Astros rings compared: What you get at game vs. online

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Every Astros fan going to the game Wednesday will get a replica world champions fan ring at the gate. The game has been sold out for weeks. 

But maybe you've seen the ads online. You can buy your own fan ring. We wanted to know how those rings stack up against the replica ring from the Astros. 

"You can't even believe that this has happened, you know," Astros fan Janet Ortiz, said about the Astros making history by winning the World Series last year. 

"We were crying. We were screaming," said her sister Belinda. "And they were like, 'We gotta get out 'cause we got to go to Academy and get our shirts.'" 

The Ortiz sisters are lifelong, die-hard Astros fans. So when the Astros announced the first 10,000 fans in the gate at an early April game would get replica world champions fan rings, you better believe they braved the crowds.

"I think the doors didn't open until 4," Belinda recalled. Janet was in line with her two children by noon.

Their patience paid off. They didn't just get one. They got 4 rings, one for each family member with a ticket. 

"This ring is special. I'm gonna keep it forever," Janet said. 

Just as soon as the giveaway was over, we noticed World Series fan rings popping up all over the internet. From $3.25 on Alibaba to $50 on Facebook. We clicked "order now" from five different sellers to see how our rings compared to the replica rings given away by the Houston Astros. 

"Do you think any of these look as good as your ring?" Davis asked the Ortiz family. "No, No," they shook their heads in unison.  

Side by side, every ring we purchased looked a little different; but the Ortiz family thought two of the five looked better than the others. 

"Honestly, I'd probably tell you that there's probably no difference at all," said Steven Silver of Jewelry Appraisal Services.

We asked Silver to check out the replica from the Astros along with the best-looking ring we purchased online. While he said both have very little value because they're made out of cheap metal, he believes the ring the Oritz sisters got at the game, was made with more care. 

"If you look at the sides of the ring, the engraving is a little better quality," Silver said. 

All of the rings, including the Astros replica, were made in China. If you are looking to buy the best one online, don't let the price sway you. The ring we purchased on Facebook for $50 after shipping looks almost identical to one that cost us $7 on Alibaba. Silver said the only real value of the Astros rings is sentimental value. 

Here are all of the rings we purchased online with the prices and where we bought them:

Alibaba- $4.39

This ring cost us $6.99 on Alibaba. The seller said it would come in a wooden display box, but it was in shrink wrap.

We paid $8.45 for another ring on Alibaba.

This ring cost us $13.39 on Alibaba.

The wooden box this ring came in was a nice touch, but it didn't explain the higher cost. We paid $50 for this ring from Facebook -- $29.99 for the ring and $20 shipping.

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