It’s not often that men come in looking for jewelry for themselves. Think cufflinks, wedding bands, and watches. Sure, the tie bars all over the red carpet are sophisticated and stylish, but the trend isn’t as big in Columbus yet. (But for those daring and dapper men who’d like to try the ones we’ve ordered, check out GQ’s tie bar bible here!)
Red carpet aside, there is one piece of bling that Americans (and foreign heads of state) recognize as a symbol of success: the Super Bowl Ring, which symbolizes the pinnacle of American athleticism and victory, including the hard work, sacrifice and glory that comes with it. Here’s a deeper look at what goes into the making of one of these rings.
The NFL covers the cost of 70 rings at $5,000 a piece for the winning team, but the team usually spends far more on them. Minneapolis-based Jostens collaborates with leaders from the winning team to design and produce the handmade rings.
Made of yellow gold, white gold, or platinum, they usually feature the team’s name and logo and the Super Bowl number. They often have “football-shaped” or Marquise diamonds to represent the Vince Lombardi trophy. The Marquise cut is named for the Marquise of Pompadour, for whom King Louis XIV of France allegedly had a stone fashioned to resemble what he considered her perfectly shaped mouth. Not only is the shape ideal for these rings, but because it has one of the largest crown surface areas of any diamond shape, it has the appearance of being a bigger stone, which adds to the heft of these rings.
While the average man wears a size 10 1/2, the average ring size of a professional athlete is 13 or 14. The biggest Super Bowl ring ever made was for Super Bowl XX champ William “Refrigerator” Perry of the Chicago Bears. He wore a size 25. 25!!! You could pass a half-dollar coin through his ring!
Last year’s champs, the Baltimore Ravens, designed an 80g white gold ring with 245 diamonds. The Ravens’ logo is outlined with 40 round brilliant cut diamonds perched atop a custom-cut amethyst. A yellow gold “B” sits nestled in the logo, and the bird’s eye is red enamel. The two Marquise diamonds represent their total Super Bowl wins.
For a look at all of the previous Super Bowl rings, head over to Sports Illustrated’s gallery, and for some “ring lore”, be sure to check out these interesting articles (click here and here) about lost, found and sold rings. It will be a treat to see the winning team’s design- how will they outbling the previous rings?