One of the most interesting aspects of the Super Bowl is the rings given to the winners.
From Super Bowl I’s 1-carat diamond ring to Super Bowl LIV’s 10.5-carat, 291-gem bauble, each carries a unique story and lore. They have always been a symbol of success, representing the pinnacle of the sport. And they have grown more elaborate over the years.
Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi helped design the ring for Super Bowl I, which had a single diamond set in white gold. Since then, teams have sought to make the rings reflect something about the franchise that won.
For instance, the 1972 Miami Dolphins designed a ring with 17 diamonds, reflecting the 17-0 record the team compiled, becoming the only undefeated team in NFL history.
The rings have grown in size over the years. The Dallas Cowboys’ ring from Super Bowl XXX in 1995 was the first to hit the 5-carat mark.
The Seattle Seahawks made sure their Super Bowl LVIII rings honored their fans, also known as the “12s” (for the 12th man), so their rings have 12 diamonds.
Some Super Bowl rings are designed with a sense of humor. The New England Patriots commemorated their 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a unique way, with 283 diamonds. That number represents 28-3, which was the Falcons’ lead before the Patriots rallied to win.
Some humor is unintentional: For Super Bowl IX, the Pittsburgh Steelers engraved playoff scores on the side of their rings. But Jostens, the ringmaker, got the score wrong for the first game!
New England also holds the record for the largest rings constructed, as the Super Bowl LIII version contained 400 diamonds and 40 sapphires for each ring.
The defending champion Chiefs will be hard-pressed to top their rings from the 2020 Super Bowl. Those had 255 diamonds and 16 custom-cut rubies, representing the club’s six playoff appearances under coach Andy Reid and 10 division titles. According to TMZ.com, a practice player’s Super Bowl LIV ring sold for $70,000 late last year.
These little trophies are expensive, too. The NFL contributes $5,000 for each ring, and the rest is up to the team. The Denver Broncos’ championship rings from Super L cost $37,000 each.
Of course, the rings only grow in value over time. The highest-known price paid for a Super Bowl ring from a player is $230,401 for a Super Bowl XXV ring from New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor.
With six Super Bowl rings already and his eyes on a seventh, Tom Brady is working on more than a handful (literally) of rings. You might think that’s a lot of weight for Brady’s hands, but Super Bowl rings have varied greatly in heft over the years. The Cowboys’ ring from Super Bowl VI weighs “as much as a standard letter,” while more recent rings are much heavier.
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