Gaudy? Perhaps. Iconic? Absolutely. Just like the halftime show and the famed commercials, Super Bowl rings are an integral part of the Super Bowl experience each year. With Super Bowl XLVII upon us, and the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers about to square off, the first big question on everyone’s minds is who will win? The second is, what will this year’s Super Bowl ring look like?
The first Super Bowl rings were given to the winners of the very first Super Bowl in 1967, which was won by the Green Bay Packers. Famed football coach Vince Lombardi even had a hand in the design—a yellow gold ring with a single diamond.
Many assume that only the winning team and coaches are given the ring, but in reality both the winning and losing team are allotted 150 Super Bowl rings to be distributed.
Details like dates, scores, winning streaks, and players names and numbers, are included on the rings, but there are few definitive rules as to what the rings have to look like. The one exception is that 0ne side of the ring must include the Super Bowl logo, a rule dictated by the NFL.
For the most part it isn’t major jewelers but sports memorabilia companies like Josten and Balfour that make the rings. The exception is Tiffany & Co., which has made Super Bowl rings several times (including last year’s rings for the New York Giants). The team makes the decision on which jeweler to use, and it takes a month for the team to make the design decisions with the chosen jeweler, and several months for the rings to actually be delivered.
Josten has made the most Super Bowl rings in history with 28 out of 44. That is followed by Balfour, which has made nine.
An interesting fact: The chosen company is not permitted to make any replicas, unless requested by the team itself (and even then the design can’t be exactly the same).
How Much They Cost
The NFL foots the bill for 150 $5,000 Super Bowl rings for the winning team (a cost of $750,000). An interesting rule is that the losing team cannot spend more than half of what the winner spends. When rings cost more (which they often do these days due to the costs of diamonds and gold) team owners foot the remainder of the bill.
Tiffany & Co. created the Super Bowl XLIV championship rings for the New Orleans Saints. The rings are gold and feature round diamonds and are believed to have a value of around $30,000 each, to give an idea of how much these rings actually cost.
Facts and Stats
The Chicago Bears William “The Refrigerator” Perry has the largest Super Bowl ring, a size 25. That’s the size of a half dollar.
Strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik has acquired the most rings of anyone in history, with six total.
In 2005 Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kraft passed his Super Bowl XXXIX to Putin who admired the 4.94 carat diamond encrusted ring, tried it on, and then walked away with it (even though it wasn’t Kraft’s intention to gift the ring). The ring sits in the Kremlin library today.
We can’t wait to see what the Super Bowl rings will look like this year. Any predictions?