Archive for December, 2014

10 Things You Might Not Know About Super Bowl Rings

December 31, 2014


It’s New Years Eve, so lets pause and take a look back at the very first blog I did about championship rings a year and a half ago…

superbowl, super bowl and championship rings


Since 1967, there have been 48 Super Bowl Championship Rings made. As a collector for many years, here are the ten amazing things I’ve learned.


1) When a team wins the Super Bowl, ownership and management choose a company to design and manufacture their championship ring. They also decide whether to issue the same ring or a lower-cost version to front office staff, whether to make jewelry available for friends and family, and what types of commemorative pieces to create for their fan base.

2) Jostens has made the most Super Bowl rings of any manufacturer. Jostens made the first ring, awarded to the Green Bay Packers after Super Bowl I, and their most current ring was for the Ravens in 2012. Jostens has made an astounding 30 of the 48 Super Bowl Champions rings.

3) The NFL limits teams to spend around $7,000 per ring and pays for the first 150 rings made. Teams that award more than 150 championship rings pay the cost for the additional rings themselves. Organizations that have won multiple Super Bowl rings are allowed to spend slightly more on diamonds. Manufacturers typically don’t make much money on the rings and sometimes, they actually loose money. The reason manufacturers are willing to make rings at or near cost is that they receive tremendous exposure and can generate larger profits on ancillary lines that they sell to family members, friends of the team, and fans.

4) Championship rings have gotten so big that even the largest of lineman find the latest rings huge and uncomfortable to wear. A three-time Super Bowl winning lineman once confessed to me that he couldn’t wear his Super Bowl XXXIX ring; it was too big for his huge hand. At 110 grams that ring is around the weight of 20 nickels or 40 pennies. The lineman preferred to wear his smaller, Super Bowl XXXVIII ring (which is pretty big too).


Pictured above: Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX rings – two of
the largest rings ever created.
 

5) The losing team in the Super Bowl gets a ring too. Commonly referred to as the AFC or NFC Championship Ring, it’s smaller and contains less bling than the winning ring, although these too seem to grow larger as the years go by. The NFL strongly suggests (some would say impose) that the winning and losing teams put the Super Bowl logo on each ring.

6) The NFL has an amazing display of every winning Super Bowl ring at their Headquarters in New York City. Unfortunately, you can’t walk in off the street and see the amazing display. When the NFL moved a couple of years ago to a new Park Avenue location they upgraded the display to include a movable magnifying glass so visitors could peer through the glass and see all the amazing details of each ring.

 

7) In a break with tradition, the Pittsburgh Steelers, decided not to award AFC Championship rings after their Super Bowl XLV loss to the Green Bay Packers. An executive with the Steelers verified this decision but would not elaborate on the reason. Instead, the team awarded watches to the players, coaches and front office. While this is only speculation, perhaps the team decided that a small AFC champions ring would dwarf their huge Super Bowl XLIII Champions ring from two years earlier and that the difference in size would cheapen the XLV award. Perhaps the circumstances below played a part in their decision.

8) The players on the Steelers were upset with the size of their Super Bowl XL rings. By 2002, winning Super Bowl rings were tipping the scales around 60-70 grams in weight. That changed when the Patriots made the biggest Super Bowl ring ever – when they won their second Super Bowl. Their ring from Super Bowl XXXVIII weighed around 100 grams. The following year when the Patriots repeated, their rings grew to 110 grams.

The next year, the Steelers Super Bowl XL ring was magnificent; containing 5 large marquise diamonds, one for each of the franchise’s Super Bowl Championships. However, at 53 grams, it was substantially smaller than other rings from this time period. The players were not happy when they realized their rings were considered tiny by their NFL rivals. The Steelers did remedy this, three years later when they won Super Bowl XLIII and designed a super bowl ring that weighed 100 grams.

9) The Packers became the first team to receive platinum rings when they won Super Bowl XLV. If you think gold is expensive, platinum is even more costly. The huge rings contained almost 3.5 carats of diamonds. The “G” in the middle of the ring, contained 13 diamonds – one for each title the team has won, dating back to 1929. There are 92 other diamonds on the ring, one for each year the Packers have been in existence. The ring weighs in at 110 grams which is around a quarter of a pound.


Pictured above: The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV ring
made of Platinum and over 100 diamonds.
 

10) Not only have Super Bowl rings grown over the last five decades, The presentation boxes that hold these treasures have evolved and kept pace too. Once rings were given in simple two inch velvet ring holders. The latest ring boxes can weigh four or five pounds, have full color graphics, and a glass window to show the ring while it’s housed in the presentation showcase. The most recent championship ring boxes come with LED lighting so the championship rings can sparkle 24 hours a day!

Pictured above: A Super Bowl Presentation Box worthy
of displaying a championship ring.
 

Want to see every winning and runner-up Super Bowl ring? Rare pictures along with presentation boxes can be viewed at www.Sports-Rings.com


I buy super bowl rings and I buy championship rings. Please let me know if you have a championship ring you would like to sell.


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To Participate & Read the Internet’s Best
spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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The Championship Rings From Super Bowl IV

December 30, 2014


Continuing my blog series on the pairs of rings issued from every Super Bowl, let’s take a look at the championship rings from Super Bowl IV:

Super Bowl IV Championship rings


Please accept my apology that the picture contains my website address. If I don’t place this on the photograph, other web sites will steal my pictures or worse, ebay sellers making cheap replicas that don’t look as anywhere near as realistic as the real rings will use the photos and claim these pictures are of their championship rings.

Almost all of the photographs from this blog series are from my own personal championship ring collection. Many of these rings are extremely rare and seldom (or perhaps never) photographed in pairs from a specific Super Bowl game. So please understand and excuse my on-going efforts to keep the photos from being misused. When I use a common picture found on the internet, I don’t put my website address on the photo.

The ring on the left is the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl IV ring. Designed and manufactured by Jostens, it contained one large diamond and 10 smaller diamonds. A large center diamond and smaller diamonds forming a football became a popular ring design for football championship rings. I believe this is the first implemented this design.

Unlike the Jets ring from the season earlier, the side of the Chiefs ring lacks the phrase “Super Bowl”. The side contains the score “Chiefs 23-7 Vikings”. The Jets ring was the first Super Bowl ring to actually say “Super Bowl” as that name was not born at the time of the first game between the Packers and Chiefs. I don’t know why the Chiefs decided not to use the word “Super Bowl” but it’s a hint that the name had not totally caught on in January of 1970 when this game was played.

The Super Bowl IV ring is extremely rare and highly coveted by championship ring collectors. Very few of these rings have been sold to the public.

In a tradition that continues to this day, the team that loses the Super Bowl is still recognized as a champion of their respective conference. Before the official merger was completed, the losing ring would contain either “AFL” or “NFL” champions, while the winning Super Bowl team’s ring would have the words “World Champions”. Starting with Super Bowl V and continuing to modern times, the team that loses the Super Bowl earns an “AFC” or “NFC” champions ring.

The Vikings ring shown on the right is the last Championship ring awarded to a losing team that actually contains the words “NFL Champions”.

The Vikings were heavily favored going into Super Bowl IV, and like the Colts the season before, were startled by their loss. Unlike the Colts, the team decided to receive a championship ring and not a watch.

The Vikings ring contains one center diamond. The ring was made in 14K solid yellow gold by Balfour. Not too many have sold publicly, however there seems to be an equal number made in 10K and 14K solid gold. I’m not sure why, but that’s one of many mysteries in the world of Championship ring collecting.

By now you probably have herd that I buy super bowl rings and I buy championship rings. Please let me know if you have a championship ring you would like to sell.


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To Participate & Read the Internet’s Best
spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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The Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Ring

December 29, 2014


Recently I acquired a player’s White Sox World Series ring and was pleasantly surprised:


(Click picture below for a larger picture)

Chicago White Sox World Series Ring


I had seen plenty of pictures of the 2005 White Sox world series ring and like many championship ring enthusiasts, I wasn’t very impressed with the design.

When the ring arrived, I was pleasantly surprised, this is one championship ring that looks much better and more impressive in person than in photos.

The first surprise is that the ring is quite large. Made by Jostens in 14K solid yellow gold, the World Series ring weighs in at 44.5 grams. The weight and photos hint that the ring is a smallish sized championship ring by today’s standards. In person, the ring is a lot larger than you would think.

The next surprise is that the ring feels like there’s a lot of bling, even though the photos show very small diamonds. In person the World Series ring diamonds pop out against a black onyx stone. The contrast is great and helps make the diamonds sparkle.

Here are more details about the ring: “The World Series ring was designed by Martyl Reinsdorf, the chairman’s wife and an accomplished jewelry designer, and was produced by Josten’s in Princeton, Ill. Each ring contains 14-karat yellow gold with a 14-karat white gold insert and a White Sox logo crest on a black onyx base stone.”

The ring contains 95 brilliant diamonds of various sizes, equaling over two karats. The player’s name and the team’s impressive 99-63 record is engraved on one side, with “World Champions, 2005, 11-1″ engraved on the other side.

The White Sox did a nice glass championship ring box, that helps to show off the beauty of the ring.

Please remember that I buy World Series rings and all kinds of championship rings. If you have a championship ring to sell, please reach out and contact me.


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To Participate & Read the Internet’s Best
spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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Keepin Those Championship Rings Clean!

December 28, 2014


Here are the do’s and don’ts in caring of your championship rings:

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Ring


This photo recently showed up on Twitter. Looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

Someone is about to season a chicken while wearing their Seahawks Super Bowl ring.

Nothing good is going to come from this (except perhaps a great testing meal).

Here is what many years of collecting championship rings has taught me about caring for championship rings and how to make your sports rings look great:

1) Don’t wear the rings everyday! Especially if you are not the original recipient of the ring since other than spending a lot of money you would not have had the ring anyway.

Championship rings, especially the ones form the last couple of decades are so large they constantly get banged around. Gold is a soft metal and easy to damage with small dents, scratches, and dings. Also, keep in mind, especially 14K gold which is softer than 10K gold, the rings can wear down over time and the fine details of the ring can soften (blur) or worse, wear off.

2) Don’t let a jeweler machine polish and buff the ring! Buffing the ring by machine will make a ring look much better, however, you are actually taking off a significant amount of gold! If a ring is 50 grams and contains a lot of dings and scratches, it may wind up losing 5% or more of it’s weight and just like a ring that is worn too much, the details may be lost or significantly softened. There are many ring collectors who keep notes of ring weights (I know I do) and will pay significantly less money for a ring that is 5-10% lighter in weight than it should be. More than 10% means I won’t buy the ring at all.

3) One of the worst things you can do to your championship ring is to clean it with an ultrasonic cleaner. Please explain to your jeweler (and never use one at home) not to use this device on your championship ring. Most championship rings have a black antique finish on the side of the ring. The black finish helps to make the fine details stand out. Over time the black finish does fall off. Using an ultrasonic cleaner will accelerate the black finish falling out much faster. So please remember, never use an ultrasonic cleaner on a championship ring.

4) The best way to clean a championship ring is for the jeweler to steam clean it. Not only does the gold color start to lose it’s shine and luster over time, but the diamonds loose their sparkle too. The reason the diamonds loose their sparkle is that jewelry settings can obstruct cleaning efforts, and oils, grease, and other substances such as hair spray adhere well to a diamond’s surface. Whenever I buy a ring, the first thing I do is head to my jeweler and have him steam clean the ring. The gold shines again, and the diamonds sparkle. The ring looks new again and I always marvel at the before and after difference! Keep in mind that a steam clean will not eliminate scratches and dents but if the championship ring is in good condition, it will look just about brand new after a steam cleaning.

5) If a championship ring does have surface scratches, I will have my jeweler lightly hand-buff the ring. This will eliminate many of the light surface scratches and soften the dings. While you will lose a little gold, unlike the machine buffing mentioned above, the loss is not substantial and the ring will look quite improved after this process.

6) If a championship ring could improve by having the antique finish redone please note that this is a risky proposition: There is a good chance that your jeweler may not even have the black substance or have experience doing this. Furthermore, if he over applies the finish and does not remove the excess finish properly, you will lose many of the fine details of the championship ring.

The details are still on the ring, they are just hidden beneath a layer of black finish. So if you are thinking of having this done, discuss this with your jeweler, and make sure he knows to remove the black finish enough to show the details. A huge help is if you can present him with a blown up picture of the championship ring with the proper balance of black finish. The large picture will show the details An example of the balance needed is the Lombardi Trophy often shown on the sides of Super Bowl rings. The trophy always contains tiny engraving on the trophy and often you need a magnifying glass to read it. With a proper picture, the jeweler will know he has to remove enough of the black finish to retrieve the tiny engraving details found on the ring.

I hope you found these tips useful.

Please remember that I want to buy championship rings. If you want to sell your championship ring, please contact me,


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spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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Former Kansas City Royal Reunited With His Stolen 1980 Championship Ring

December 27, 2014


The player was reunited with his 1980 ALCS ring after it went missing 33 years ago.

Kansas City Royal Championship Ring


First baseman Willie Aikens explained that a thief broke into his residence and stole the ALCS ring back in 1981.

Last month, Aikens found the ring at a pawn shop. The owner of the shop wanted $2,500 for the ring (a bargain compared to what the rings get on the open market place).

Aikens said a good pal helped him get back his cherished championship ring.

“I got emotional, tears came out of my eyes and it just put me in another situation with my spiritual life that shows me when we walk in the ways of the Lord that God will bless our lives,” Aikens said.

The Royals lost in the 1980 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. The 14K solid gold ring was made by Jostens and is one of a very few baseball ALCS or NLCS rings not to contain one or more diamonds.

I buy championship rings, world series rings, and Football rings. If you are ready to sell your championship ring, please contact me.


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To Participate & Read the Internet’s Best
spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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