The Super Bowl is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League. It is considered one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar. This year, the game sees the Philadelphia Eagles face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 11. The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and all team members receive another one of the most coveted NFL prizes: a Super Bowl ring.
The first Super Bowl ring was awarded in 1966 to Bart Starr, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. The ring was designed by then-Packers coach Vince Lombardi (whom the Super Bowl trophy is named after) and teammates Willie Davis and Bob Skoronski. The ring was a one-carat diamond set in white gold. Since then, the ring has become a celebrated part of winning the Super Bowl.
Throughout the years, Super Bowl rings have become far more elaborate. The Patriots’ 2018 Super Bowl ring featured 1274 diamonds. All six of the Patriots’ rings were made by jewelry company Jostens.
According to Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, the NFL awards the championship team the first 150 rings and pay roughly $5,000 for each ring made. It is up to the team owner to cover the difference if the ring costs more to make.
For decades, the Super Bowl rings were made from gold and diamonds, but the 2010 Green Bay Packers rings were the first to be set in platinum. The NFL requires every Super Bowl ring design to include the Super Bowl logo. The remaining design elements are chosen by the winning team and its owner. Most designs include the team’s name and logo, game score and season. Rings are also customized for each player with their name and number.
As of 2022, Jostens has created 36 of the 53 Super Bowl rings. The most recent ring the company created was the 2020 ring for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Last year’s winning team at Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams, had rings crafted by the Jason of Beverly Hills company. The ring has the most diamond carat weight in championship history, with 20 carats of white diamonds set on white and yellow gold. The 20 carats of mixed-cut diamonds honored the official opening of LA’s SoFI Stadium in 2020.
Tiffany & Co. made seven of the Super Bowl rings as well. The brand created the New Orleans Saints 2010 Super Bowl ring, which was designed in the team colors of black and gold, and diamonds. Balfour has also been a company sought after to create Super Bowl rings.
According to ESPN, the most expensive ring in Super Bowl history was former linebacker Lawrence Taylor’s ring from the 1991 Super Bowl, which sold for $230,401 at auction. An East Coast collector bought the ring as part of a collection of championship rings at a 2012 auction. Taylor gifted the ring to his son TJ, who decided to sell it.
With the Super Bowl set for this Sunday, fans are waiting to see which of the two teams come out on top, and what this year’s Super Bowl rings will look like. Both the Eagles and the Chiefs have past rings to use as inspiration.