White Gold Rings?

For a little extra reading today, here is a small piece written by Tim DiRocco about some inaccurate reporting done by local writers about the Super Bowl Rings the Patriots recently received.

Super Bowl Ring Misconception
Tim DiRocco

While reading through the news articles about the Patriots SB XXXVI rings, a common point put forward was that New England was the only team to cast their jewelery in white gold. A bit of research shows that they were beaten to the punch on this detail, however.

For those that haven’t seen the articles:

"Like the team's 2001 hardware, the 2003 jewelry is cast in 14-carat white gold, making them the only two Super Bowl rings to be cast in white gold." - Glen Farley, SouthOfBoston.com

"Each ring contains 104 diamonds, totaling 5.05 carats (again, both records). And like in 2001, they are cast in 14-carat white gold, making them the only two Super Bowl rings having that feature." - Michael Felger, Boston Herald

"Like the 2001 edition, the rings were cast in 14-carat white gold, which is becoming a tradition for New England -- the Patriots are the only team to use white gold on Super Bowl rings." - Adam Kilgore, Boston Globe

The above is not meant to be a complete list, merely a representative example. If the above were true, it would be a fabulous distinction. However, it is not.

The first evidence of this came to light in the book, “You’re Okay, It’s Just A Bruise” by Rob Huizenga, M.D. Rob was hired as an internist for the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983. On page 92, Rob states:

"Six weeks earlier, in an elaborate ring ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hilton, I had gotten mine: a mammoth block of white gold studded with three large diamonds, each representing a Raider world championship, surrounded by many smaller diamonds."

Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders confirmed this fact. Jim stated, “To my knowledge, all of our rings are white gold.”

The competition between the Raiders and Patriots has gone back and forth over the decades. Each team has fans who felt (and still feel) jilted over a call. For the Raiders, of course, it is the “Tuck” game. Longtime Patriot fans still feel the sting of 1976′s phantom call on Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton.

In this case however, give the Raiders their due. They were the first to use white gold to cast their rings, and have done so for all three championships.

Given the choice between this distinction and another Lombardi Trophy, I’m sure Patriot fans will have little trouble getting over it. They will surely get over the gaffe quicker than many Boston area sportswriters.

Editor’s note: The Patriots themselves put out the information about the rings being the first in white gold, but shouldn’t the writers have double-checked that nformation first?