Despite its global recognition and prestige in North American sports, the Vince Lombardi Trophy may not be worth as much as we’d think in terms of melted value.
Produced by Tiffany & Co., the trophy uses 3.2 kg of solid sterling silver, equating to around $2,000 based on recent metals prices, according to analysis by Refinitiv Metals.
However, this value is meager compared to some of the other well-recognized trophies that some of the world’s greatest athletes have laid their hands on.
“While its widely recognized that the value of a trophy is derived from what it symbolizes in terms of achievement and success, those that follow the NFL may be surprised to learn of its relatively low melt-value compared to other iconic trophies,” said Federico Gay, analyst at Refinitiv Metals.
As some might expect, the “the most valuable trophy” title belongs to the world’s biggest sporting event: the FIFA World Cup. This trophy is made of 6.175 kg of 18-carat gold, which means it contains 4.93 kg of pure gold worth some $260,000 at recent prices, far exceeding any other trophy, based on Refinitiv calculations.
The UEFA Champions League, perhaps the most prestigious competition in club football (or soccer in North American parlance), awards its winner a trophy that contains 7.5 kg of sterling silver. This means the “Ol’ Big Ears” (the nickname for the Champions League trophy) is actually worth much less than its equivalent for the Europa League, a lower-tier competition.
Shifting back to American sports, the most expensive trophy in the US is awarded at the Indianapolis 500 car race, which is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. The Borg-Warner Trophy is made from 69 kg of pure silver sterling, with a melt value of over $40,537.
The next valuable US trophy is the Woodlawn Vase, which is awarded to the winning owner of the Preakness stakes at Pimlico Racecourse. This trophy is made of solid sterling silver weighing over 11 kg, with a melt value of over $10,633.
(Click here for a detailed analysis by Refinitiv Metals Research.)