November 21, 2015

Auctions containing World Series rings are always big events for us championship ring collectors. But what in the world happened here?

2009 Yankee World Series Ring

Championship ring collectors often complain about big auction companies that do a poor job in detailing their offerings. This latest auction takes the cake.

Keith Vari, owner of Paragon auctions is a great guy and more importantly, an honest guy. I would recommend anyone interested in buying high end sports memorabilia, and that includes championship rings, to visit his site and participate in his auctions.

Keith and I have spoken numerous times about his need to do a better job explaining and writing up his championship ring offerings. Many of the other auction houses go to great length to write up details about their offerings. On really high-end championship ring offerings, it’s not uncommon for them to devote an entire page or more to a ring, and have quite a few paragraphs of information. I’ve never bothered to count the number of words used, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more than a hundred or two hundred words.

Keith has a couple of great World Series rings in his latest auction, but here is an example where there are no additional details about this ring, other than the heading shown above.

Sometimes an auction house will use a pathetic excuse such as, “additional wording can be found in our printed catalog” or when the catalog comes with little or no description, they will say “additional details can be found online”.

So before I wrote this championship ring blog, I checked the website and the printed catalog and there is nothing in either place except for this heading.

I would never recommend someone consign a ring to an auction house that makes zero effort (or little effort) to detail a championship ring. I would expect the final selling results to be reflective and suffer from the lack of description details.

Here are some of the many things that should have been written up about this ring and yet you can see from the photograph above, this World Series ring has no description at all except for the large heading:

1) Is the ring made of 14K solid gold, 10K solid gold, or non gold? In fairness to Keith, a picture does show the markings and indicates it’s a 14K ring, however, it should be verified in writing.

2) Real diamonds, or inexpensive imitation diamonds?

3) Same size and weight as player’s rings?

4) What is the weight of the ring in grams or ounces? (This information is used to compare it to player rings)

5) Finger size? Is it a woman’s size, a small-man’s size, or a huge man’s size?

6) Condition of the ring?

7) Who was the original owner of the ring? (Did he play, or coach, or was an important executive with the team, or a marketing intern?)

8) What paperwork comes with the ring, proving the original recipient sold his ring? (This is important in case some day the original ring owner claims the ring was lost or stolen)

I’m sure there are other things we should know about this ring, and again, the lack of any details by the auction house is not good.

Keith, you’re a great and honest asset to the championship ring community; please rethink your practice of placing so little information in your auctions. You can do a much better effort than this.

Until my next championship ring blog, please remember, I buy championship rings, so If you are thinking of selling your championship ring, let’s talk!

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