SeaWolves Receive Championship Rings Ahead of MLR Season 2 Curtain-Raiser
February 1, 2019 - Major League Rugby (MLR) News Release
Salt Lake City, UT: Minutes before their 2019 season opener at a sold-out Starfire Stadium in Seattle, the Seattle Seawolves stood shoulder-to-shoulder to receive their 2018 Championship Rings, created by MLR jewelry supplier The Gem Garden in San Marcos, California.
Last July, the Seawolves defeated the Glendale Raptors 23-19 in the first ever MLR Championship match. In front of the exuberant home fans on Sunday night, Seawolves players, coaches and staff had one final opportunity to bask in the glory of their historic 2018 Major League Rugby Championship win before their Season 2 kick-off - a rematch with last year's runners-up, the Raptors. The Championship Ring ceremony took place on the field immediately before kick-off.
Each stunning ring was personally hand-crafted by Grace Hays, a Graduate Jeweler Gemologist for 26 years. In total, Hays created 75 rings and 10 pendants, both featuring 40 diamonds in total. Each item is personalized to the recipient, with their initials engraved on the side along with the Seawolves logo, surrounded by a prong set of 30 diamonds. The opposite side of the ring features the Major League Rugby logo.
The appraised value of the championship ring is approximately $4,600. All diamonds are certified to the highest cut grade, Excellent, are of VS1 clarity and color G or better, and weigh an average of 0.82 carats. The diamonds are precision-cut in the hearts and arrows pattern and set into rhodium-plated sterling silver.
Photo Credit: Gregory Hays.
"The Gem Garden is proud and honored to help Major League Rugby and the Seattle Seawolves mark this historic inaugural championship," Hays said. "As a woman-owned and operated business, it has been empowering for us to take on this prestigious project for a progressive organization like Major League Rugby."
"This was a special night for everyone involved in Major League Rugby and the Seattle Seawolves," said MLR Deputy Commissioner Nic Benson. "It was very fitting to have the occasion commemorated by these unique Championship Rings. It's not something you typically see in rugby, but MLR is all about giving this global game an authentic North American flavor. You can see how much that winner's ring means to all the players, coaches, staff and fans that came out to Starfire Stadium."
On the night, the Seattle Seawolves got their title defense off to a winning start, running out 20-18 victors over the Glendale Raptors after home wing Brock Staller kicked the go-ahead penalty with five minutes to play.
To view more of The Gem Garden's work, visit https://www.shopthegemgarden.com/, or visit them on social at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Photos from Seattle's ring ceremony can be found here.
MLR is a professional rugby league launched in April of 2018. It's an initiative of the North American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that North American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of North American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for North American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.
The teams competing in MLR Season 2 are Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Utah Warriors plus new additions Rugby United New York and Toronto Arrows. Agreements are already in place to add at least a further four teams from major North American markets for Season 3.
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