With Super Bowl XLIX right around the corner, we’d like to point out that not all NFL Championship rings are created equal. Did you know that the ring earned last year by the defending champion Seattle Seahawks was barely half the weight of the one captured by the three-time champion New England Patriots nine years earlier?
In real-world terms, Super Bowl rings range in size from from really large to gargantuan. The latter defined the ring commemorating the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXIX victory in 2005, when quarterback Tom Brady led his team to its third Super Bowl title in four years.
That ring weighed a stunning 110 grams, one of the largest in NFL history. Its weight was equivalent to a roll of 44 pennies, or a touch under a quarter of a pound. A Patriots lineman told sports-rings.com that the ring was so big and so heavy that it was impossible to wear.
The recent Seattle Seahawks 2013 Championship ring was diminutive by comparison. Weighing in at a modest 56 grams, the ring was one of the smallest in recent Super Bowl history.
Apparently, the NFL maintains an unwritten rule that the size of the ring — and its diamond content — must be in relation to the number of championships won. The more championships, the bigger and more blingy the ring can be.
When the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, the commemorative ring weighed approximately 70 grams. When the team won the NFL championship again in 2004, the ring grew to a then-record 100 grams. After taking the title for the third time in 2005, the ring set a new record at 110 grams.
Despite its relatively small size, the Seahawks’ 14-karat white gold ring contained 104 diamonds, 40 blue sapphires and a neon-green tsavorite that represented the Seahawk symbol’s eye.
The super-sized Patriots’ ring commemorating the team’s third Super Bowl title was also designed in 14-karat white gold and featured 124 diamonds with a total weight of 4.94 carats.
It was reported at the time that Corey Dillon and Keith Traylor, both of whom were fitted with a size 17, ordered the largest ring sizes.
The NFL awards 150 rings to the Super Bowl victor and spends approximately $7,000 per ring. Teams that have won multiple Super Bowls, as will be the case with the Seahawks and Patriots, are allotted a higher budget for diamonds. Ring designs typically use larger marquise-shape diamonds to represent footballs, and each football represents a championship.
Winning teams may present Super Bowl rings to whomever they choose, and these could include players, coaches, trainers, executives, personnel and general staff. Some teams have awarded Super Bowl rings to former players and coaches.
Teams often create “B” and “C” level rings — designs with faux diamonds or fewer diamonds — for distribution to the front office staff.