Feb. 3 (UPI) -- You can only laugh about losing a Super Bowl ring if you have more than one.
Still, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft doesn't chuckle too much when discussing how he parted with his third jeweled treasure. Kraft was visiting Russia, after the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. He was visiting with President Vladimir Putin along with his friend, former Citigroup chief executive Sanford Weill. During the visit, Putin tried on Kraft's ring and never gave it back.
"Anyone that has the privilege of having one, understands why the ring is the thing," Kraft told NFL.com. "I keep them in a drawer where I have my cufflinks. They're all in a drawer except for my third one. The original is in Russia with the president of the country. I happened to be there on a business mission with my friend, Sandy Weill. We had just given out our rings. I showed Sandy my ring, and he said, 'why don't you show it to the president?' I showed it to him and he put it on. He sort of enjoyed it so he kept it on."
While Kraft knew what actually happened, he was told to say that the ring was a gift to Putin. Kraft relayed the story at the Carnegie Hall's Medal of Excellence gala in 2013 at the Waldorf-Astoria.
"I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, 'I can kill someone with this ring,'" Kraft said, via the New York Post. "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out."
He then received a call from the White House.
"It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present," Kraft said he was told. "I really didn't [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don't want to see it on eBay. There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, 'It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.'"
Kraft later released a statement about "giving" the ring to the president.
"At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people," Kraft wrote in the statement, via MMQB. "... I have ancestors from Russia, so it added significance for me to know that something so cherished would reside at the Kremlin along with other special gifts given to Russian presidents."
The Post reported that the ring is being held in the Kremlin Library.
The ring is valued at about $25,000. It includes 124 diamonds. Kraft also won Super Bowl rings in 2002, 2004, and 2014.