A family version of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl LI championship ring with "Brady" on it sold Sunday morning for $344,927, a record for a football ring.
The ring, which has 265 diamonds compared to the 283 that Tom Brady's actual ring has and is about 10 percent smaller, has the same engraving that Brady's ring would have. The ring comes with a letter of appraisal from its maker, Jostens, for Brady that assesses its jewelry value at $29,700. Ken Goldin, president of Goldin Auctions, which sold the ring, would not say who consigned the ring or how it was obtained. Goldin also said the buyer prefers to remain anonymous.
To put the astronomical price paid for the Brady ring in perspective, only one piece of sports memorabilia from the past 25 years sold for more than this ring: Mike Piazza's uniform from the New York Mets' first game after Sept. 11, 2001. That jersey was sold in a private sale by Goldin for $365,000 in April 2016.
The nearly $350,000 price point obliterates the previous record paid for an NFL championship ring. The Super Bowl XXV ring of New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor sold for $230,401 in 2012.
Friends and family rings don't commonly surface for big stars, but when they do, they are often competitively bid on. Prior to Sunday morning, the most a friends and family ring sold for was $173,102. That was the price paid in July 2013 for a Kobe Bryant 2000 Los Angeles Lakers championship ring owned by his father Joe. The auction was also conducted by Goldin.
Considering they have won five times, Patriots rings have been relatively rare to surface at auctions. In February 2005, former Patriots backup cornerback Leonard Myers sold his Super Bowl XXXVI ring for $32,600. Lineman Maurice Anderson sold his Super Bowl XXXVI ring for $41,825 in 2016. A staff ring from that same Super Bowl, the Patriots' first, sold for $36,000 last year.
Rings of more significant players sold recently include the Super Bowl XXX ring of Raiders CB Larry Brown, who was MVP in that game, for $71,700 in 2016. The Super Bowl XVIII ring of Lester Hayes also sold that year for $54,970.
Other big-ticket items Goldin sold in the auction on Sunday morning include the racket Bobby Riggs used in his "Battle of the Sexes" match against Billie Jean King for $27,500. An unopened box of 1966 Topps football cards sold for more than $75,000 and a head of the famous San Diego Chicken sold for $9,820.