rings”.  Since the value of a championship ring is it’s memorabilia value and not jewelry value, these fakes are worth a tiny fraction of a real ring and should be avoided at all costs.

New York Giants Super Bowl XXI Ring and Fake Ring
Could you tell a real ring from a fake?
How about if you didn’t have a real one for comparison?

Never buy a real championship ring without paperwork or proof that the original owner sold the ring.  The ring could be stolen or lost and if you try to sell it, you will be responsible to return the item to it’s original owner if the ring is discovered to be lost or stolen.  Rings have been returned to their original owner when the ring was “discovered’” by the publicity of being featured in an auction.  Buyers have lost tens of thousands of dollars when their prized possession was found to be lost or stolen.  Do you think the ring would be yours to keep if  it was lost many years earlier?  I’d suggest you research this matter too, as stolen property almost always reverts back to the original owner, and there’s no expiration date.

I can’t count the number of times I have been offered a ring and the seller explained that the ring they are selling was given to them by the original owner or that they won it in a poker game.  If you hear this when offered a ring, run from the sale as fast as you can.  I never met a player who gave his cherished ring to a pal or lost it in a game of poker.

Don’t pay “A” prices for a “B” or “C” ring.  Many front office rings are not as big, heavy, and full of diamonds as what the players receive.  “B” and “C” versions are worth much less than a player’s ring.  A front office ring that is truly the same size, and configuration as a player’s ring, holds it’s value much better than a “B” or “C” level ring.  Don’t even think of buying a ring, unless you know exactly what ring version you are offered.

The cheap rings made in China that you see for sale around $100.00 can be nice looking.  They display well as long as you never wear them since the metal can tarnish, pit, oxidize, and the fake diamonds will loosen and fall out.  These rings are near worthless and will be difficult to resell, however, they look great in display cases and can make a nice addition to your memorabilia collection if you don’t wear them.  If you are on a tight budget, these rings can be a great way to start collecting.

Good luck if you decide to start to collecting rings. I can’t stress enough that research and education is vital if you don’t want to get taken advantage of. I will try to write more about this subject down the road.

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Whitey Bulger Wants to Keep His Stanley Cup Rings

The infamous Winter Hill gangster was likely given the rings by former player Chris Nilan.

1986 Montreal Canadians Stanley Cup Championship Ring

Whitey Bulger was found guilty of multiple murders, and the FBI seized more than a million dollars of his money when he was captured.

Allegedly, Whitey Bulger wants only his Stanley Cup rings back.

According to ESPN (via the Globe), Bulger is fighting to get back his Montreal Canadiens 1986 Stanley Cup championship ring via court documents.

The government has the ring, and is “property that falls into a category eligible to be permanently seized.”

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Super Bowl Rings – The Growth Spurt Continues

Similar to an automotive magazine getting a hot new car for a test drive and comprehensive review, I finally get my hands on a new Ravens Super Bowl XLVII ring to examine and compare to it’s predecessors.

Packers Super Bowl I Ring, Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXIII, Ring, New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX ring, and Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII ring
Pictured above: The Packers Superbowl I ring, the Broncos Super Bowl XXXIII ring from the ’98 season, the Patriots XXXVIII ring from the ’03 season and the Ravens ring from the 2012 season.

It’s common knowledge that championship rings are getting bigger and bigger. The growth has occurred in all four of the major professional sports – football, baseball, basketball and hockey.

The first Super Bowl ring, from the 1966 season, contained a single 1 carrot diamond. Immediately after the inaugural debut of Super Bowl rings, the rings started to grow in size and bling. This year’s Ravens ring looks like the biggest baddest ring ever, containing 243 diamonds and having a total carat weight of 3.75 carats.

Super Bowl rings appeared to have peaked in size and bling in 2010 when the Packers made a ring with over 100 diamonds and solid platinum (platinum is more expensive than gold). The belief that perhaps super bowl rings had finally peaked in size was because the following season, the Giants ring had plenty of bling, but did not contain as many diamonds and was smaller than the Packers ring from the year before.

Looks like the growth of super bowl rings has started again. This year’s Ravens ring contains 243 diamonds and weighs in at 88 grams. Although lighter than the Packers and Patriots rings (see photo above), weight can be deceiving. The Ravens ring is made of 10K gold, not 14K like the Patriots ring or the Packer platinum ring. 10K gold is around 15% lighter then 14K gold and much lighter than Platinum. Visually, the Ravens ring is physically the largest super bowl ring ever produced.

I can’t wait to see next year’s ring!

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San Francisco 49ers To Raffle An Authentic 2012 NFC Championship Ring

Here’s you chance to win authentic ring, just like Colin Kaepernick’s.

San Francisco 49ers Authentic NFC 2012 Championship Ring

An extremly lucky San Francisco 49ers fan will win the exact same NFC championship ring awarded to players from last year’s Super Bowl losing team.

The 49ers announced this week that they will hold a NFC championship ring raffle to benefit the 49ers Foundation Charity. Fans can buy five tickets for $10 to get a chance to win an authentic Tiffany and Co. ring that will come with the winner’s name and all the same features as the ones Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith were awarded.

The winner will be announced Oct. 1 and given the ring at a ceremony before an Oct. 13 home game against the Arizona Cardinals. Even better, the team will provide a cash prize to mitigate the winner’s tax liability resulting from winning the raffle and complete travel accommodations will be provided as well.

With the money going to charity, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

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