'A masterpiece': Tecumseh, Ont. company created Raptors championship ring
The Raptors ring sets a number of championship ring records
A Windsor-area company played a part in helping the Raptors celebrate last season's success.
Baron Championship Rings, located in Tecumseh, Ont., created Canada's first NBA championship ring with a piece featuring 74 diamonds on its face — representing the number of wins in the 2018-19 season.
According to Peter Kanis, president of Baron, the ring's design was inspired by Toronto Raptors point guard and five-time NBA all-star Kyle Lowry.
"He wanted a ring that wasn't traditional," said Kanis, adding that championship rings typically features a team's logo on the top, while so-called "story elements" are typically featured on the ring's side.
"Important to him was highlighting Toronto, highlighting the country and highlighting the players," Kanis said. "And he wanted that on the top, which … [we've] never seen on a championship ring."
While Kanis's team had to find a way of fulfilling Lowry's vision, they also had to make sure the ring's design wasn't overwhelming.
"At the end of the day, we feel we came up with a masterpiece here," Kanis said.
Gooooooooood morning, T.O. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeTheNorth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeTheNorth</a> <a href="https://t.co/AUrxJQFiHq">pic.twitter.com/AUrxJQFiHq</a>—@Raptors
According to Kanis, Lowry was quite impressed when he first saw the completed ring.
Fans have also responded quite positively, praising the ring's design on social media.
"Fans have been talking about it all-night, all-day," Kanis said. "At the end of the day, we were pretty excited about it, so we're glad we get to share this amazing ring with the rest of Canada."
More than 900 versions of the ring were made, with 17 rings specifically made for the Raptors players who led the team to the franchise's first NBA Championship victory. Most of those rings went to people affiliated with the team, including the ownership group, board of directors and staff.
Beyond its unique design, the ring also set a number of championship ring records:
- The most diamonds of any championship ring with more than 640 diamonds in total.
- The most diamond total carat weight with more than 14 total carat weight.
- The largest single diamond in any championship ring with a 1.25 carat diamond.
According to Kanis, it took approximately one-and-a-half days setting all of the stones in a single ring.
Kanis added that the Raptors ring is the "most expensive championship ring ever made."
The Tecumseh-based company has made rings for the 2015 Grey Cup, world-level esports championships number of lower-rung sports championships.
All the gold and diamonds used to created the rings were sourced in Canada.
Rings for Raptors fans are available on the Baron website.
Listen to Peter Kanis's interview with Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre:
With files from Afternoon Drive