Lot # 945: 1978 MUHAMMAD ALI "THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION" 10K GOLD RING (11/12) - RARE SAPPHIRE STONE VERSION (EXCELLENT PROVENANCE)

Category: Featured Items

Starting Bid: $3,000.00

Bids: 15

Time Left: Auction closed
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Item was in Auction "Winter Premier Auction 2017",
which ran from 1/4/2017 1:00 PM to
1/21/2017 8:00 PM



In 1964, Cassius Clay entered the ring to face Sonny Liston, a menacing bruiser and heavy favorite to defend his heavyweight crown. But it was the young challenger—four years removed from his gold medal in Rome—who shocked the world to win his first heavyweight title. Then came the undefeated and overpowering George Foreman in the famous "Rumble in the Jungle” ten years later. Seemingly overmatched, Muhammad Ali did it again, elevating his legend to new heights. Finally, on September 15, 1978, with his best rounds clearly behind him, Ali defeated Leon Spinks in a rematch from his 15-round loss seven months earlier to win the world heavyweight championship an unprecedented third time. Commissioned by Ali and designed by Jostens, this special 10-karat gold ring commemorates Ali’s third trip to the mountain top.

The more common version of this ring was made with 10K gold, a red stone on the face and faux diamonds. Ali was known to give these to members of his family or his extensive boxing team of trainers, cornermen and managers. Around 30 of the red versions are known to exist and several have been sold before at auction, each for $10,000 plus. This particularly version, made with a sapphire stone and real diamonds, is much rarer. It is stamped inside the band “10K Jostens” and “11 of 12” indicating it is one of just 12 made. The regal design is the same as the red version. The face has a crown on top set backed by a blue stone with three cut diamonds representing Ali’s trifecta of heavyweight title reigns over a 14-year span. "M.Ali - World Champion Three Times" surrounds the perimeter of the face. The left shank, in Ali's celebrated hyperbole, announces "The Greatest Heavyweight World Champion." The right shank has "Muhammad Ali” and “64, '74, '78” with a boxing glove in the middle inscribed by his three opponents, “S.Liston - G.Foreman - L.Spinks.” Comes in size 13 1/2 and weighs 46 grams. Ali originally gave this ring to a business associate at a Miami charity event in 1991 (photo included) where he was an honorary guest. It was later passed down to that man’s disabled son (pictured). The proceeds will go to a worthy cause as the late boxing legend would surely have wanted.