Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Will Include Diamond Rings from Kay Jewelers

A natural diamond tribute to the greatest players,
coaches and contributors of all time.

By |

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has again joined hands with the KAY Jewelers to make the coveted Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence, the natural diamond ring that honors a player’s incredible achievement. The pair also announced it will change the way we celebrate gridiron legends. From now on, every Hall of Fame enshrinee, including those honored posthumously, will be given the coveted Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence. Offering this illustrious ring not only to those alive at the time of enshrinement but also to the closest kin of those who passed provides a lasting heirloom and reminder of those who have left behind an enduring legacy. 

The announcement was made at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon in Phoenix. The first recipient, the late Cliff Branch, a Raider legend and member of the Class of 2022, posthumously received his Ring of Excellence. The ceremony saw his sister, Elaine Anderson, accept the cherished symbol. 

The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence features a football-shaped natural diamond center, surrounded by a “stadium” of outer diamonds, all weighing a total of 1.75 carats. A blue gemstone symbolizes the traits that have defined these gridiron legends – confidence, power, and integrity. Personalized with intricate details of each enshrinee’s career, it boasts a likeness of their Bronzed Bust, alongside their position and years in the NFL, on one side. At the same time, the other proudly bears their last name, the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo, and the year of enshrinement. 

The rings are presented at a ceremony amidst the vibrant atmosphere of their former home stadiums at NFL regular-season games. At Enshrinement Week, starting soon in Canton, Ohio, the home of The Hall of Fame, enshrinees receive the two other iconic symbols of election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, their Bronzed Bust and their Gold Jacket by Haggar. President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Jim Porter, and Divisional Vice President – Kay Jewelers, Jenn Hammond, will present a family representative with their respective Ring of Excellence at the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd. The posthumous inductees are legends George Allen, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Bill Nunn, Ed Sprinkle, and Dick Stanfel. 

Only Natural Diamonds spoke exclusively to Jennifer Hammond, VP of Store Operations at Kay Jewelers, about the unique partnership.

OND: Why is this partnership important to Kay? 

JH: Jewelry is the gift that marks life’s most important personal and professional milestones. Enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame represents the pinnacle of a Hall of Famer’s lifelong career – it makes sense that the Ring of Excellence is one of the three iconic symbols representing that honor and that KAY, as the number one jewelry store in America, is the jeweler to provide it.   

OND: How has the design of the ring evolved since Kay began this partnership? 

JH: Kay has provided the Ring of Excellence since 2013. The original ring was beautiful but smaller and not as customized to each enshrine. The Ring of Excellence from KAY is stunning in physical presence and captures the unique individualism of each enshrinee, including a likeness of their bust, position, and years in the NFL and enshrinement class. Every single detail has great significance, from the blue spinel stone, which represents confidence, power, and integrity – all traits of these incredible athletes – to the outer diamonds creating a stadium design that surrounds the center football-shaped diamond. 

OND: Why do you think natural diamonds are integral to a ring celebrating such an important achievement? 

JH: Time and pressure make diamonds, symbolic of the years of hard work that go into becoming a champion. A natural diamond from Kay represents the incredible strength and determination of these incredible athletes.

OND: Are there plans to update the ring’s design? 

JH: The ring of excellence is iconic, and there are no plans to update such a beautiful and customized piece of jewelry. A replica of each ring sits in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum for eternity. 

OND: What is it like to be a part of so many memorable moments in people’s lives since diamond jewelry so often celebrates these special moments? 

JH: To be a part of so many special moments, helping people celebrate life and express love through the gift of jewelry, is nothing short of an honor. Sharing in the excitement, feeling the sentiment, and creating lifelong relationships – it is truly remarkable.