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Crafting History: NBA Championship Rings

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NBA championship rings are a tradition that dates back to the first NBA finals in 1947. Each year sees a bigger and more intricate design that utilizes the most cutting edge jewelry technology. While the luxury and prestige of the rings are impressive it is the symbolism hidden throughout each piece that highlights the expert craftsmanship.

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Jostens and the 2011 Dallas Mavericks

Jostens, a manufacturer of memorabilia, has produced dozens of rings for National Basketball Association, Super Bowl, World Series, and Major League Soccer champions. Each year they sketch mock-ups for the final four NBA teams in order to be prepared for the winner. This head start allows them to incorporate details from each team’s history in to the respective designs.

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Their 2011 championship ring for the Dallas Mavericks required 14 different components – 6 for the logo alone! The design included three ounces of 14 carat gold and 257 diamonds totaling almost 10 carats. 31 of the diamonds circle the logo, representing all of the support the team had throughout the season. The white gold in the logo and the synthetic sapphire beneath reflect the team’s colors. Lastly, on one side are 15 diamonds for the 15 players arranged in to the M logo while the opposite side features the Larry O’Brien trophy.

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Jason of beverly Hills and the 2015 Golden State Warriors

More recently, luxury jeweler for the stars Jason of Beverly Hills created a masterpiece for the 2015 Golden State Warriors. The design included mostly 14k white gold but the face was cast with something special: 67% pure 16k yellow gold symbolizing the 67 season wins. The 16 postseason wins that earned the championship appear as well: there are 16 princess cut diamonds on one side.

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The diamonds and sapphires total more than 6 carats including one sapphire hidden under the face on the inside surrounded by elements of Oracle Arena’s architecture. This secret reflects the first championship under the current owners. The team’s other championships aren’t forgotten – there are 4 natural diamonds (one for each of the team’s 4 total championships) at the bottom of the face that glow under black light. The 240 total gem count mirrors the 240 wins across all seasons under current ownership at the time the ring was designed. Finally, the historical photo of the team hoisting the trophy is 3D-printed on the side.

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As the tradition has aged and technology has improved, each team’s journey to success has been recorded in greater and greater detail:

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