When athletes must part with the prize

A diamond-studded Angels championship ring

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Thought it was a tough time for people who lost jobs or their retirement plans? Professional athletes are taking a hit, too. And some are selling their prized possessions. Here's Marketplace's Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: ChampionshipRings.net is kind of a high-end pawn shop for down-and-out sports stars. The site sells their jewel-studded finger candy to wealthy collectors.

Tim Robins owns ChampionshipRings.net. He says the identities of the athletes are revealed to buyers, but no one else.

Tim Robins: The ring could be purchased for between $25,000 and even over $50,000. And that kind of money can help them definitely be able to save their house, or help them get through this financial crisis.

Robins says he'll sell 1,200 rings this year. That's 50 percent more than last year.

Robins: We get calls everyday from so many different players that are needing to sell their rings. And every one of them is different, they're all heartbreaking, why they have to get rid of them.

Robins' most expensive sale was a 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl ring.

Robins: The ring is just bling bling -- diamonds and enameling and 14-carat yellow gold. It's monstrous.

It sold for $70,000.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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