How Much Does a Super Bowl Ring Cost?
You might have seen the photo that recently retired quarterback Tom Brady shared on social media last summer, soon after receiving his seventh ring for winning the Super Bowl. It shows Brady, his two hands held up, with huge, knuckle-to-knuckle rings dominating seven of his fingers.
The picture of success.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be playing Sunday in Super Bowl LVI for just one of those rings, a prized memento of a season of victory. It’s the capper of a job well done — and a valuable one at that.
But what is the story behind the Super Bowl ring, and just how much is one worth in non-sentimental value?
Cost of a Super Bowl Ring
Just how much does it cost to manufacture a Super Bowl ring? That’s a closely held secret, but it has been widely reported that a full team set costs about $5 million.
In 2015, when the New England Patriots gave out the rings commemorating their win in Super Bowl XLIX, the team said its rings were the largest ever, with 205 diamonds. ESPN said the rings cost $36,500 and were the most expensive ever produced by Jostens. Team owner Robert Kraft bought 150 rings, totaling $5.475 million.
Rings typically are awarded to players, coaches and team executives — although some teams also give rings to support staff.
Some owners of Super Bowl rings don’t hang on to the bling, choosing to sell it. The price the ring commands depends on a variety of factors, including the significance of the person who originally was awarded the ring. If Brady decided to sell one of his seven rings, for example, it would bring much more on the secondary market than one given to a third-string offensive lineman.
In 2012, the ring given to Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor after his New York Giants won Super Bowl XXV was sold at auction for more than $230,000. Taylor reportedly gave the ring to his son and granted him permission to do with it what he wished. Taylor was named one of the 100 greatest players in NFL history as part of the league’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.
Ten years later, just days before Super Bowl LVI, the ring belonging to Gary Brackett, a member of the Indianapolis Colts when they won Super Bowl XLI, sold at auction for $75,000, Sports Collectors Daily reported. A linebacker on the Colts, Brackett filed for bankruptcy after the pandemic forced the closure of his 10 restaurants, USA Today reported.
History of the Ring
The Super Bowl ring tradition dates back to the very first big game in 1967, when coach Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers were awarded what ring manufacturer Jostens said was a “simple design” that featured one half-carat diamond. The following season, when the Packers repeated as champions in Super Bowl II, the ring included three round diamonds and incorporated the team’s trademark green color.
Just as the game has evolved, so have the rings. The rings awarded to the Baltimore Colts after Super Bowl V featured the center diamond surrounded by the team’s horseshoe logo, highlighted by blue gemstones that represented the team color. The Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl XX ring and the Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI ring both featured their logos encrusted in diamonds.
The Patriots, winners of six Super Bowls, set the trend for incorporating the full-color team logo in rings after Super Bowl XXXVI. Other teams followed suit, and ring designs have ventured far from the simple single diamond.
Symbolism of the Ring
A ring is just a ring, right? Not a Super Bowl ring. Each one, in fact, tells a story of the season that led to the championship, as described by Jostens, which has made more than two-thirds of Super Bowl rings.
The ring awarded to the Kansas City Chiefs after Super Bowl LIV in 2020 is a perfect example. To represent the Chiefs’ 60th season, the ring has 60 diamonds set into the team’s arrowhead design. The “KC” logo is created by 16 rubies that signified the team’s 10 AFC West division titles plus six playoff appearances under coach Andy Reid. The significance of the 50 diamonds that surround the arrowhead? They represent the 50 years between Super Bowl appearances.
And that’s just the start. The design also incorporates 122 diamonds to signify the 100th anniversary of the NFL and the team’s 22 playoff appearances, two diamonds to represent the two Super Bowl victories in team history and four rubies to mark four straight AFC West titles.
In all, each ring has 3.3 carats worth of diamonds and 5.95 carts of rubies for a total gem carat weight of 10.85, according to Jostens.
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