At some point after Sunday’s game, members of the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers will get fitted for a Super Bowl championship ring.
The final design will likely be flashy, featuring diamonds and details that tell the story of the team’s journey to winning it all.
The shop made world famous by History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” has a pair of Super Bowl rings available to purchase. One is from the then-Los Angeles Raiders’ Super Bowl XVIII championship. The other is from the Indianapolis Colts’ victory in Super Bowl XLI.
Shop owner Rick Harrison said Gold & Silver has had more than 100 Super Bowl rings over the years, including one from the New England Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XXXVI that was featured in the “Pawn Stars” intro for years.
“Once you get a reputation for something, they know I’m the guy to come to,” he said.
Usually, Harrison said, when rings come into his possession, he gets them from the players. But he bought the Raiders and Colts rings from other sellers.
Having dealt with many rings in his time, Harrison said the designs have gotten significantly more gaudy and complicated over the years.
“The newer ones, they aren’t really even that wearable,” he said. “If you look at the first ones, they were nice class rings. Not even nice class rings by today’s standards — nice class rings by 1969 standards.”
There may be fewer diamonds on the Raiders’ ring from the 1983 championship season, but there is still a lot of detail. On one side, the ring features a player’s name and position, along with the Raiders logo and the word “poise” under it.
On the other side, there’s a Vince Lombardi Trophy along with two game scores. On top, there’s the final score from the Super Bowl: Raiders 38, Redskins 9. Below that is the score of the AFC championship game: Raiders 30, Seahawks 14. (The Seattle Seahawks were in the AFC until the NFL realigned its teams in 2002.)
“This one’s really cool,” Harrison said. “This was one of the first really ‘blingey’ ones.”
Harrison said he acquired that ring about four or five months ago. It is unique because the Raiders were based in Los Angeles for just 13 years.
He’s had the Colts ring for about a year.
“I think the Colts one is great,” he said. “It’s big. It’s got some diamonds and everything. But it’s just not over the top. Because some of them, like the Steelers ones, they’re just so big, it kind of gets ridiculous. Like, ‘Let’s wear the entire Super Bowl trophy on our finger.’ ”
Anyone who wants to purchase a Super Bowl ring is usually vetted before they set foot in the store, but occasionally the shop will give tours to kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That’s where a Super Bowl ring can be a big attraction.
“Usually it’s to the point where you can’t smack the smile off their face,” Harrison said. “It’s a really big deal for a young football fan.”
What he can charge for certain rings does have to do with the fervency of a team’s fan base. Given the size of the famed Raider Nation, Harrison is selling that team’s ring for $85,000. The Colts ring is priced at $80,000.
“If you have, say, a Patriots ring, it’s going to go for more,” he said. “I grew up being a Chargers fan, and I just don’t see a Chargers ring — if the Chargers won, they wouldn’t get a whole lot of money for it because they have a much smaller fan base.”
If those are a little out of your price range, Harrison also has a 1989 Denver Broncos AFC championship ring for $60,000. Harrison said it’s standard practice for teams to give out conference championship rings, though they do have a different title among those who sell them.
“We refer to that in the business as a ‘losers ring,’ ” he said.
There is a robust market for Super Bowl rings, which is one reason Harrison has been able to earn his reputation as someone to go to for them.
“If you’re a football fan, a Super Bowl ring is the Holy Grail,” Harrison said.