With the sports card industry flooding the market every year with its products, you can turn to vintage cards for solid investments. It also makes sense to diversify your collection. One viable option is to buy sports memorabilia, which adds depth to your collection.
It’s a burgeoning market. When you buy sports memorabilia, you’ll find the same joy as in sports card collecting. Memorabilia is also better for displaying — whether you collect game jerseys, autographed balls or championship rings. To get you started, here is a comparison of the four championship rings from the 2016 champs of each the four major American sports:
Basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers
These 6.5-carat championship rings are bigger than any other NBA championship ring. Using white and yellow gold, the ring features more than 400 diamonds, including a one-carat gem on the ring’s face. Each side contains 23 small diamonds, symbolizing the 46 years of the Cavalier franchise.
The top of the ring uses 216 diamonds, which is the Cleveland area code. Yellow gold surrounds the diamond-studded words “World Champions.” Each player’s name and uniform number are embossed on the side of the ring. These rings cost about $13,500 to create, so if you buy sports memorabilia, you can expect to pay much more to acquire an authentic one.
Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins
The centerpiece of this ring is the black onyx Penguin logo with a 0.5 carat diamond in his navel. Yellow gold frames 18 yellow diamonds that make up the rest of the logo. 15 normal diamonds fill in the ring’s face. More diamonds cascade toward the sides, where yellow gold letters proclaim: “Stanley Cup Champions.”
One side of the ring shows four diamond-encrusted Stanley Cups, while the other side shows the player’s name with his diamond-filled uniform number. All told, the ring uses 309 diamonds and weighs 8.85 carats (104 grams), or more than 10 times the size of a normal class ring. The rings, as presented to players, are estimated to cost about $25,000.
Football: Denver Broncos
This ring carries 212 diamonds, including three large, marquise-cut gems on the face, one for each Super Bowl victory for the franchise. The design uses yellow and white gold to effect, with diamond-cut orange sapphires to complete the team logo. The ring weighs in at more than five carats. Yellow gold letters at the top and bottom announce that they’re World Champions.
Each side of the ring has 28 stones, which symbolize the team’s 56-year existence. One side shows the player’s embossed name with a diamond-filled uniform number, while the other side shows a yellow gold banner that says, “This one’s for Pat,” for team owner Pat Bowlen. The team didn’t release the rings’ cost, but the 2015 NFL championship rings cost about $36,500 apiece.
Baseball: Chicago Cubs
If you buy sports memorabilia, you can be sure this championship ring will remain in high demand. Composed of 14-karat white gold, this ring uses 214 diamonds, 33 red rubies, and 46 blue sapphires for a total weight of 11 carats. 108 of the diamonds are arranged around the team logo and the gold “World Champions,” symbolizing the years since the team’s last championship.
The ring shows a lot of embossed white gold detail. On the sides, for example, Wrigley Field and its ivy are highlighted, along with the World Series trophy between two princess-cut diamonds for the team’s two previous championships. Of course, these rings feature a player’s name and uniform number. These rings cost approximately $70,000 apiece, making them the most valuable championship rings yet.