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Customs Nabs $680K in Counterfeit NHL, NFL, and MLB Championship Rings

U.S. Customs has reported the seizure of some $680,000 in counterfeit championship rings representing most of the major North American sports leagues.

The load of fake rings were discovered by customs in the Detroit DHL consignment facility in a package originating from China, authorities say.

According to a government press release, the seizure contained “136 counterfeit championship rings from the National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. In all, the counterfeit rings displayed the names and logos of several teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, and New York Jets. The shipment also included rings for the Chicago Black Hawks and the Boston Red Sox.”

“CBP continues to devote its efforts and resources to target, intercept and seize shipments of commodities that violate trade laws,” Acting Port Director for Detroit Metropolitan Airport Gary Calhoun said in the statement. “Through tireless efforts, CBP officers and import specialists conduct these operations to stop shipments containing counterfeit and pirated items.”

Indeed such rings could bring high prices as sports collectors seek to gain ownership of a small token representing the pinnacle in sports achievement.

The owners of the shop featured in the well-known TV reality show “Pawn Stars,” for instance, boast a small collection of genuine championship rings and by some estimates the average ring is worth between $10,000 and $40,000 each, depending on who originally owned it and what game it was issued for.

But other such rings have gone higher than the $100K mark, according to ESPN.

The fact is the rings confiscated by U.S. Customs could have been used to rip-off collectors and zealous fans to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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