Did you know that the tradition of having a class ring is nearly 200 years old? The first class rings came into popularity in 1835. The United States Academy at West Point was the first school to introduce the graduation ring.
Now, many schools offer their own unique class ring for graduating students. While most don’t realize the significance, buying a graduation ring is not just something you do for yourself.
In this article, we’ll explore the Top 10 reasons why you should invest in your own class ring. We will also discuss the nuance of owning and wearing your class ring.
Not only is this a rich tradition for graduates, but something your family can have for generations to come. The significance of the class ring is often a rich source of familial lineage. Let’s begin!
The History of the Graduation Ring
Nearly 200 years ago, West Point instituted the class ring for graduates. The purpose of the ring was to display unity amongst graduating groups.
In 1835, someone had the idea that each graduate have their own design. The rings were often similar in style and design. Each graduate had their own influence on their personal design.
Small details in the ring allowed each graduate to differentiate while maintaining the overall unity with peers. At first, the style and design on the rings were uniform.
Now, class rings can be designed with complete customization. The school name and emblem are usually included in all designs. Similarly, the color of the stone is usually the same as each school’s colors.
Many students add their names to the ring. A variety of metals are also available for every design. Class ring buying has also evolved to include high school graduates.
10 Things To Know About Buying Your Class Ring
Each of the items in this list will educate you on the reasons to have a class ring, but also teach you about how and why to wear the ring.
Your class ring, while keeping you connected to your peers through a bond of unity, also shows your achievement. Being part of the graduate community is inspiring. Whenever you put the ring on your finger, you can be reminded of how far you’ve come.
1. How to Wear a Class Ring
After researching the traditions of your school and designing the best ring, it’s important to know how to wear your class ring. Each school has its own rules, but there are some that are relevant to every institution.
Many people ask what finger does a class ring go on? The answer is simple.
Typically, the class ring is worn on the wedding finger. Also known as the ring finger, class rings are seen as second only to wedding bands.
You always need the insignia on the ring facing you. This way, you’re reminded of your achievements every time you look at your hand.
2. What Hand Do You Wear Your Class Ring On?
Your right hand is where you should wear your class ring. However, there are times when this might change.
Some students choose to give their class ring to a loved one prior to a formal engagement ring. When your beloved gives you their class ring, it’s almost seen as a pre-engagement.
Men’s fingers are usually a lot larger than women’s. Instead of getting the ring re-sized to fit your partner, women will wear the ring on a necklace.
3. What are the Differences Between a Junior Ring and College Class Ring Etiquette?
Pretty much all types of class rings stem from the same tradition. The symbols of the class ring are the same regardless of how and where you graduated.
Many high schools offer class rings and are an essential part of the graduation process. This meaningful transition from high school to the real world is as important as college graduation.
However, there are other rings that are important throughout the high school and college process. For example, the junior ring marks the transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen.
Schools like John Carroll offer a junior ring ceremony. Like this one school, many others see the junior ring ceremony as a moment of personal legacy.
The junior ring ceremony usually accompanies other events. There is the ceremony where the rings are presented to students. This is followed by a mass or religious service in religious schools.
From there, there is a grand meal. Sometimes this is a breakfast, where classmen and their families feast together.
After this, most schools will offer a formal like a dance. At the dance, the rings are turned several times in order to continue with tradition.
Junior rings are more closely aligned with your school’s religious tradition. College rings are associated with graduation from a particular course and institution.
4. Are Class Rings Worth It?
Even if you are not a sentimental or traditional person, a class ring is more than just a piece of statement art. Class rings are a valuable moment in history, and tend to increase in price the longer you have them.
Families see class rings as heirlooms. Some class rings have been kept in the same lineage for more than 100 years.
As class rings are slowly lost art form for many young people, those of you lucky enough to invest now will see your purchase become a rare piece of American history.
In this way, the worth of class rings is four-fold. The first instance is the commemoration of personal achievement. You completed a huge educational undertaking, and the ring signifies this as much as your diploma.
In the second, class rings are a source of familial achievement. Some graduates wear their own and their ancestor’s rings if they attend the same college.
The third is the heirloom. Families will use the class rings of their ancestors as a piece of personal heritage, and there is absolutely no value that can be placed on this tradition.
In the fourth instance, class rings can help set you aside in the real world. Wearing a class ring to a formal engagement is an incredible conversation starter. You never know what opportunity and relationships may grow from this one piece of jewelry, so make sure to purchase one as a keepsake for decades to come.
5. When Do You Get a Class Ring in College?
Depending on your school, there are different traditions for class rings. Schools like NC State award class rings to graduating students and alumni with more than 60 credit hours.
Other schools have stricter rules for having a class ring. You usually have to be a full-time student in order to be eligible.
Your grade-point average (GPA) is also important. Most institutions won’t allow students with lower than a 3.0 GPA to have a class ring.
Being in good standing with your school is another key factor. The Dean of Students will have a say in many cases.
If your school demands you apply for your class ring, you’ll need to research the specifics on your school website.
Should your institution have no specific rules, we recommend ordering your school ring from us with more than enough time prior to graduation. You’ll want to be wearing your class ring in your graduation photographs.
Therefore, research is key. Knowing your ring size, graduation date, and costs associated are the best places to start.
6. Where to Wear a Class Ring
Wearing your class ring on your right ring finger is the only part of graduation ring tradition that is explicitly stated. However, there are other nuances to wearing your class ring in public.
Some people choose to wear their class ring every day. Others only wear the ring on special occasions.
Wearing your class ring really depends on your tradition. Many people only wear rings on special occasions like weddings, reunions, funerals, or future graduation ceremonies.
If you were given a class ring from a partner, we suggest wearing it every day. Choosing a chain to accompany your class ring is key. Something slight, sturdy, and in the same metal as the ring is the best choice.
Ultimately, the decision on wearing your class ring is yours. We highly recommend sporting the ring as often as possible. It’s a reminder of how far you’ve come, and you should always celebrate your achievements
7. When Should I Order My Class Ring?
We recommend ordering your class ring when you know you’re going to be graduating or moving up in your academics. If you’re in High School, you should be starting your final semester.
The spring semester is when most students choose to make their purchases. Ordering the ring is not a one-stop process. As we said, you have to know your exact ring size.
Some schools will try and push you to order your ring from their partner companies. These are typically more expensive and mass-produced.
You can use your school’s preferred ring manufacturer to your advantage. Representatives will be available on campus to size your fingers, provide dimensions, and even develop the overall aesthetic.
Once you have this information, you can come back to us and we’ll be sure to match the design. So long as you order in enough time, you will have your ring well before graduation.
8. Wearing Your Class Ring After High School
College is not for everyone. Most students either drop out or want to leave as soon as their classes are done. A lot of people are also hired during the college process, and quit their classes before formal graduation.
Therefore, a high school ring is one source of tradition that every American can be a part of. High school usually offers as much training for the real world as college.
Having a class ring from high school is a loyal commitment to your home. Men and women who choose to join the military post-high school should invest in a high school ring.
Most servicemen and women do not take their class ring with them on deployment. Instead, they leave the ring with their parents or their loved ones.
This is something you do for your family, not for you. It’s something of you that they get to keep with you when you’re sent abroad to protect this great nation.
9. Class Ring Symbol Meaning
Military schools are often the source of the greatest meaning in class rings. Schools like PMC have highly detailed symbols on their rings. Along with the school name, year of graduation, and stone, there are other details you can include.
Some class rings will have the school emblem on the body. This might be an animal, like an eagle or a lion. Depending on your school’s specific tradition, the symbols will have different meanings.
Including as much detail as possible from your institution is key. For example, depending on your school colors, the stone should reflect the exact hue.
Checking these details is one of the first places to start when buying a graduation ring. Create an account to buy your class ring today.
10. A Class Ring is Not Just For You
As we discussed, the class ring is not just something for you. Your class ring is for your family, your peers, and your future.
Your life is divided into multiple tribes. The class ring is a determiner of your graduating tribe. You and your peers will wear your rings for the rest of your lives at every opportunity you get together.
Your familial tribe finds pride in your class ring. You are representing them and their support of you as you made your way through your academic career.
Your children will be inspired by your class ring. They may even have one of their own in the future. You can share and compare designs for generations to come.
You Will Never Regret Your Graduation Ring
When you’re old and gray, you will still look at and wear your graduation ring. You can never have your academic career taken away from you. Wearing it on your finger is a constant reminder of how far you’ve come.
For the perfect graduation ring, be sure to shop for one from a trusted retailer.
ClassRings.com has a graduation ring that you’ll cherish for years to come! You can also check out our blog for more great information about class rings.