Posts Tagged yankee ring

Championship Ring Auction Leaves Lots of Questions, Few Answers

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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Joe DiMaggio Career Championship Ring Hits Goldin Auctions

April 14, 2015


Seeing the ring in the auction reminded me what a great championship style ring this is and the neat features it has.

Joe DiMaggio Career Championship Ring


Full disclosure – That’s not my ring in the latest Goldin auction, however, I do own a DiMaggio ring and ball from the production run.

I have seen quite a few fake “career rings” in the hobby place. I’m no expert on career rings, and can’t tell championship ring enthusiasts how may authentic rings have been issued and to which players.

I do know for a fact, that Balfour made real career rings for Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. I’ve seen Don Mattingly career rings and others too, but again, I’m not sure if they are real – the Mattingly ring certainly looks, quality-wise, as a fake.

Keep in mind on the Mantle career championship ring, they number to 536, however, it’s well-known by championship ring collectors that Balfour never made more than 100 or 200 of those rings.

The DiMaggio career championship ring has some very neat features about it:

1) They limited Production to 56 (according to Goldin auctions, they stopped in the mid 20′s, making this ring even rarer).

2) Like the Mantle ring, the DiMaggio ring contains real diamonds

3) The ring is made of solid 10K yellow gold

4) The ring was made with the blessing of the Joe DiMaggio and his estate

5) The ring comes with certified paperwork with a raised stamp from the estate, and a certificate of authenticity (I believe also with a raised stamp)

6) The championship ring includes a magnificent presentation glass box display, so you can display the championship ring and signed ball

7) The ring’s sides, feature DiMaggio’s important career milestones and one side almost entirely pays homage to his amazing 56 game hitting streak.

8) Ok, here’s the really cool part – it comes with a signed Joe DiMaggio ball, and includes the caption “Yankee clipper” and is numbered to match the number on the baseball. (There are many bogus DiMaggio baseballs in the market place, so here’s your chance to own a real ring and real signed ball!

The Yankee ring, ball, and box will probably sell for under $5,000 so this could be a great deal if you are looking to acquire a neat DiMaggio championship ring.

Please remember I buy championship rings. If you would like to sell your championship ring, how about we talk?


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spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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Lou Gehrig’s World Series Rings

March 11, 2015


Pictured below are authentic 1927 and 1938 Yankee Player World Series rings. Although not Gehrig’s actual rings, they offer a glimpse of what his rings looked like.

New York Yankee World Series 1927 Rings


The significance of the World Series rings above is that they are the first and last World Series rings Gehrig won as a player.

Lou Gehrig had an amazing Hall of Fame career – a lifetime .340 batting average, two time AL MVP titles, a Triple Crown in 1934, a three time AL home run champion, and the first Yankee player to have his number retired.

We just don’t know how many World Series rings he was awarded. According to Wikipedia (yea, I know, it’s Wikipedia), he was a 6-time World Series Champion (1927, 1928, 1932, and 1936-1938) but his last major league game was in April of 1939.

It became apparent to Gehrig in April of 1939 that he could no longer play at the level that he was accustomed to, so he retired. The Yankees went on to win the World Series again in 1939 for their fourth consecutive championship. Did they award a World Series ring to Gehrig? If they did, it would have been his seventh World Series Ring.

When the Yankees honored him on July 4th at Yankee Stadium, they officially labeled it as “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day”. The Yankees surprised him with a magnificent and beautiful, one of a kind trophy made by Dieges & Clust. Dieges & Clust manufactured the early Yankee championship rings, the Heisman Trophy, the Major-League baseball MVP and Cy Young awards.

The trophy made by Dieges & Clust for Gehrig was expensive; we know this thanks to Rob Lifson and his recent auction of the old Dieges & Clust archive records.

In all likelihood, the Yankees probably awarded Gehrig a team 1939 World Series ring that season, but I’m not 100% positive.

It’s a mystery what happened to Gehrig’s World Series rings. Barry Halper claimed to have once owned both Gehrig’s, and Ruth’s 1927 World Series rings. Charlie Sheen was photographed wearing Ruth’s rings a few years back, however no one is sure it’s an original or authentic ring.

Getting back to Lou Gehrig, I don’t believe a Gehrig World Series ring has ever been put in an auction or offered for sale.

I buy World Series rings. If you want to sell your World Series ring, please let me know.


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How to Spot Fake Vintage Yankee World Series Rings

February 4, 2015


Irv Lerner, the self titled, “Ring Man” polluted the championship ring hobby with plenty of fake rings over his long and disastrous career. He made plenty of vintage fake Yankee rings and here’s how you can avoid getting ripped off:

Yankee World Series Ring


Irv if you are reading this, please send the readers your newsletter where you proclaim you will make fake rings with any name on the ring. Any readers wanting to see the newsletter for yourself, get in touch with me. I will send you a copy.

A major auction house has a Yankee World Series Ring Salesman sample in their auction and hopefully will remove it soon now that I have alerted them. If they don’t, I will let you know who they are in a few days.

I am posting three photos, one showing a real ring and the fake ring in the auction (see above) and the last two photos showing fake Balfour markings, and authentic Balfour markings from the 1950s and 1960s (note, modern Balfour stamping is very different and not shown).

If you look carefully at a real Yankee World series ring and then the fake ring, you will notice the stars in the real ring are much sharper and crisper. Balfour made the original rings with a rough surface on the right part of the baseball and the fake ring fails to reproduce it. The inner circle on the bottom of the top hat is also of much better quality on the real ring.

Irv will say the ring is worn, and that’s why is looks different, yet the top of the ring is in pristine condition. Also notice that the word “Yankees” looks like some effort went into making it look correct on the fake ring, while the word “Yankees” flows better on the real ring.

Irv loves to say, “Balfour” lost the molds when they moved so the rings are not exact, yet why is the markings trying to mimic vintage markings? And when did Balfour start making shoddy replacement rings?

Yankee World Series Ring Yankee World Series Ring


The fake-markings photograph (shown above) shows the ring in the auction. It’s the last Balfour marking in the photograph. The auction ring’s markings are identical to the other fake ring markings shown above in the same photograph. The crooks that stamped these rings tried to use old-style type and tried to capture the look and feel of vintage Balfour marks.

The tell-tale sign is that on every fake championship ring salesman sample, the “14″ is always either touching or almost touching the word “Balfour”. Additionally, their stamps are always very deep and rarely show imperfections the way a real Balfour stamp does.

Now look at the picture with real Balfour Markings. These photos all came from real rings (not salesman samples) with very clear paperwork from the original owners and/or their families.

Notice that the “14″ is never touching or almost touching the word “Balfour” and notice that there are imperfections in the stamping techniques.

It’s uncanny, that there are so many Balfour Yankee salesman samples around, yet they never, every have the proper Balfour markings. It’s also uncanny, that a real Balfour ring, with unquestionable lineage and documentation never comes to the market place with a “14″ touching or almost touching the word “Balfour”.

How can this be?

Also, these rings are very easy to reproduce so making a fake is easy.

I have reached out to the auction house and hopefully they will remove the auction item.


Please remember that I buy World Series Rings and Championship rings. If you want to sell your World Series ring please let me know.



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To Participate & Read the Internet’s Best
spot for Championship Rings, please visit:
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Jostens Agrees to Buy Rival Balfour

November 20, 2013


Jostens, the largest manufacturer of championship rings is looking for a larger share of that business.

2009 Yankee Ring


The company has agreed to buy a rival, the American Achievement Group, which sells rings, jackets and other commemorative paraphernalia, according to an announcement on Tuesday. The price was not disclosed, but a person briefed on the matter said it was about $500 million.

American Achievement, which sells its products under brands like Balfour, ArtCarved and Keepsake, is owned by the private equity firm Fenway Partners.

The deal is expected to close by the second quarter of next year. Jostens, based in Minneapolis, also has private equity parents: It is a subsidiary of the Visant Corporation, which is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and a buyout unit of Credit Suisse.

“The combined company will be better positioned to maximize sales opportunities and capture operating efficiencies while better serving a growing customer base,” Steven Parr, the president and chief executive of American Achievement, said in a statement. “Jostens is the ideal partner to help preserve American Achievement’s rich history while simultaneously facilitating continued growth.”

Balfour has made Yankee Rings and many other championship rings over the last 50 years, hopefully Jostens will continue to manufacture rings under that historic name.


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