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How much does a Super Bowl ring cost? It depends

Super Bowl rings are the personal mark of an NFL champion. How much do they cost to produce and what is their value to collectors?

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    FILE PHOTO- New Orleans Saints fans wear giant replicas of Super Bowl rings as hats as they watch the NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh. Authentic Super Bowl rings worn by players make for a unique, albeit pricy, collectors' item.
    Don Wright/File/AP
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In May of 2012, former New York Giants star Lawrence Taylor sold his Super Bowl XXV championship ring from 1991 at an auction for $231,601.

Super Bowl rings make for a one-of-a-kind collector’s item. Their value is subjective, based on who the player is and the value the buyer personally places on the ring by desiring the same piece of championship hardware his or her favorite player wore to commemorate a championship campaign.

For instance, Taylor was a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Giants, an eight-time first team NFL All-Pro and compiled over 130 sacks over his 13-year NFL career. What his ring and the ring of another NFL star like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana could fetch at a sports auction is a lot higher than say a team’s punter could fetch for his ring.

The NFL allocates $5,000 per ring to the Super Bowl-winning team for the franchise to contract a jeweler to make up to 150 rings for the players, coaches and other personnel in the organization, according to Bankrate.com.

Any cost incurred beyond that amount and the team has to foot the bill, which they usually do. The cost of precious metals like gold and the diamonds some of the more recent championship bling has featured added another decimal place to the price tag.

This $5,000 is buying less and less sparkle because of the surging costs of precious metals to craft these rings. The cost of gold was $34 per ounce back in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl, according to BleacherReport.com. For the 2005 New England Patriots Super Bowl rings, the price of gold had ballooned to $1,900 an ounce.

When the Packers won Super Bowl XLV in February of 2011, their Super Bowl rings featured 105 diamonds in two different locations and were made out 14-carat yellow gold. The old-school Packers rings were made out of 10-carat gold with only .46 ounces of metal, boasting one large embedded diamond.

Yahoo! Sports reported that, as of 2012, the most valuable Super Bowl ring in terms of precious metals was the 2005 New England championship ring. It featured 14-carat white gold laced with diamonds. It weighed 100 grams and is roughly a size 14.5. The commemorative piece is currently valued at a cool $65,000.

Another valuable ring that was in circulation was that of former Green Bay Packer and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke, who played his whole career in Green Bay. He won the first NFL-AFL Championship Game (It wasn’t officially known as the Super Bowl until Super Bowl III) among his many accolades.

Nitschke passed away in 1998. Although his ring is not as sophisticated as contemporary championship rings, Nitschke's ring is highly valuable because of who he was and the Packers' place in NFL history. The 14-karat gold Super Bowl ring encrusted with a modest amount of diamonds is valued at $100,000, according to the Yahoo! Sports story.

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