Sports Championship Rings
A Brief Overview Of Sports Championship Rings
Championship rings are given to members of winning sports teams in many college tournaments and professional leagues across North America.
The North American obsession with championship rings is in stark contrast to many international leagues, where a regular-season winner might be held in as much esteem as the playoff or cup winner. In the NBA, for instance, it’s more common to talk about ‘rings’ than the formal Larry O’Brien trophy, as sportscasters might mention Steve Kerr’s eight total fings, five as a player and three as a coach.
The First Sports Championship Rings
Players in the early 1900s usually were given some souvenirs for successful seasons. These included things like cufflinks, tie clips, and pocket watches. There’s anecdotal evidence that one player even requested shotguns for winning a World Series. Legend has it that the first championship rings as would be recognized today were given to New York Giants players who won the 1922 World Series over the Yankees. The Yankees won the next year but handed out pocket watches, and it wasn’t until the following decade that championship rings were established as an ongoing tradition.
Different Sports Have Different Rings
While there are different rings for each major sport, some similarities do exist. Rings across the sports are typically made using yellow or white gold. They also feature precious stones like diamonds. It’s common to see the team name and logo. There is also usually a reference to the particular championship, although where the NBA might list the calendar year, the NFL might list the Super Bowl number in Roman numerals. In MLB and the NHL, franchise owners pay for the rings, whereas the NBA pays for the rings.
How Much Are Sports Championship Rings Worth?
Genuine rings from major sport league championships can go for quite a bit of money. They frequently draw bids in the many tens of thousands of dollars in auctions. It does come down to how much someone is willing to pay, as well as the team or player associated with a ring, perhaps more so than the stones on the ring. Super Bowl rings have sold for tens of thousands of dollars to more than a quarter of a million dollars.
How Do You Determine The Authenticity Of Sports Championship Rings?
Considering the rarity and value involved with sports championship rings, authenticating them is crucial to establishing the genuine pieces from the fakes. There are far fewer real rings available than not, although some ‘fakes’ are templates, duplicates, or even fan and charity gifts. Complicating matters is a recent trend of giving lower-grade rings to franchise staff and office personnel who were not coaches or players.
While there are certain factors that private consumers can analyze, the job of actual certification is essential enough that only trained and qualified professionals can do it. Even a piece with a certificate of authenticity and the right provenance means that the COA has to be itself verified. If you find out you own a fake, don’t fret, though, because there’s a high-paying market for well-made duplicates.