Super Bowl rings are expensive. Even the very first Super Bowl ring, with a single diamond set in the center, was an exorbitant expenditure at the time. Nearly every year, the jewelry makers pack these rings with more opulence. And the NFL has long since learned that players will flash their Super Bowl rings constantly.
Let’s dive into the wild world of Super Bowl rings, so we can figure out which team splurged the most on their players’ big reward.
How much did the most expensive Super Bowl ring cost?
The most memorable headlines about an over-the-top Super Bowl ring involved the bling handed out by the New England Patriots for Super Bowl XLIX. At that point, in 2015, these $36,500 rings were the most expensive, according to Business Insider.
The big hype around the Patriots’ bands may explain why the Broncos Super Bowl 50 rings didn’t catch the world on fire. But these $37,000 rings are absolutely cloaked in diamonds.
A Broncos’ real-deal ring includes 56 gems total, one for each of the organization’s 56 years. Perhaps the designer saw the price hit a certain level and decided, “Why not go all the way?” Between the 50-year anniversary of the game and quarterback Peyton Manning retiring, people take this Super Bowl ring seriously.
Although replicas of the Super Bowl 50 ring lack two of the three diamond-encrusted trophies from the original, it’ll still set you back $5,299. It also cuts out the diamonds and colored synthetic gems that make up the Broncos logo.
Super Bowl rings are expensive — so who receives them?
No standard procedure exists concerning who receives a Super Bowl ring. However, the NFL has a hard limit on how many rings each team can commission: 150. Usually, each player on the active and inactive roster gets a ring for helping a team get through the season. The coaching staff receives rings, too.
Some teams also award rings to players and coaches who didn’t actively work with the team but contributed notably to the season. In some rare instances, fans receive rings from the team. The New Orleans Saints, for example, reserved one of their 150 rings for a charity auction.
In recent years, front-office staff regularly receive rings. These are usually outside of the official 150 rings the NFL allows and are commissioned with lower-quality materials.
Do Super Bowl rings appreciate in value?
How can a ring already valued at $37,000 possibly increase in value? Well, the sentimental value attached to these rings and their extremely limited runs add up to rapidly appreciating value for the handful of rings that make it to the open market.
One of the most famous examples: the size-25 1985 Super Bowl ring that once belonged to William “The Refrigerator” Perry. No one knows how or why Perry initially sold the ring. After it passed through several owners, it appeared in a July 2015 auction and sold for $203,150.
The bling Lawrence Taylor won with the 1991 New York Giants set the record as the highest Super Bowl ring resale. Lawrence’s son sold the heirloom in a 2012 auction for $230,401. It’s hard to imagine feeling okay about buying a ring tied to a particular family, but someone was willing to drop the cash.
When the most expensive Super Bowl ring ever costs $37,000 in components and labor, we somewhat understandable why the temptation exists to sell it at several times the initial cost.
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