A Short History Of Super Bowl Rings
Super Bowl teams don't just fight for the Lombardi trophy, they also get the chance to wear some pretty fancy rings. The NFL pays for 150 rings to be given to the winning team (players, staff, owners) of the Super Bowl. The league pays up to $5,000 for each ring, although adjustments may be made for the prices of gold and diamonds. Rings are generally more expensive that that these days with the team owners often footing the bill for lavish and impressive art pieces. ESPN has a special section on Super Bowl rings that delivers some interesting trivia like the biggest ring size (William "The Refrigerator" Perry wore a size 25).
Shown above is the ring that last year's winners received. The Super Bowl XLIV championship rings for the New Orleans Saints were designed by Tiffany & Co. and feature a bunch of touches that resonate with fans of the Saints and their city. The rings are yellow gold and feature the New Orleans Saints fleur-de-lis logo set with round diamonds. The words "world champions" are set into the bezel of the ring with eight diamonds on each side (a total of 16 symbolizing the games the Saints won during the season). The rings also bear the score of the game, the NFL shield, images of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square and the Louisiana Superdome, a scene from the championship parade and the first few notes of the song "When The Saints Come Marching In." The underside of the ring bears inscriptions of team mottoes from last season: Be Special; Finish Strong; and Smell Greatness. They are believed to have a value of around $30,000 each.
The Pittsburgh Steelers celebrated their sixth Super Bowl title with rings created by Jostens that have 63 round brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 3.61 carats. The six round brilliant-cut diamonds on the top of the ring celebrate the six victories; the previous year's Steelers Super Bowl rings featured five oval diamonds. The Super Bowl XLIII logo is done on a field of green enamel and six Lombardi Trophies are shown on the side of the ring. Each ring was cast in 14K gold and personalized for the owner. Compare this to the first rings made for the original Super Bowl won by the Green Bay Packers, which featured a single diamond. Class ring maker Jostens has made many of the Super Bowl rings and their website has images of the rings designed over the years. It's a gradual procession of bling as ring designers found new ways to put more stones and decoration on each ring.