Silver is for Champions Silver is Representative of the Best in Many Sports
(Washington, D.C – June 14, 2012) – The thoughts of millions of ice hockey fans turned to silver this week – more specifically, to the nearly 35 pounds of silver in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup, the century-old championship symbol of professional hockey. The Los Angeles Kings ultimately lifted high the iconic trophy made of sterling silver.
According to Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute, the Stanley Cup is just one of many diverse sports trophies around the world which share a common theme. They are all made of silver.
“The fact is that silver has been the prize of champions since antiquity. There is evidence of silver trophies being awarded to triumphant athletes in Ancient Rome and Greece. But it became the trophy of choice in America in the 18th and 19th centuries to honor the outstanding performances in horse racing, boating and early auto racing,” he said.
Among the most famous examples is the ornate sterling silver America’s Cup, which for 125 years was proudly displayed at the New York Yacht Club, the home of the champions of the yachting world. Now under the stewardship of California’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, the America’s Cup will be awarded to the winner of the famed international yachting competition in San Francisco in July 2013.
“Also, next February, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the silver embodiment of American football greatness, will be given to the winner of the National Football League’s Super Bowl, the title now held by the New York Giants,” said DiRienzo, who added that the top prizes in tennis, in auto racing, in basketball, in English Football and in many other sports around the world are trophies made of sterling silver, emblematic of the best in the field.
There are other examples, including the Borg-Warner Trophy, given to the winner of the Indianapolis 500, and Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Trophy, awarded to baseball’s World Series champion, as well as the National Basketball Association’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, the symbol of basketball primacy. All are silver, representing the pinnacle of achievement.
Or, consider the awards given at the oldest tennis tournament in the world. The Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles competitors who outperform their opponents over the course of two weeks on the lawns of Wimbledon are awarded the first prize — an 18.5 inch engraved silver cup for the gentleman, and an 18.5 inch engraved silver tray, called the “Venus Rosewater Dish,” for the lady.
Not to be outdone, the winners of the French Open men’s and women’s singles tennis championships were, earlier this week, awarded the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen trophies respectively, both made of silver. Whether the tennis match is in Wimbledon or in Paris, these silver trophies are coveted by the world’s best tennis players.
Regardless of the sport, each of these silver trophies is highly prized and proudly displayed, their beauty the result of talented design and dedicated craftsmanship. The Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy, for example, is made of seven pounds of sterling silver, crafted over four months by Tiffany’s expert silversmiths.
Throughout the coming year a new crop of athletes will compete their way to the top and fulfill their dreams of raising high the trophies of champions, as did those who came before them. The reward for excelling – for being first – will be silver.
Established in 1971, the Silver Institute serves as the industry’s voice in increasing public understanding of the many uses and values of silver.