Posts Tagged fake

The Fall of Salesman Sample Championship Rings Continue

October 26, 2014


Thanks to some unscrupulous people in the championship ring hobby, the value and desire of salesman sample rings continue to fall.

Pittsburgh Steelers Super BowlRing


Searching eBay for Championship Rings like I do throughout each day, I recently came across the ring shown above. It’s a beautiful, supposedly authentic salesman sample Super Bowl X ring made by Balfour.

I say supposedly authentic for two reasons:

1) Without an examination of the actual ring and it’s markings, it is possible it is a high-end copy, made to look like a salesman sample.

2) There are so many fake salesman samples in the championship ring collecting community that it’s realistically possible this is a fake super bowl ring.

What I find interesting about this championship ring is that actual salesman sample rings used to sell for $5,000 a decade ago. Then many from the 1970s-1980s fell to around $3,500 a few years back.

This particular ring has an asking price of $2,499 and a “make offer” opportunity. This championship ring is gold filled, not solid gold, so that could effect desirability too. But what I find very telling is that the seller has not received a single “buy it now” offer. Not a single one.

So, thanks to people like Irv Lerner, “The Ring Man”, the price of championship salesman sample rings have plummeted.


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Fake and misleading championship rings continue to plague eBay

September 2, 2014


The ring on the left is currently on sale at ebay, claiming to be an “authentic Green Bay Packers” Super Bowl ring.   It’s clearly a fake when compared to the real ring on the right.


(Click picture below for a larger picture)

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XXXI ring


Ebay is loaded with fake championship rings and they contain very misleading descriptions or stories.

Other championship rings on ebay are not fake but have misleading descriptions or omissions in their description.

The ring shown on the upper left is currently for sale on ebay and is described as an “authentic” salesman sample. The maker of the ring even had the balls to put fake “Jostens” marks inside the ring.

It’s a shame these rings are sold and later on it’s a sad day when the buyer finds out they were ripped off.

Because of the many fake salesman samples in the market place, the price of real salesman sample rings has nose-dived. Some of the better auction houses have given up accepting salesman samples as they can lead to trouble when proved they are not real.

I have alerted many auction houses in the past when I see fake rings. Some appreciate the help and remove the rings from auctions. Other auction houses bury their heads in the sand, refusing to loose a potential sale.

You can thank Irv Lerner for this mess. The self-names, “Ring Man” has made many fake salesman samples over the years, even putting fake “Jostens” and/or Balfour markings inside the ring.

Irv used to put his fake rings for sale on ebay. Ebay would do nothing about this, so I used to put real rings on ebay and price them the same as Irv’s. This way when bidders would sort by price, the two rings would show up next to each other. I’d point out why Irv’s rings were fake. His sales stalled because of this tactic!

Irv has single handedly been more responsible than anyone else in the ring market for the declining prices and problems with salesman samples.

Thanks Irv!

Irv and others will tell you such fables as “Salesman sample rings are sometimes prototypes, made and later modified and improved upon”. Or their favorite, “when the ring manufacturer moved they lost the molds and the molds were redone, that’s why the rings look slightly off”.

Don’t believe that hogwash – while it’s true that Balfour and Jostens have lost a few molds over the years, they would never produce the shoddy rings that are for sale as “Authentic” salesman samples.

Be careful out there when buying rings, it’s a jungle!


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Here Come The Cheap Replica Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Rings

June 29, 2014


It’s a shame that Tiffany, Jostens, the NFL, and eBay permit this to happen. Not only does it cheapen the accomplishment, it hurts the ring manufacturers in the wallet since they sometimes offer much better quality items for sale on their website.

fake Seattle Seattle Seahawks Replica Ring


If you want something cheap in price that’s similar to what the World Champion Seahawks are wearing, eBay might have a large selection of replica championship rings soon.

The companies in China that have brought us so many cheap championship rings that sell on ebay are gearing up to make knockoff Seahawks ring.

Most of the replica rings for sale are made in China and list from $59-$250.

Some look fantastic. Other look like crap.

One website is already offering a Seahawks ring for $212. It comes with a Russell Wilson shank and is made in a silver color that looks good.

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 will probably include the engraving of the postseason scores inside, just like the Seahawks real rings. Others won’t.

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


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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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