How Much Is The Pope's Ring Worth?

According to All Things Finance, the Vatican has an estimated net worth between 10 and 15 billion dollars. Estimates of Pope Francis' personal wealth vary wildly, from the high-six figures to trillions in whatever currency our lizardman overlords are utilizing these days. Shocking though it may be, the Catholic church is, as Daffy Duck put it, socially secure. They're loaded. They've got enough duckets to hog the jukebox all night long.

But what if it all went away? What if one day, Catholics woke up to the terrifying realization that they had been Office Spaced? What if the coffers were bare, and the gilded halls stripped of their precious metals?

What we're really asking here is, what could the Pope get for his ring if he wound up needing to pawn it?

"The Pope." That has a nice ring to it

The Pope's ring, AKA the Piscatory Ring or "The Ring of the Fisherman," is a traditional accessory to the Pope's regalia with a history spanning back to at least the 13th century. In the 1400s, it was used to seal papal briefs with wax, then to stamp them starting in the 1800s. Traditionally, a pope will receive a new ring during their coronation or inauguration, presumably for the same reason that there's always a weird new lightsaber in every Star Wars: kids love the fresh merchandise.

The Ring of the Fisherman has always been a bespoke piece of ornamentation, but unfortunately for Antiques Roadshow segment producers hoping to pick up numbers with after-church audiences, its monetary value would be pretty difficult to gauge. They're not generally available in the gift shop after tours, and the rings of deceased or retired popes have historically been destroyed or defaced after their departures, largely to prevent any last-minute forged papal declarations like "everybody be nicer to Cardinal Dave" or "it's okay to wear jeans to work on Friday, Ego N. Catholicae Ecclesiae Episcopus."

That said, in 2013, CBS reported that Pope Benedict's ring was the result of over 200 concept sketches, with eight experts working fifteen hours a day for two weeks to create it. The end result was made of 35 grams of pure gold, which means that, worst case scenario, he could have nabbed around $1,500 for it at a Cash For Gold spot in a pinch.