The Super Bowl is the most popular sporting event in the United States – almost 110 million Americans watched it in February 2013. So it’s not surprising that the Super Bowl ring is a matter of serious interest.

The most recent Super Bowl ring, made for the Baltimore Ravens. Courtesy of Jostens

Super Bowl XLVII (2013), made for the Baltimore Ravens. Photo courtesy NFL.

As the game has grown in popularity, the rings have become fancier: more diamonds and gemstones, more complex designs, and a lot more “wow” factor. Compare the first ring made in 1966 – it sported a single one-carat diamond – to the most recent one.

The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl in a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Minneapolis-based Jostens designed the ring. It has 129 round brilliant cut diamonds; the Baltimore Ravens logo is outlined with 40 round brilliant cut diamonds sitting atop a custom-cut amethyst stone. An iconic Baltimore “B,” handcrafted in yellow gold with the beak of the Raven in white gold, is in the center. The eye of the bird is red enamel.

Super Bowl I (1967) Green Bay Packers. Photo courtesy NFL.

Super Bowl I (1967) Green Bay Packers. Photo courtesy NFL.

Jostens, a leading designer and producer of championship rings, has created 30 of the 46 Super Bowl rings. GIA asked Chris Poitras, director, sports marketing and development, to share how Super Bowl rings are designed. Poitras explained that leaders of the winning team collaborate with Jostens’ master jewelers to design and produce custom championship rings for players and members of their organization.

Poitras described the process: “Our goal is to collaborate with the team. The thing that takes the most time when it comes to creating the rings is designing a piece that tells the story of the team, their great win, and the special season. Depending on their design, it can take anywhere from weeks to months to manufacture the rings from start to finish.”

The 2008 New York Giants got to the Super Bowl by winning eleven games on the road – a fact emblazoned on the side of the ring. The victory was the team’s third Super Bowl win. Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

The 2008 New York Giants (Super Bowl XLII). The victory was the team’s third Super Bowl win. Photo courtesy Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. has created six Super Bowl rings, and works with team leaders so that they reflect the championship season and the spirit and history of the franchise. For example, engraved inside the New York Giants ring in 2008 are the words “Finish” and “All In”– two inspirational phrases that rallied the team during the season.

Who will win the next Super Bowl is a mystery. But here’s one sure bet: Next year’s winner will get an even glitzier ring.

Main photo courtesy of NFL.