While many wear jewelry as a fashion piece, jewelry can celebrate an event or a point in time. Take championship rings as a great example. These are rings worn by members of winning teams in North American sports.
You can see these rings at a large variety of championship games. For example, Super Bowl winners receive NFL championship rings. These rings are worn by coaches, players, executives, and others affiliated with the winning team.
👉🏻But what are championship rings? Where did this tradition begin? Here’s everything to know about championship rings and how to get your own.
What are championship rings?
Championship rings are rings presented to members of a winning team. This tradition is most popular in North America. Championship rings are awarded to athletes in professional leagues but college sports players also receive championship rings.
The Montreal Hockey Club introduced the first championship ring after winning the 1893 Stanley Cup championship. The first rings resembled traditional wedding bands, but with two crossed hockey sticks. From here, wearing sports rings became a popular trend in the NHL (National Hockey League).
Before rings were awarded, players would request other gifts, such as cufflinks. The Yankees even gave their players pocket watches when they won the World Series in 1923. But every team that has won the World Series has been given a championship ring ever since 1932.
This tradition extended to other major sports. Even NASCAR drivers are awarded rings after winning a championship race as well as the most prestigious races, such as the Daytona 500.
Championship rings aren’t always given to the winners. The losing team also receives World Series and Super Bowl championship rings. That’s because that team is considered to be the champion of their conference or league.
There are also specific rings for losing teams. For example, the American basketball team that receives the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship rings are the winning team while the other three teams in the playoff tournament are given Final Four rings.
American and Canadian high schools and colleges also give championship rings to their players after winning a major game. For example, championship rings are given to high school players after winning their state or provincial championship.
How to categorize championship rings?
As you can see, different sports in North America award championship rings to their players for many reasons. We can easily break down championship rings into different categories: by sport, league, team, and athlete.
Championship rings are given to many sports teams, such as:
In addition, championship rings are worn for fashion purposes by sports fans, amateur athletes, and more.
While many sports award championship rings to their players, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and NCAA championship rings are the most famous.
Let’s start with the World Series ring. Since only one trophy is awarded to the winning team, the individual players and the coach receive a championship ring. These rings are commissioned every year, so they always look unique with every World Series.
Some notable jewelers who designed World Series rings include Tiffany & Co., Jostens, L.G. Balfour Company, and Dieges & Clust.
Stanley Cup rings are also special. These rings are given to the team that wins the Stanley Cup Finals. The rings are even given to players who competed in the winning team but whose names aren’t engraved in the cup.
As stated previously, most championship rings are unique for every season and every year. These rings are customized in certain ways, such as with the team’s name. Some of the aspects engraved into these rings include:
- Team name
- Team logo
- Championship title and year
The location of these engravings also matters. Engravings that symbolize the team, such as the ones mentioned previously, are printed on top of the ring.
Can a team receive a ring more than once? Absolutely! Actually, the NBA team Boston Celtics have the most NBA Championship rings—they have 17 rings in total!
The athlete’s name and other symbolism are engraved into the ring. This includes the player’s name and position. The location of these engravings also matters. Most athlete engravings are on the side of the ring. They may also get their name engraved under the ring.
Since athletes don’t receive a trophy, championship rings are synonymous with personal success. 🎉The more championship rings they earned, the most successful their career and their legacy. Even coaches value rings for the same reason.
Who has the most NBA championship rings? The player Bill Russell has the most rings (11). Runner-ups include Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, and Tom Sanders. All of these players are with the Boston Celtics.
Can we make or wear championship rings?
Even though championship rings are made for professional athletes, anyone can easily customize championship rings. For example, schools often order custom rings for school athletes who won a large tournament.
Others can wear championship rings for aesthetic purposes, whether or not they were awarded them.
Championship rings define status. Many championship rings feature an extravagant number of diamonds and other gemstones. For example, the Toronto Raptors 2019 championship ring has over 640 diamonds! That’s why wearing a ring inspired by championship rings is the ultimate style symbol for many people.
You even see celebrities are other influencers rocking championship rings for style. For example, the Toronto Raptors awarded their fans replica championship rings, one of those fans being rapper Drake.
This trend is also extending outside North America. European football (soccer) teams are opting for championship rings instead of medals. For example, Team Germany received European American Football Championship rings when they won in 2014.
📣Since you can get a championship ring customized so easily, anyone can order a championship ring for themselves or for a loved one.
Where and how do you customize a championship ring?
While you can get a championship ring customized, this is usually done by a skilled expert. Here’s what to know about customized championship rings and where to order your own.
Parts of a championship ring
We briefly mentioned the parts of a championship ring and the engravings you’ll find. But a championship ring has even more parts with guidelines. Here’s a breakdown of each.
- Championship title
- Championship year and gemstones
- Team name and logo, usually with enamel or stone background
- Player name
- Background (usually a theme)
- League logo and state (if applicable)
- Player number and/or position
- Sports logo
- Year and score
- Team affiliation or school name (if made for college or high school championship rings)
There are also additional engraving sites at the gallery, hallmark, and shank of the ring. In other words, you can add extra engravings under the ring as well as the sides and bottom of the band.
Where to get a championship ring?
Now that you know the parts involved with getting a championship ring, now it’s time to find the best sellers. We recommend Crown Awards, Balfour, and Etsy.
Crown Awards aims to create the perfect championship rings for sale. They have over 40 years of experience and make rings for a variety of sports including football, soccer, hockey, baseball, and more.
Crown Awards also offers one of the most user-friendly customization experiences. All users have to do is fill out the form with their preferences and add any extras, such as a championship ring display case.
Balfour championship rings are made for professional teams as well as colleges and high schools. You can personalize your championship rings with your team name, championship title, the stones or diamonds you want at the top, and more.
Etsy also hosts plenty of sellers who specialize in championship ring creation. You can also customize these rings with your team name, player names, and some even let you select stones.
Steps when ordering custom championship rings
While every retailer will have different customization steps, most championship ring makers will follow these steps:
- Select your ring sizes or sizes (if you’re ordering for a whole team)
- Choose the sport
- Add any personalized features (gemstones, etc.)
- Select your chain (if desired)
Many retailers will add extra add-ons, such as a ring stand, a display, gift options, and more.
Championship rings are the embodiment of victory
When athletes win the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, or another major event, they’re awarded championship rings. These rings are custom made for each team and they embody certain features such as team name and logo, player name, and exquisite gemstones.
Championship rings have an amazing history. The tradition started in North America, but is now spreading to Europe.🌍
School sports championship rings are also popular and if consumers love the aesthetic of championship rings, they can easily customize their own championship rings online.
If you want a custom ring, championship rings aren’t your only option. Click here to learn more about custom rings.