For tens of thousands of professional sportsmen and women around the world, there are a number of trophies that symbolize success and reaching the highest echelon of their sport, all of whom would give anything to lift some of the world’s most famous trophies, even their lives in the case of high-risk competitions such as Formula 1 or equestrian championships. Unforgettable moments of the trophy presentation and the players lifting the trophies remain in our memories, such as the image of Iker Casillas lifting the World Cup into the Johannesburg sky.
However, the fact that they are given so much sentimental value does not mean that these trophies do not also have monetary value. Many of them were designed by famous sculptors or jewelers who did not skimp on using precious metals or stones for their elaboration.
We highlight 8 cups in the ranking of the most expensive trophies in the world:
8. Larry O’Brien – NBA – $13.500
Named in honor of the former NBA commissioner from 1975 to 1984. Because of his great work as a unifier and promoter of the American National Basketball League, it was decided to give his name to the precious trophy made of 24 karat gold, a silver lineup and 6 kilograms of weight. Manufactured by Tiffany & Co.
7. Champions League – $15,000
UEFA’s highest award. The original trophy was donated by the French newspaper LÉquipe to Real Madrid in 1967 after winning 5 editions in a row (1956-60).
74 centimeters high, 4 kilos of pure silver made in Bern, Switzerland by Jörg Stadelmann.
6. Comissioners Trophy – MLB – $19,000
Designed by Balfour Jewelers in 1967 and redesigned in 2000 by Tiffany & Co.
Awarded to the winners of Major League Baseball in the United States.
Created in sterling silver has a height of 61cms by 28 centimeters in diameter. 30 gold-plated flags (one for each major league team) rise above a silver baseball with 24 karat vermeil stitching.
5. Vince Lombardi Trophy NFL – $50,000
This is the trophy awarded annually to the winners of the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the National Football League season. Again by Tiffany & Co. and depicts a life-size rugby ball in a kicking position. The trophy is made entirely of silver and is 56 centimetres high and weighs 3.2 kilograms. Unlike other trophies where the winner’s name is engraved immediately, the Vince Lombardi is sent immediately after the game for Tiffany & Co. technicians to engrave the name of the winning team.
4. Stanley Cup – NHL – $65,000
The Stanley Cup or Presidents’ Trophy is the annual award given to the winning team of the National Hockey League of the United States and Canada. Unlike other trophies this cup is the only one in which is engraved not only the name of the winning team but also the names of the coaches and players of the club, which makes that every few years you have to add a new floor where to engrave more names.
Today the cup measures 89.54 centimetres and weighs 15.5 kilograms, so you have to be in good shape to lift it. Although the original trophy was made entirely of silver, today it is made of an alloy of nickel mixed with silver.
3. Borg-Warner Trophy – Indy 500 – 1.300.000$.
Designed by Robert J. Hill and manufactured at Gorham Jewelers, the trophy was commissioned by the Borg Warner Corporation to be presented to the Indianapolis 500 champion. It is possibly one of the most beautiful trophies in the world of sport and the highest of those discussed here. At 162 centimetres tall and weighing 45 kilos, it takes more than two hands to lift it. Made of silver, it is not only engraved with the names of the winners but also with a relief of their faces. The trophy is only displayed on the podium. Once the celebration is over the winners get a 46 centimeters replica called “Baby Borg”.
2. Woodlawn Vase – $4,000,000
Unquestionably the most valuable trophy in American sport. Every year the winner of the Preakness Stakes, held in Baltimore, Maryland, on the third Saturday in May since 1873.
The trophy was the first one he Tiffany & Co. designed for a sporting event and had to be buried during the American Civil War (1861-1866) to prevent it from being melted down and made into ammunition. Made in plant the trophy is almost a meter high and weighs 13 and a half kilos. Four armed men transport it once a month from the Baltimore Museum of Art to the Pimlico racetrack. Because it is so valuable, not even the winners are allowed to touch it. Instead they receive a 1:3 scale replica for $30,000. Undoubtedly a true work of art.
1. FIFA World Cup – $20.000.000
The jewel in the crown. Both for what it symbolises and for the material with which Silvio Gazzaniga decided to create it in 1972 to replace the the old Jules Rimet Cup . 5 kilos of 18-carat gold plus two malachite rings, a semi-precious green stone that adorns the base and makes the trophy the most expensive in this ranking. Weighing 6.1 kilograms, the Italian sculptor created two human figures holding up the globe with their arms, symbolising a moment of victory but also of unity among all football fans.
The bottom of the trophy is engraved with the names of the teams that won in previous editions, making the moment when the captain of the winning team raises the cup in his arms a historic and special moment.