For dozens of sports and competitions across the globe, the ultimate prize is the knowledge that they were the ones who were victorious. Only, since we want to award the winners, there is always the trophy that is presented following the game. While the Lombardi Trophy that the winning Super Bowl team wins is every football team’s dream, the trophy itself isn’t taken home.
Rather, it is held onto temporarily only to later be exhibited to others. The reward each member of the team gets to hold onto and cherish as a true memorabilia as that year’s Super Bowl winners is the extravagant Super Bowl ring that is crafted for the team. According to Miran Amurtlu, Jostens’ Ring Design’s master jeweler, “They’re pieces of art that tell a story of a championship.” From the first, rather modest ring made for the Green Bay Packers in 1966 to the additional 30 rings of the 41 Super Bowls, each ring has its own story to tell.
Grander Over the Years
Given the current extreme lavishness of today’s Super Bowl rings, it’s hard to imagine the very first ring as a “simple” piece of jewelry. Made from just 40 grams of gold, boasting a basic design and a one-carat diamond, the original Super Bowl ring pales in comparison to last year’s 100-gram gold rings that showcased 205 diamonds totaling nearly 5 carats of diamonds. The master jeweler behind the Super Bowl ring project, Miran Amurtlu, quips that next year’s ring will be a two-finger ring, based on the direction these rings are going.
The Creative Process
The design process for the ring begins several months before the game is even played. However, the owners of the winning teams are involved in the whole process from the beginning. Once the idea is ready to be brought to fruition, a 3-D model is made and from that a sample of the ring. After the team owner has inspected the ring, additional diamonds can be added but this requires an entirely new computer model and ring to be made. A mold is then made for each of the players with their individual names and numbers engraved on the sides of the rings. Gold pellets are melted into liquid in a 1,500-degree furnace before being poured into each and every mold. The gold is then polished, painted, and soldered together if necessary. Lastly, the diamonds are added. The entire process is overseen by a group of 45 individuals who all help create the ultimate ring.
Presenting the Ring The Super Bowl resonates profoundly among millions of Americans of all ages and genders to the point where they feel the same joy the players feel upon winning that trophy. What fans and spectators will never know is the feeling of triumph that continues and peaks upon receiving the Super Bowl ring. To many football players, that is when they truly feel like a champion. The hard work, sacrifice, tears, sweat, and victory are all represented in one small but magnificent ring. Amurtlu claims he has seen many different reactions over the years, upon presenting the rings to the champions. From “jumping up and down” to saying “words you don’t want to mention on TV” to “just going dead silent and crying;” the rings bring out an array of emotions from these tough and strong players.
The world of football seems galaxies away from the world of diamonds and jewelry and yet the two spheres are so sweetly combined in what is a truly beautiful and sentimental gesture. While there are those who criticize the excessive amount of money spent on these jewels, most football fans will agree that these athletes certainly deserve something as luxurious and prestigious as these one-of-a-kind Super Bowl rings.