When it comes to the Super Bowl, winning teams get trophies, but winning players get jewelry.
Arguably one of the most recognizable rings on the planet, the Super Bowl ring is one of the most recognizable mementos in the game. Each year’s design is different, but that doesn’t make them any more special.
The exact cost of manufacturing a Super Bowl ring is a secret the league chooses not to publicize. But they’ve become flashier and flashier over the years (and no one illustrates this better than Tom Brady, who has seven rings to wear). And while exact numbers aren’t available, there are some strong hints about the value of rings to put them in perspective.
How much does it cost to make a Super Bowl ring?
The league doesn’t say, but there have been reports that buying a set for a full team costs in the neighborhood of $5 million. The price varies, of course, depending on how blinged out the hardware is. In 2015, the New England Patriots gave players a ring with 205 diamonds, which reportedly cost $5.475 million, an estimated $36,500 each (according to ESPN).
The league only pays for a portion of the cost—roughly somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000 per ring. Team owners are responsible for picking up the rest. (So Robert Kraft shelled out big for his team eight years ago.)
How much is a Super Bowl ring worth?
If you’re trying to buy one? A lot.
Former players sometimes put their rings up for auction. When that happens, bidding prices tend to run close to or above $100,000. Kraft once sold his Super Bowl LI ring for charity, with the winning bidder paying more than $1 million.
Who gets a Super Bowl ring?
Pretty much everyone on the winning team. Of course, the 53 players, coaches and team executives will get some jewelry, but the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement sets rules that practice squad players also got some hardware. (Those, however, can be of a “lesser value” should the team owners prefer.)
And, of course, the owners can offer rings to anyone else they want on the team, from janitors to cheerleaders.
Does the losing team get a Super Bowl ring?
You don’t hear much about it, but yes… even the losing team gets a Super Bowl ring, though obviously not one that’s as ornate as what the winners get. Instead, they get a conference championship ring and they’re as fastidiously designed as those for the winning team. They only rarely get shown off by the media.
Who makes the Super Bowl rings?
Jostens, the same company that likely made your high school or college ring, is the company behind 37 of the 56 Super Bowl rings. The company made the first piece of post-Super Bowl jewelry, which was designed by Vince Lombardi (a diamond in the middle of a white gold globe).
Balfour and Tiffany’s have also occasionally been selected to make the rings.
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