All the things you wanted to know about Super Bowl rings but were afraid to ask

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Winning the Super Bowl brings more than a trip to Disney World and a nice financial bonus, it also gives players access to some of the best bling on the planet.

A Super Bowl ring, in some ways, carries more prestige than the Lombardi trophy. It’s certainly more permanent, as players don’t have to return them after a year. Part of what’s special about them, though, is their unique nature.

No two years’ Super Bowl rings are the same. Some are diamond-studded and gaudy. Some are subtle. And, in general, virtually no one knows how much they cost.

The exact cost of manufacturing a Super Bowl ring is a secret the league chooses not to publicize. But there are some hints that show how costs have increased as the rings become flashier and flashier.

Who gets a Super Bowl ring?

It’s not just players and coaches! Team owners have latitude to offer a Super Bowl ring to anyone they want to and that often includes cheerleaders and even janitors. And the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement set rules that ensured practice squad players also got a ring, though those are allowed to be of a “lesser value” should the team owners prefer.

How much does it cost to make a Super Bowl ring?

The price for a Super Bowl ring varies, often wildly. While the league doesn’t give a figure, some reports have put the cost of a set of team rings at $5 million or so. And the fancier the owners want them to be, the higher the price. In 2015, the New England Patriots gave players a ring with 205 diamonds, which cost $5.475 million, an estimated $36,500 each (according to ESPN). 

Only part of that cost is picked up by the NFL—roughly somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000 per ring. Team owners pay the remainder.

How much is a Super Bowl ring worth?

Obviously, that varies based on the year, but in those rare instances when former players put their rings up for auction, the price tags soar, often topping $100,000.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft once sold his Super Bowl LI ring for charity, with the winning bidder paying more than $1 million.

Does the losing team get a Super Bowl ring?

Just like players on the losing Super Bowl team get a nice financial bonus for playing in the Big Game, they also end up with some jewelry of their own, though it’s a bit less prestigious. Those players receive a conference championship ring, which might be a bit less blingy, but they’re still showcases.

Who makes the Super Bowl rings?

Most of the time that would be Jostens. The jeweler, perhaps better known for its high school and college ring business, has made 38 of the 57 Super Bowl rings, including the very first, which was designed by Vince Lombardi himself. Other rings have been made by Balfour and Tiffany’s.

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