The Jewelry Insider

December 22, 2008

Professional athletes dedicate their entire life to achieving one goal: winning a championship. And while big salaries, flashy diamond jewelry and a visit from MTV Cribs goes along with being at the top of the heap, nothing is more symbolic of a number-one ranking than that big-old, gaudy-as-all-get-out championship ring.

They make those hideous high school class rings we all bought back in the day look like trinkets from a gumball machine, right? Regardless, you have to think that these guys count the symbolic bauble among their most prized possessions.

But CNBC reports this morning the sad news that more and more sports stars are hocking their championship rings for cash these days due to economic woes.

Say it ain’t so!

Can you imagine anyone from that miracle Super Bowl-winning Giants team last year selling the ring that symbolizes the triumph of the ultimate underdog? According to Tim Robbins from Championship-Rings.net, someone already has.

Robbins tells CNBC that championship ring sales are enjoying a banner year as the economy adds to the pressures of athletes who may have more bills than their paychecks can cover.

“A lot of times people sell the rings because of what we call the three D’s. It’s usually drugs, divorce, and/or death. And in recent times we’ve had to add an “E” to it because of the economy.”

But why don’t these guys just get rid of the fourth Porsche in the driveway or the second home in the Hamptons?

“With players, it’s more of a private sale. Instead of going off and selling their house, their expensive cars, they look for items that most people don’t see very often because they don’t necessarily wear their rings out everywhere,” Robbins explains.

It’s a sad day in Mudville, sportsfans, when you hear something like this. Maybe because jewelry is (to us dazzle hounds, especially) the ultimate expression of emotion and experience, but also because the rings represent memories that will no longer get passed down through the families of these guys.

A Porsche is nice and all, but a diamond ring is (as they say) forever. Even if it looks like something from Liberace’s treasure chest.

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