The MMQB presents NFL 95, a special project—unveiled every Wednesday from May through July—detailing 95 artifacts that tell the story of the NFL, as the league prepares to enter its 95th season. See the entire series here.
Franchises play for and receive the Vince Lombardi Trophy for winning football’s ultimate prize: a Super Bowl title. But since only one trophy is given to each champion, rings are given out to the players, coaches and other staff members. After the 1966 season, Lombardi himself designed the very first one with Jostens, which has created 31 of the 48 Super Bowl rings. The first one had just one diamond, was made of gold and was valued at $750. Inscribed on the inside were three important words to Lombardi’s Packers: harmony, courage and valor.
For winning Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the Ravens received rings that included 243 round-cut diamonds in each white and yellow gold design. The value of each ring was estimated between $5,000 and $10,000. The NFL pays $5,000 toward 150 rings; the rest of the bill is footed by the club. “You had a chance to hold the Lombardi, and now you get the rings and you realize that you’ve done it,” said Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. “It’s definitely a special moment.”
— Greg A. Bedard