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April 9, 2018
The Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series rings tell the story of the franchise’s first-ever championship using 225 colorless diamonds, nine orange sapphires and 16 blue sapphires set in 14-karat white and yellow gold. Each ring weighs 90 grams and glitters with 10.40 carats of genuine gemstones.
Players, coaches and team management received their new bling during a special ceremony at Minute Maid Park last week.
According to the team, the top of the championship ring illustrates how — when the pieces come together — history can be made. The colorful design features the team’s iconic “H” logo rendered in colorless diamonds layered over a yellow-gold-framed Texas star formed from orange sapphires. The star sits atop a circle of blue sapphires — also framed in yellow gold — which is encircled by a halo of tiny white diamonds.
The “H” posed a tricky design challenge for Minneapolis-based Jostens. The solution was to use 11 custom-cut baguette diamonds, which, not coincidentally, were the number of the team’s post-season wins. Another challenge was sourcing orange sapphires of a hue that exactly matched the team colors. According to published reports, Jostens and Astros’ team management had to go back and forth a number of times before getting it exactly right.
The logo’s diamond halo includes 56 round diamonds, which represents the 56 years of Astros franchise history prior to earning a world championship. In all, the total diamond count for the top of the ring amounts to 112, the number of wins — both during the regular season and post season — that the Astros achieved to win the World Series.
And the symbolism continues…
On one side of the ring is the player’s name rendered in raised yellow-gold lettering. Below the name is the the iconic Houston skyline, paying the ultimate respect to the city and fans who never wavered in their support for their team. A rendering of Minute Maid Park’s left field wall seems to lift up the city of Houston, a sentiment expressed by many fans when describing what this championship has meant to them and their community in light of the devastating flooding that hit the city in August of 2017. Layered over the wall is the player’s number encrusted in white diamonds.
“Our guys were playing for something bigger than themselves,” team president Reid Ryan said.
On the opposite side of the ring, the phrase “Houston Strong” is prominently displayed in contrasting yellow gold atop the year, which is rendered in diamonds. A single solitaire diamond sits in the top of the Commissioner’s Trophy, representing the first World Series victory in franchise history. The trophy seems to be rising from the center of Minute Maid Park. The Roman numeral LVI sits to the right of the trophy, paying tribute to the 56-year history of the Astros franchise.
The open sides of the ring feature a rim of round colorless diamonds set in contrasting yellow gold and punctuated by two princess-cut sapphires, an orange stone on one side and a blue stone on the other. Each is set in a bezel that’s shaped like a home plate. These sapphires represent Houston’s unique achievement of being the first franchise in history to have won a pennant in both the American and National Leagues.
The interior of the ring showcases the results of each series in the Astros’ playoff journey, including the logos of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. The bottom edge is inscribed with the organization’s rallying cry, “Earned History,” and includes the Astros’ logo rendered in black enamel on 14-karat white gold.
Jostens reported that the Astros ordered 1,322 championship rings, which were distributed to the team’s players, coaches, clubhouse and training staff, baseball and business front office members, medical staff, part-time associates, Hall of Famers, owners and broadcasters.
The only team to order more were the 2016 champion Chicago Cubs. That team ordered 1,908 rings, a nod to the prior time the Cubs won the World Series — 1908.
Credits: Images via Twitter.com/Houston Astros; Courtesy of Jostens.