Posts Tagged championship ring

Are Championship Rings a Sound Investment?

February 21, 2015

A reader of this blog asked if a championship ring in an upcoming auction was a good investment. Here’s my thoughts on championship rings as investments:

championshp rings

First off I’m not an economist. Like many, I am a frustrated investor. I have lost money in real estate, and the stock market, and even with Championship rings. Some of my savings is in the bank earning less than one percent interest. Like many, I have a retirement account which is designed to make my financial planner more money than it makes me.

This country is 18 trillion dollars in debt and many feel the stock market is due for a major correction soon. Should China stop lending us money and/or the stock market dives, what will happen to the value of championship rings? So, do I know more than those who make a living dealing with investments and money matters? Not a chance. They can’t see the future and neither can I.

If I was sure championship rings would climb in value over the next ten years, I wouldn’t need to be a professional economist or money manager to know that you should buy every and any ring you can get your hands on. The more rings you buy the more money you will make.

Unfortunately, championship rings are not guaranteed to climb in value. Just like the stock market, or real estate, who knows what will happen. The only guarantee is that the auction houses make money on championship rings – since they take 15-20 percent from the buyer and a percentage from the seller too.

I would not recommend starting an auction house either – the printing and mailing of those catalogs cost a fortune and their overhead to run their business is quite high too.

The one recommendation I would make is only buy championship rings because you love championship rings. If you buy them for investment purposes you could and will probably loose money. You have read enough stories on this blog about fake championship rings and the crooks who peddle them.

If you do buy championship rings, do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions, and get the ring appraised – not by a jeweler but by a sports memorabilia expert who has experience with championship rings. Last, get the ring insured!

Oh, and the person who asked me about a particular championship ring coming up in an auction, should have asked what the ring was currently worth, not what it will be worth in 10 years. The best answer I have heard someone give when asked this question about high-end championship rings is that championship rings are worth “what the highest bidder agrees to pay”. I have no idea if the ring in question will sell at auction for $15,000 or $250,000.

See, I told you I do this for the love, I am not a professional appraiser or expert on sports memorabilia trends. Although I have become quite good at spotting fake rings and tracking what rings have sold for in the past.

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Keeping Championship Rings Clean!

December 30, 2014

Here are the do’s and don’ts in caring of your championship rings:

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Ring

The above photo recently showed up on Twitter. This looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

Someone is about to season a chicken while wearing their Seahawks Super Bowl ring! (Probably a joke, but who knows?)

Nothing good is going to come of this (except perhaps a great testing meal).

Here is what a lot of time and years collecting championship rings have taught me about caring for championship rings and how to make your sports rings look great:

1) Don’t wear the rings everyday! Especially if you are not the original recipient of the ring, since other than spending a lot of money you would not have had the ring anyway.

Championship rings, especially the ones form the last decade or two are so large they constantly get banged around. Gold is a soft metal and very easy to damage with small dents, scratches, and dings. Keep in mind, especially 14K gold which is softer than 10K gold, the rings can wear down over time and the fine details on the ring can soften (blur) or worse, wear off.

2) Don’t let a jeweler machine-polish and buff the ring! Buffing the ring by machine will improve the look of the ring, however, you are removing a significant amount of gold! If a ring is 50 grams and contains dings and scratches, it may wind up losing 5% or more of it’s weight and just like a ring that is worn too much, the details may be lost or significantly softened. There are many ring collectors who keep notes of ring weights (I know I do) and will pay significantly less money for a ring that is 5-10% lighter in weight than it should be. More than 10% means I won’t buy the ring at all.

3) One of the worst things you can do to your championship ring is to clean it with an ultrasonic cleaner. Made sure you tell your jeweler (and never use one at home) not to use this device on your championship ring. Most championship rings have a black antique finish on the sides of the ring. The black finish helps to make the fine details stand out. Over time the black finish does come off. Using an ultrasonic cleaner will accelerate the black finish coming off much faster. So please remember, never use an ultrasonic cleaner on a championship ring.

4) The best way to clean a championship ring is for the jeweler to steam clean it. Not only does the gold color start to lose it’s shine and luster over time, but the diamonds loose their sparkle too. The reason the diamonds loose their sparkle is that jewelry settings can often obstruct cleaning efforts, and oils, grease, and other substances such as hair spray adhere to a diamond’s surface. When I acquire a ring, the first thing I do is head to my jeweler and have him steam clean the ring. The gold shines again, and the diamonds sparkle. The ring looks new again and I always marvel at the before and after difference! Keep in mind that a steam clean will not eliminate scratches and dents but if the championship ring is in good condition, it will look just about brand new after a steam cleaning.

5) If a championship ring does have surface scratches, I will have my jeweler lightly hand-buff the ring. This can eliminate many of the light surface scratches and soften the dings. While you will lose a little gold, unlike the machine buffing mentioned above, the loss is minimal and the ring will look much better after this process.

6) If a championship ring would look better having the antique finish redone please be aware that this is a risky proposition: There’s a good chance that your jeweler may not even have the black substance or have experience doing this. Furthermore, if he over applies the finish and does not remove the excess finish properly, you will lose many of the fine details of the championship ring.

The details are still on the ring, they’re just hidden beneath a layer of black finish. So if you are thinking of having this done, discuss this with your jeweler, and make sure he knows to remove the black finish enough to show the details. A huge help is if you can present him with a blown up picture of the championship ring with the proper balance of black finish. The large picture will show the details An example of the balance needed is the Lombardi Trophy often shown on the sides of Super Bowl rings. The trophy always contains tiny engraving on the trophy and often you need a magnifying glass to read it. With a proper picture, the jeweler will know he has to remove enough of the black finish to retrieve the tiny engraving details found on the ring.

I hope you find these tips useful.

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Amazing Collection of Football Championship Rings Coming to Auction

December 26, 2013

Goldin Auctions’ 2014 Winter Auction Begins January 13th.

football championship rings

football championship rings

Descriptions are not available yet, but visiting the Goldin Auctions Web Site, reveals some amazing items coming to their 2014 Winter Auction.

At least 12 Football Championship rings are included. Perhaps the showcase item is a player 2012 Super Bowl Ring. The ring, belonging to Damien Berry, a reserve running back who has had issues with the law and is currently not in the league.

Baltimore Raven rings were awarded to the player’s in June of 2012 and this is the most current NFL Super Bowl Ring issued. This is the first Super Bowl XLVII ring to hit the market place and truly the first player ring available to collectors from that Super Bowl.

Also included is a rare 1958 Baltimore Colt’s player’s ring from the one of the most historic championship games in NFL history, three player-size 49er rings, a player’s Chief’s Superbowl IV Ring, and a few other gems.

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