The winners of every Super Bowl get to share the coveted Lombardi Trophy, but they also get a more personal keepsake — a golden-laced, diamond-studded ring.
The National Football League contracts for 150 rings, paying up to $5,000 for each. The basic design includes the team name, logo and Super Bowl game number.
However, if some teams want a fancier look, such as player names, more gems or detailed designs, team owners have to foot the bill for the difference.
Unlike the Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded immediately after the game, teams have to wait to get their rings. There’s a bidding process over price and design, and once that’s settled it usually takes three to four months before they are handed out.
The rings are given to players, staff and owners. An NFL team has a 53-man roster with 45 to 47 players eligible to play in the game, as well as dozens of office staff. Some teams have given rings to former players and coaches, so they sometimes want more than the 150 contracted by the NFL. If they do, the teams have to pay the full amount for rings over the limit.
As prized as the rings may be, some ringholders or their families would rather have the cash value than the memories. Some sellers, usually players, don’t want the public to know what they’re doing. Others don’t care. But it can be quite a profitable move.
To find out which Super Bowl rings are most valued, we asked Timothy Robins, owner of Championship-Rings.net,to put together a list of prices of rings that he has sold or is selling. Some of the rings go back decades, while others are from more recent games.
In addition to the design, what makes one ring more valuable than another is its condition and who owned it. There’s also the fan base, according to Robins. A Pittsburgh Steelers ring might be worth more because of the demand by the Steeler faithful.
Also, since most buyers like to wear them, an oversized ring might be harder to sell, according to Robins. Most men wear a size 11, while many NFL player rings are larger.
Please note that the year associated with the ring is for the NFL season, and not the year the game was played.
Click ahead to find out which Super Bowl rings are — or have been — the most valuable on the open market.
By Mark Koba
Posted 30 Jan 2012