By Mark Koba
The winners of every Super Bowl get to share the coveted Lombardi Trophy, but they also get a more personal keepsake -- a golden-laced, diamond-studded ring.
The National Football League contracts for 150 rings, paying up to $5,000 for each. The basic design includes the team name, logo and Super Bowl game number.
|Slideshow: High-Priced Super Bowl Rings|
However, if some teams want a fancier look, such as player names, more gems or detailed designs, team owners have to foot the bill for the difference.
Unlike the Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded immediately after the game, teams have to wait to get their rings. There's a bidding process over price and design, and once that's settled it usually takes three to four months before they are handed out.
The rings are given to players, staff and owners. An NFL team has a 53-man roster with 45 to 47 players eligible to play in the game, as well as dozens of office staff. Some teams have given rings to former players and coaches, so they sometimes want more than the 150 contracted by the NFL. If they do, the teams have to pay the full amount for rings over the limit.
As prized as the rings may be, some ringholders or their families would rather have the cash value than the memories. Some sellers, usually players, don't want the public to know what they're doing. Others don't care. But it can be quite a profitable move.
To find out which Super Bowl rings are most valued, we asked Timothy Robins, owner of Championship-Rings.net, to put together a list of prices of rings that he has sold or is selling. Some of the rings go back decades, while others are from more recent games.
In addition to the design, what makes one ring more valuable than another is its condition and who owned it. There's also the fan base, according to Robins. A Pittsburgh Steelers ring might be worth more because of the demand by the Steeler faithful.
Also, since most buyers like to wear them, an oversized ring might be harder to sell, according to Robins. Most men wear a size 11, while many NFL player rings are larger.
Please note that the year associated with the ring is for the NFL season, and not the year the game was played.
Check out which Super Bowl rings are -- or have been -- the most valuable on the open market.
Super Bowl XLII
Value: $50,000. Team: 2007 New York Giants. The New York Giants ended the Patriots' attempt to match the Dolphins' perfect season with an exciting 17-14 win in Glendale, Ariz. Giants quarterback Eli Manning was MVP. This ring is 14k white gold with diamonds. The ring and the original wooden presentation box belonged to a Giants player. It weighs 73 grams, is approximately a size 13, and was made by Tiffany & Co. The ring is on the market for $50,000.
Super Bowl XXXVIII
Value: $58,000. Team: 2003 New England Patriots. The second Super Bowl win for the Patriots came with a 32-29 victory over the Panthers in Houston. Quarterback Tom Brady won his second Super Bowl MVP. A Patriot player put this ring up for sale. The ring is 14k white gold with diamonds. It weighs 92 grams and is approximately a size 12.5. The ring was made by Jostens and sold for $58,000.
Super Bowl XLI
Value: $60,000. Team: 2006 Indianapolis Colts. This is quarterback Peyton Manning’s only Super Bowl win -- so far. His Colts defeated the Bears in Miami by 29-17. Manning was MVP. Colts head coach Tony Dungy became the third man to win the Super Bowl as a head coach and as a former player, following Tom Flores and Mike Ditka. The ring shown here was owned by an unidentified Colts player. It's 14k white gold with diamonds and includes the original wood presentation box. It weighs 71 grams and is approximately a size 10.25. Made by Herff Jones, it sold for $60,000.
Super Bowl XXXIX
Value: $65,000. Team: 2004 New England Patriots. This was the second time in two years that the Patriots won the Super Bowl, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Jacksonville, Fla. Wide receiver Deion Branch was the game's MVP for the Patriots. This ring, which belonged to a Patriots player, is 14k white-gold with diamonds. It's heavy, weighing 100 grams, and is approximately a size 14.5. The ring, which was made by Jostens, is selling for $65,000.
Super Bowl I
Value: $100,000. Team: 1966 Green Bay Packers. The first championship game between the NFL and the old American Football League was between the Packers and the Chiefs in Los Angeles. It wasn't called the Super Bowl then, just the NFL-AFL Championship game. The game officially became known as the Super Bowl in 1969 when the Jets beat the Colts in a major upset. There was plenty of animosity between the AFL and NFL in this first go-round, with each trying to prove it was the better league. Green Bay won what started out as a tight game by the final score of 35-10. This ring belonged to Hall of Fame middle linebacker Ray Nitschke, who played his entire career for Green Bay. He died in 1998 of a heart attack at age 61. The ring is 14k gold with diamonds. It weighs 38 grams, is approximately a size 14, and was made by Jostens. The ring is currently valued at $100,000.
Click here for CNBC's complete slideshow of High-Priced Super Bowl Rings.
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