By: Amanda L. Colborn
This Super Bowl weekend we thought it would be fun to share with you the evolution of championship rings throughout the years. Starting from the very beginning at Super Bowl I, before moving closer and closer to our present Super Bowl in five year increments, we will share with you how the design and grandeur of the ring has evolved throughout this 49-year American tradition.
Let’s start off discussing the value of championship rings. The monetary value of a Super Bowl ring is actually subjective. For instance, in May of 2012, former New York Giants player Lawrence Taylor sold his Super Bowl XXV ring (shown below) from 1991 at an auction for $231,601. The value of the ring is determined by the player and the value that the buyer personally feels the ring is worth.
However, the NFL does allocate $5,000 per ring to make up to 150 championship rings for the players, coaches and other team personnel. Anything above and beyond that $5,000 is up to the team to allocate themselves. As you will see below, $5,000 isn’t much anymore to keep on-track with how impressive the rings keep on getting.
Let’s look at their evolution now:
Super Bowl I – Green Bay Packers
First and foremost, we have the first ever Super Bowl championship ring. Though beautiful and impressive in it’s own right – it definitely lacks the luster and sparkle we commonly see in more present-day championship rings.
Super Bowl V – Baltimore Colts
Five years after Super Bowl I, we are introduced to the Super Bowl V championship ring, presented to the former Baltimore Colts. You can see how the ring has evolved to incorporate the team logo and gemstones with a center diamond.
Super Bowl X – Pittsburgh Steelers
The Super Bowl X championship ring features two center diamonds, replacing the gem logo that we saw in the previous image. Still evolving but not all that different or flashy from the previous five years.
Super Bowl XV – Oakland Raiders
We really start seeing a difference in design and added embellishments with the Super Bowl XV championship ring. This ring keeps two center diamonds but adds several other lustrous diamonds surrounding the two center stones.
Super Bowl XX – Chicago Bears
This ring from Super Bowl XX is truly breathtaking! The entire center of the ring, complete with logo, is encrusted in diamonds. The ring also features yellow gold which had previously gone out of style but then made a comeback, it really helps draw the eye to the gorgeous, diamond center.
Super Bowl XXV – New York Giants
This is the beautiful, Super Bowl XXV championship ring that was auctioned off in 2012 for $231,601 as discussed earlier. This ring is even more impressive than the previous as the gold is much brighter, and rather than several very small diamonds, this ring features several larger, gorgeous diamonds.
Super Bowl XXX – Dallas Cowboys
In true Texas style, this ring is big and attention-grabbing! We would expect nothing less from Dallas than a gorgeous, center star made of diamonds. Following years have big shoes to fill after this ring was released.
Super Bowl XXXV – Baltimore Ravens
Truly unique, this ring incorporates yellow diamonds as well as white diamonds within the logo, and a ruby gemstone as the eye of the Raven. This ring is really breathtaking and truly made for a Baltimore champion to wear with pride.
Super Bowl XL – Pittsburgh Steelers
This picture is perfect because it allows you to see just how big these rings are. This ring takes up almost half a finger of a pro NFL player. Covered in diamonds, gold and an impressive center logo, this ring commands attention.
Super Bowl XLV – Green Bay Packers
And finally, coming full circle from where we started, is the Green Bay Packers championship ring from Super Bowl XLV. Quite the difference from their initial ring won in 1967. This ring is essentially all diamonds as you can tell from the picture. With a huge logo in the center, also made out of diamonds, it is clear that the championship rings have come along way and how seriously they are taken within the NFL.
So there we have it – the evolution of the Super Bowl ring from Super Bowl I to Super Bowl XLV.
Stay tuned this Sunday for Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. Good luck to both teams and may your Super Bowl championship rings continue to grow and evolve into the years to come. We can’t wait to see how the ring for this year’s champions turn out!