Posts Tagged yankee rings

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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Rare and Historic 1949 Yankees World Series Ring Offered at Goldin Auctions

July 10, 2015

The beautiful and rare ring will sell for a very reasonable price.   Here’s Why:

1949 Yankee World Series Ring

Championship ring collectors have a chance to acquire a rare and historic championship ring; the 1949 Yankees World Series ring.

How rare?   Only two have ever sold at auction (both weren’t player rings).   A player ring was offered to me privately for a crazy amount of money so I declined.

How historic?   The team starred Joe DiMaggio, who hit .346 that year, a young Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, and plenty of other household names.   This is the year that started one of the most amazing records in baseball: In 1949 the team won their first world series ring and in a 5 year span, starting in 1949, they won five world series championships in a row!   They are the only baseball team to accomplish this remarkable feat.

And for transparency, please know this is not my championship ring.   I am not the consigner of the ring and I don’t know who is, and honestly, I don’t really care.

Now here’s why this World Series Ring will go for a very reasonable price: The World Series ring is lacking inside engraving from the manufacturer and also is lacking inside engraving of the original recipient’s name.

Looking at the large and impressive photographs provided by Goldin auctions, and owning a 1949 authentic ring myself, I believe this World Series ring is completely authentic.

An interesting note about this World Series ring is that all those fakes you see in the hobby, have the common shanks that we see on Yankee World Series rings in the 1950s and 1960s.

This ring has the proper shanks, which is different from all of the versions seen in the 1950s and 60s.   And much to my surprise, the Balfour World Series rings at Yankee stadium, which were remade only a few years ago by Balfour, have the incorrect shank on their 1949 version.   The reason the Balfour Yankees 1949 World Series ring is wrong is that Balfour no longer has the original mold for this championship ring.

Goldin auctions, and Leland’s (the past purchaser and owner of this championship ring) erroneously stated the ring was made by Dieges & Clust.   By 1949, Balfour was making and stamping Yankee World Series rings with a “Balfour 14K” mark.   Just ask Irv Lerner, who makes plenty of Yankee fake championship rings but can’t produce this original shank either.

Leland’s guesses that the ring belonged to player, Ralph Buxton, however, bidders will realize the evidence of this is very flimsy.   Credit goes to Goldin auctions who is not promoting the claim found on Leland’s original paperwork that this ring probably belonged to Buxton.

So while we don’t know if this was a player’s ring, or a front office ring, and what the original stamp of the ring looked like, we do know this is an original and authentic championship ring (in my opinion).

Please remember, I want to buy World Series rings and championship rings.   Please let me know if you have one to sell.

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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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