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Look inside the company creating the Super Bowl rings

Win or lose, players in the Super Bowl all receive nice, fat paychecks
Inside the company creating the Super Bowl rings 04:14

On Super Bowl Sunday, players from the winning team get to briefly hold up the Lombardi Trophy.

But what they take home is the most coveted prize in football -- the Super Bowl championship ring, reports CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca.

"For them, the owner gets to take the trophy back and put it in a case, either in Carolina or Denver and this is their trophy that will stay with them forever," Chris Poitras, vice president of the sports division at Jostens. The company has made Super Bowl rings for dozens of champions, including the first-ever Super Bowl ring.

"We created the first Super Bowl ring for Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers in 1966, and we've continued on. We've done 31 of the 49 Super Bowls," Poitras said.

The first Super Bowl ring for the Packers had a simple design -- 40 grams of gold and a one-carat diamond in the center. But as the game got bigger, so did the rings.

Last year's Super Bowl ring for the New England Patriots had 100 grams of gold and an astonishing 205 diamonds totaling almost five carats.

"In the last few years, it's getting to a point where I have a funny feeling the next ring is going to be a double finger," said Miran Armutlu, Jostens' master jeweler and the company's quarterback of design.

At the production facility in Denton, Texas, he's already thinking of the next championship ring before the game is even played, but the owner of the winning team will coach him through the ring's final design -- a process which can take months.

Armutlu describes his designs as "pieces of art that tell a story of a championship."

Meet the friends who saw every Super Bowl 02:54

Last year's Patriots ring shows off the team's winning history with four diamond-shaped Lombardi trophies. The Packers 2010 ring features the iconic Lambeau Field and the Lombardi Trophy coming home to the famous franchise.

The design starts as a 3-D computer model, then an actual ring is made for the team's owner to inspect. If the owner wants to add another diamond or put another logo on the ring, a new computer model is made and a new ring is cast.

Once the design is finalized, a mold is made for each of the 53 players on the team with their name and jersey number on the side. The team has the option to make more rings for their staff.

A 1,500-degree furnace melts gold pellets into a liquid, which is poured into each custom mold. The gold is then carefully polished and painted so sections of the ring can be soldered together. Then it's time to put bling in the ring.

A small team of up to 45 people will work on each ring, but Ken Sprabeary makes it sparkle and oversees a select group of technicians who handpick and set the diamonds.

"You have to have that eye for bringing it all together. These guys work in space, so they create that space and fill it with the diamonds," Sprabeary said.

After a final cleaning, the Super Bowl ring is ready for the hand of a champion.

Armutlu personally delivered the rings to many winning players.

"I have seen everything from jumping up and down, words you don't want to mention on TV, to a lot of cases just going dead silent and crying," Armutlu said.

The ring is a symbol of hard work, sacrifice and victory that for many players is the defining moment in their career.

"When a team wins ... they're in heaven and they think they're invincible. And then they get the trophy, but the trophy is given back. They get the bonus money, then it's gone. The thing that's left to commemorate is the ring," Armutlu said.

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