June 25, 2016

A “Mean Joe Greene” Super Bowl IX Ring is coming to auction. Here’s what you should know:

Mean Joe Greene Steelers Super Bowl IX ring

In speaking with other championship ring enthusiasts, we pretty much have the same consensus: There are many Super Bowl rings and championship rings belonging to star athletes that we would be very hesitant to purchase.

Want to sell me the actual championship ring presented to Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady or Reggie Jackson? Thanks but I’ll pass. So will a lot of other championship ring collectors in the know.


Because all the names mentioned above and their championship rings have been made dozens of times by the ring manufacturers. Exact duplicates of those championship rings have been minted as “Salesman Sample” rings and given to ring representatives to show off the company’s offerings.

Many Joe Greene Super Bowl rings have sold through the years to championship ring collectors and Steeler fans.

All it would take is for someone to have a jeweler replace the fake diamond with a real diamond, and buff out the “not for resale” wording inside the ring, and you have a championship ring that looks 100% authentic. The buyer who does not spend any time researching championship rings can get fooled and spend big-bucks getting a salesman sample tuned into a real Super Bowl ring with an unsubstantiated story.

Furthermore, in all the years I have spent researching Super Bowl rings, I have never seen the accompanying presentation box. And it looks brand new for a box that’s supposed to be 40 years old! Using modern technology, anyone can download a Super Bowl logo, set up a jpg or pdf file, and have an engraver make that box.

Please note, I’m not accusing the auction house of doing anything wrong. The sad thing is these auction houses get consignments and are often handed a b.s. story from the consigner.

While this Joe Greene super bowl ring looks authentic and is certainly made by Jostens, it’s possible that it could have started out as a salesman sample.

The auction house did specifically state that this is a second Super Bowl ring and Joe has his original. It is highly unusual that the Steelers and/or Jostens would make Joe Greene a second ring. If they did this, then championship ring collectors would be seeing championship rings constantly for sale from fathers, sons, brothers, and best friends. Yet we almost never see duplicate rings come up for sale.

This championship ring has zero paperwork from Joe Greene himself, stating the ring was acquired from Jostens and was a gift to someone (as mentioned in the auction). Joe Greene can be easily contacted, he works for the Steelers, and could help validate this story. By the way, Joe is one of the few people around who can boast that he has all six Steeler Super Bowl rings.

Please remember I buy championship rings. Want to sell your championship ring privately? Please contact me.

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