Thu Sep 30 11:24am EDT
Before this week, there hadn't been a Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup ring given to players since 1961; so please excuse the 2010 champions if their new jewelry looks a tad opulent:
Wednesday night, the Blackhawks received their Cup rings, which were designed by a committee of front-office personnel, ownership and players. From the Chicago Tribune, some details on the rings:
The individual rings, valued at about $30,000, are 14-carat white gold weighing 91.0 grams, with 404 diamonds and gemstones totaling approximately 8 carats. [...]
The ring features the iconic Indian head logo and the Stanley Cup displayed in marquee cut diamonds surrounded by the words "Stanley Cup Champions" on the face. They are personalized with a team member's name and number. One side features baguette-cut rubies and pear-shaped emeralds set in the shape of the Hawks' crossed tomahawks and the other is a diamond-studded Stanley Cup and the 2010 season's motto: One Goal. The years 2010, 1961, 1938 and 1934 also are included to commemorate the team's title history. [...]
The committee viewed examples of past championship rings but was determined to make the Hawks version unique. It incorporated ideas Jostens had not done before, including engraving the inside of each player's ring with the NHL logo and those of the four teams the Hawks dispatched in the playoffs and the series scores.
If you want to see what those diamonds look like when they're shining, the team Tweeted this image of owner Rocky Wirtz's ring in full bling.
The Daily Herald offers several other looks at rings that are going to look great on eBay in about 15 years (or sooner, depending on how the next NHL labor negotiations turn out).
[Flashback: LeBron James' $10,000 trinket surfaces at yard sale]
These things are mighty impressive, but how do they compare to other recent Cup champions' rings? Or, perhaps more interestingly, to the Blackhawks' 1961 Cup jewelry?
Here's what the Pittsburgh Penguins wore after their Cup win in 2009:
Each 14 karat white and yellow gold ring contains 167 diamonds, totaling approximately 4.50 carats of diamonds and averaging approximately 100 grams of gold. The top of the ring is crowned with a custom-cut black onyx imbedded with a 1.3 carat pear-shaped diamond to create the Penguins logo. The logo is placed on an image of the Stanley Cup, which is sitting on a bed of round diamonds replicating the arena and ice surface.
Here are the Detroit Red Wings' rings from 2008:
The Wings were given their rings in a dangerous spot: the Motor City Casino, during a private team function. Luckily, none of them ended up on the craps table.
According to the Hockey Hall of Fame, it's a "67-gram 14K white gold ring that contains 170 round diamonds, 2 marquise diamonds, 3 pear shaped diamonds and 11 custom cut baguette diamonds." It has several words on it: "Stanley Cup Champions"; "Owner," which is found by four diamonds in honor of the four titles under the Ilitch family; and "Family," because the Red Wings consider themselves a big one.
Here are the Anaheim Ducks' rings from 2007:
The Ducks' rings were made of 14K white gold and 110 diamonds, including 16 diamonds to represent the 16 wins it takes to capture the Cup. But there was some other interesting symbolism as well:
While being a token of last season's success, the ring also pays homage to past Ducks seasons on its left side, where under the player's last name are 14 stones in three different colors. The first 11 are green to symbolize the 11 seasons of the Mighty Ducks under Disney ownership. The next stone is white, symbolizing the lockout, a canceled season and a period of change. Finally, the last two stones are orange and represent the past two years of ownership by Henry and Susan Samueli and a change in name and colors. Also prominent on the right side of the ring is a representation of Honda Center and the old Mighty Ducks logo, which is flanked by '93 and '07 as the years in between the championship.
Ah, if only the Ducks had won the Cup under Disney ownership. They could have silhouetted the face of Emilio Estevez on the side, perhaps in emeralds.
The Ducks' rings came from a site called Stanley Cup Rings, which is trying to chronicle all the Cup rings for NHL teams. There are huge gaps in its coverage, but it did offer this interesting one: The 1961 Chicago Blackhawks:
As you can see, there's only a slim 394-diamond difference between the 1961 and 2010 rings ...
The new Blackhawks rings are a striking, memorable keepsake for their run to the Stanley Cup. They're something worth cherishing ... well, at least until Chris Pronger(notes) begins his crime spree and starts meticulously stealing them.
[Related: NBA star's title ring is for sale]
How do you think the Blackhawks' new rings stack up against recent NHL Stanley Cup rings? Do they need some more color on them? Too gaudy? Not gaudy enough? And if Bill Wirtz was still owning the team, would they be made of cubic zirconia?
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