Rihanna closes out her halftime set at the 2023 Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, singing her hit song “Diamonds” high above the football field.
The Super Bowl, the American football game played each February, pitting the champions of the National Football League’s two conferences against each other, has long been associated with diamonds. But maybe it was a little more so in 2023, because of a halftime show featuring Rihanna, the Barbadian singer whose hit “Diamonds” held the top spot on billboard in 2012 for three weeks.
Rihanna ended her halftime set, which her first live performance in seven years, closing with “Diamonds,” as she was hoisted above the field of the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. She was wearing a red jumpsuit decorated with three vintage diamond brooches from Joseph Saidian & Sons, an estate jewelry company based in New York.
But that was not all, Rihanna also wore a diamond watch by Jacob & Co., featuring 251 pavé-set, round-cut diamonds and 30 round-cut white diamonds, and a ruby and diamond ring designed by Bayco. The latter piece featured a 19.47-carat sugarloaf cabochon Burma ruby and 5.66-carats of trillion-cut and round-brilliant colorless diamonds set in platinum and gold. She also wore earrings designed by Messika Jewelry.
The Super Bowl will also be remembered not only because of the comeback finish that allowed the Kansas City Chiefs narrowly defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, but also because it was the event at which Rihanna revealed she was pregnant with her second child. Long a jewelry maven, when several years earlier she had announced the pending birth of her first child, she accessorized her baby bump with a Chanel chain belt and necklace and a Christian Lacroix crucifix
The first Super Bowl ring in 1967, which was commissioned by the Green Bay Packers Coach Vincent Lombardi, featuring a one-carat diamond. (Photo courtesy of Jostens)
A ‘MODEST’ START IN 1967
For many diamond lovers, however, the most significant connection between the gemstone and the NFL’s game of the year are the gaudy rings that are given and then worn by the members and staff of the winning team.
It’s a traditional that stretches back to the first-even Superbowl in 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeating the same Kansas City Chiefs.
The legendary head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi commissioned the first rings, which were was modest by today’s standards. Each was set woth a one carat diamond that centered an outline of a globe in white gold.
Since then, the rings have grown progressively larger and blingier. “They have risen as fine pieces of art and jewelry,” said Chris Poitras, general manager and VP of Pro Sports for Jostens, the Minneapolis-based company that has designed and produced 37 of the 54 Super Bowl rings to date.
“When you look back on the early years, we were trying to tell the story of the season within the history of the organization with simple stone alignments,” Poitas told the Natural Diamond Council. “As these businesses became iconic brands, they wanted their logos expressed in the best possible way. The number of stones increased because of this.”
Crafting the rings takes another six to eight weeks, with the initial design and prototype work taking place at Josten’s facility in done at its Eagan, Minnesota, then manufactured at its Denton, Texas, plant and final hand-craftsmanship is completed at its workshop in Quebec, Canada.
“These rings are like a big jigsaw puzzle with upwards of 120 pieces,” Poitras said. “It’s easy to make one ring but to replicate that ring 500 to 1,000 times is more difficult.”
THE RINGS TELL A STORY
The NFL allocates about $5,000 each for up to 150 rings, although Super Bowl rings typically cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. It has been reported that the New England Patriots rings for its Super Bowl victory in 2015 featured 205 diamonds.
The design of each Super Bowl rings is meant to tell the story of winning team’s season. and their game. The bezel of the Philadelphia Eagles ring for its Super Bowl victory in 2018 depicted a trick play known using 127 diamonds, which was the sum of the jersey numbers of the three players who executed it—running back Corey Clement (30), tight end Trey Burton (88) and quarterback Nick Foles (9).
Tom Brady, the legendary NFL quaerterback, wearing his seven Super Bowl rings, one for each of his victories. (Photo: Tom Brady on Instagram)
The New England Patriots twice broke the record for the most diamonds on a ring. In 2017 it boasted 283 diamonds, which symbolized its 28-3 third quarter deficit against the Atlanta Falcons, which the team managed to overcome in overtime .
Two years later the New England Patriots Super Bowl rings had on average of 416 of round diamonds and six marquise-cut diamonds totaling 8.25 carats. According to Jostens, they were the largest Super Bowl rings ever made.