Throughout their storied history the Los Angeles Lakers have won an astounding fifteen championship rings, one less than their hated rivals, the Boston Celtics. Die-hard Lakers fans invariably feel the pull to own a piece of their beloved team. Above jerseys, game balls, and other assorted paraphernalia, nothing quite displays a person’s fanaticism as a championship ring. With fifteen NBA titles under their belt, fans have quite an assortment of Lakers championship rings to choose from. However, coming to own an authentic championship ring is left to the realm of the super-rich, or being one of the members of the organization that has a ring made for them. For those of us with meager means, but certainly not meager love for our team, replica rings make a great alternative.
Until 1980, the design of NBA championship rings was standardized, with a single diamond in the center of a basketball engraving surrounded by the words “World Champions”. It was changed in 1970 to a black and gold design, with a single diamond inset, and added NBA to the surrounding phrase.
From 1981 to 1983 a customization was made where the center of the ring became a dot that was colored in with the winning team’s primary color, or, in the Lakers’ case, a royal purple to offset the traditional gold.
As of 1984 the rings were designed by the winning team, to further personalize and help commemorate the victory. As the championships have mounted up, the Lakers championship rings have become more elaborate, with the most recent championship ring bearing sixteen diamonds to commemorate each of the franchise’s world titles.
In 2005, SCP Auctions sold a collection of nine authentic LA Laker championship rings for $90,000. Adding the titles won since and you’re probably looking at close to $200,000 for a full set.
As far as the much more affordable replica championship rings are concerned, there are varying levels of cost, depending on the materials used in the ring’s construction or the level of similarity to the original. Rings bearing real diamonds and made from jeweler’s grade gold are quite expensive, running in the thousands. Reproductions featuring cubic zirconium and lower grades of gold will run $100-300 dollars, depending on the quality of the reproduction. eBay offers many inexpensive alternatives to authentic Laker rings, with even quality reproductions valued at hundreds of dollars selling for much less. Sometimes, you can even have the ring personalized.
There are also ‘fan’ rings that are of the type sold at concession stands or given away on promo nights that are more of a souvenir. There’s plenty of variety. It’s just a matter of deciding which route to go. Some decide to buy as many as they can since it’s such a unique field. Whatever your price range, owning a Lakers championship ring of your own is certainly within your grasp.
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