Rings of the Super Bowl – An Evolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Facebook Favorites – January 2015

By: Amanda L. Colborn

With January coming to an end, we wanted to take a moment to recognize some of the awesome engagement we have received on our American Gem Society Facebook page.

January was one of our best months yet and features images from members including: Ritani, Forevermark, Steven Kretchmer Design, Omi Privé, Simon G. Jewelry and many more!

Of the posts that were displayed in January, the following five received the top engagement, which includes likes, shares and comments:

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First up, we have gorgeous ring from Simon G. Jewelry.  This ring features a huge emerald cut stone, set in silver and surrounded by a halo of white diamonds.  This post really resonated with our audience, not just because of the jewelry but the awesome details surrounding the piece that accentuate it’s beauty perfectly.  We love this picture and that beautiful emerald ring!

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Emeralds were popular this month because coming in at number four, is a stunning emerald ring from Molina Fine Jewelers.  This big, bold and beautiful ring features a square cut emerald.  The setting is unique, a yellow gold claw prong setting which helps draw the eye to the center stone. The diamond-encrusted silver band adds the perfect touch to really make this ring a show stopper!

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Number three is a huge and amazing blue topaz ring from Goshwara.  If you love blue topaz, or you’re born in December — then this is the ring for you!  A giant stone, surrounded by sparkling diamonds making this ring an eye-catching embellishment to any outfit.  Our Facebook audience always responds well to large gemstones, and we can tell by the engagement that we hit the nail on the head with this image.

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Multiple designs often do well on our Facebook page and these beauties from Steven Kretchmer Design were no exception. These designs are part of Steven Kretchmer’s Tension-Set™ Collection and are unique because it literally appears as if the stone is just suspended in the ring.  This gives you a 360 degree view of the entire stone, so greater detail while allowing you to really appreciate every aspect of the gorgeous gem.

Forevermark

 

Last and certainly not least, we found our winner for January in Forevermark. The fancy yellow diamond rings are each completely different, yet totally and equally beautiful. Ranging from no halo to a double halo, it is impossible to miss the level of detail and thought that goes behind each of these incredible designs.  Our audience loved commenting on this image and pointing out their favorite. To be honest, we couldn’t pick just one to love!

And there we have it, your January 2015 Facebook Favorites! Tell us which of these YOU like best!

So fancy!

By Alethea Inns, CG

Did you know that diamonds aren’t just round?  They are cut in all shapes and styles to suit any personality or occasion.

With diamonds, a “fancy shape” is anything other than a round.  Usually, the rough diamond crystal is shaped as an octahedron – a three-dimensional shape with eight faces, much like two pyramids stuck together at their base.  When the diamond crystal isn’t the typical octahedron because of how it was formed in the earth or transported to the surface, diamonds are cut into fancy shapes to get maximum yield from the crystal.

Fancy shapes are often cut by hand because they require extra attention to make sure the facets suit the individual rough.  This means that fancy shaped diamonds have a much broader range of proportions, and that has made it difficult for researchers to determine what the most pleasing proportion sets are to the human eye.

That being said, the American Gem Society Laboratories is the only diamond grading laboratory that has managed to create a comprehensive cut grade analysis on a selection of fancy shapes.  The American Gem Society Laboratories’ fancy shape cut grade is based on three-dimensional scans of the diamond that determine how light interacts with the diamond and returns to your eye.  If you are buying a fancy shape with superior cut, you want to be sure it is accompanied by an AGS Laboratories report.  With our patented technology, you can be sure you are getting consistency and accuracy based on science, and a truly bright, beautiful fancy shaped diamond for the one you love.

Diamond cut shapes

Diamond cut shapes

Gorgeous Garnets

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

As someone born in January, I’ve become a big fan of my birthstone, the garnet. I have several pieces of jewelry featuring this gem, all the deep rich hue of red. My favorite is a pair of briolette earrings with two garnets dangling at the end. For the longest time, I thought, like many people, that garnets only came in that one color. Then about ten years ago, I came across a mandarin orange ring that I fell in love with and “just had to buy.”

Today, I saw this photo from AGS member Omi Prive of a spessartite garnet, and I have to admit, it’s my new jewelry crush. It’s a 7.86 carat cushion cut—which also happens to be my favorite cut. Though spessartite garnets don’t always come in this lovely shade of orange, it tends to be what they are known for.

Don't think just red when you think about Garnets!

Don’t think just red when you think about garnets!

Fun garnet fact: this delightful gem dates back to 3100 BC, when the Egyptians used it in inlay jewelry. Read more about garnets here.

To my fellow January babies, Happy Birthday, and enjoy your birthstone. It’s one of nature’s finest gifts to us!

Finding Your Jeweler

By Alethea Inns, CG

happy young romantic couple in love buy jewelry ring in luxury s

As a jewelry industry professional, I am often asked where to find a jeweler, how to find one that is trustworthy, or where to get professional appraisals.  My answer is always the same.  Find an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler or appraiser, and you are guaranteed a jewelry industry professional committed to your best interests.  AGS credentialed jewelers are pledged to consumer protection, business ethics, and continued education.  Jewelry stores that are AGS members are admitted to the Society after going through a series of approvals by an anonymous panel of fellow industry professionals, and their qualifications from education to business practices are examined.  Only one out of 20 jewelry stores qualify for this prestigious distinction.

As an AGS member, each store has a number of Titleholders – individuals that have extensive gemological, jewelry, and appraisal education verified by the American Gem Society.  AGS titles are the only professional credentials in the jewelry industry, because they are the only ones that are the result of an assessment process, require professional experience, indicate adherence to a set of standards, have ongoing requirements in order to maintain them, and are awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization.  Often the educational requirements for an AGS Title include the Graduate Gemologist diploma (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), but Titleholders are also required to prove their commitment to the “AGS Way” through additional tests and an annual recertification exam.

There is a number of AGS Titles to look for when you seek out your jeweler or appraiser.  Registered Jewelers (RJs) and Certified Gemologists (CGs) have a background in gemology and business ethics, while Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGAs) and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers (ICGAs) have more extensive education and experience with appraisals.  No matter the AGS Title your jeweler or appraiser holds, they belong to an elite group of jewelry industry professionals committed to you, and backed by the American Gem Society.

To find an AGS credentialed jeweler or appraiser in your area, visit:

http://www.americangemsociety.org/find-a-jeweler

http://www.americangemsociety.org/find-an-appraiser