By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) – The story of a Super Bowl ring found after being lost in Waikiki 40 years ago has an Ewa Beach couple hoping their Super Bowl ring may also make a miraculous comeback.
Guy Benjamin won two rings with the San Francisco 49ers, the first in 1981.
"The ring is one thing that you can keep," Benjamin told Hawaii News Now. "You can't keep the Super Bowl trophy. The memories fade. And it's really important to everybody who participated there to have one (a ring). It's a memento you can keep," Benjamin explained.
But in 2000 Benjamin's ring was lost.
"I lent it to my brother and he went into a restaurant / bar and left it in his bag on a table and someone swiped his bag. And I haven't seen the ring since then," said Benjamin's wife Malia Chanel-Benjamin.
A couple weeks ago Hawaii News Now broke the story about John Schmitt's ring being found. Schmitt was the starting center for the New York Jets when they beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in January, 1969. Two years later, in February, 1971, Schmitt took his first surfing lesson in the waves off Waikiki. The ring fell off his finger and into the ocean.
Schmitt thought his ring was lost forever. But a Waikiki lifeguard, John Ernstberg, found the ring. He gave it to his wife, Mary Ernstberg. When they passed away their belongings were inherited by their great niece Cindy Saffery and her husband Samuel. They recently tracked down Schmitt and are working with the Jets on an appropriate way to return the ring, perhaps during halftime of an upcoming game at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
"We plan to return it to the owner because it's the rightful thing to do," Cindy Saffery said.
"That was unbelievable. I didn't believe it when Guy mentioned, 'Somebody found a 40 year old Super Bowl lost ring. I wish they would find mine," said Chanel-Benjamin.
The Benjamins are offering a $1,000 reward, no questions asked, to the person who returns Benjamin's 1981 Super Bowl ring. It should be easy to identify because his name, "Benjamin," is engraved on the side of the ring.
The ring is decorated with several small diamonds and what appears to be a big diamond set as the center stone. But that center stone is not really a diamond, and therefore the ring is not as valuable as it appears.
Benjamin had the large diamond in the middle of his 1981 Super Bowl ring removed and re-set in his wife Malia's engagement ring. They replaced the center stone in the Super Bowl ring with cubic zirconia.
If the person who has their ring is made aware it is not as valuable as it appears, that person may be more likely to return it for the reward, no questions asked.
The Benjamins hope someone with information about the ring will contact Hawaii News Now (808-847-1112) or the San Francisco 49er organization.
"It would be great, especially for my grandson Iziah to have that," Benjamin said.
"I think it would restore his faith in his wife (laughs) and hopefully I can give it to my grandson," Chanel-Benjamin added.