Did you know that the tradition of class rings has been around since the 1800s? These classic adornments are a way to commemorate your schooling and celebrate the completion of your educational journey. Some class rings bear the college’s insignia, and others include intricate custom engravements. Some contain stones, and others have more subtle touches. Use this guide to peruse the many popular styles of college class rings to choose one for yourself.
1. Birthstone Rings
Prominently feature your birthstone on the front and center of your ring. This style can help make the ring feel personal to your graduating class and you as an individual.
Your birthstone can be featured in the center of the ring as the focal point or adorn the ring as a more subtle homage.
Each month of the year has a unique birthstone, and college rings tend to feature these stones to personalize the ring. The stones for each month are:
- January’s stone is a beautiful garnet
- February is matched with amethyst
- March birthdays get aquamarine
- April is diamond or clear quartz
- May’s stone is an emerald
- June is pearl or alexandrite
- July birthdays are adorned with ruby
- August has the peridot stone
- September is sapphire
- October birthdays are tourmaline or opal
- November uses topaz or citrine
- December’s stone is turquoise
Select the birthstone that matches the birth month of you or your loved one, or dig even deeper to find the stone that fits your specific birth down to the day.
2. Popular Cuts
Gems and stones don’t just sit the same way in every ring. There are different cuts of these stones that look different and fit differently into class rings.
Below are some of the popular styles and cuts that many choose from for their class ring:
This popular cut is a combination of a round and square cut. This newer cut has taken the market by storm as a favorite for class rings.
The elegant oval cut pleasantly adorns any ring and can be customized as a large oval or small oval.
Do you want a prominent and breathtaking stone as the focal point of your ring? The oval cut is an ideal way to go, as it can make the gem seem more significant than it is.
This is perhaps one of the more traditional cuts on a college ring. The cushion cut is named aptly for its passing resemblance to the shape of a cushion. The rounded edges of the rectangular form make it a favorite among graduates.
This cut involves a gradient of cuts up to the center, like steps leading to the top of the stone.
The marquise shape is a thin, elongated oval with pointed ends. This elegant and classic cut is one of the more unique shapes, becoming a favorite for pendants and rings alike.
This standard cut is similar to the popular cushion cut—without the rounded edges. This pointed shape shows the gemstone off well and looks great on a simple band ring or even stackable rings.
Having your graduation ring engraved can be a great way to commemorate specific details like your name or the year you graduated.
You’ll have a few considerations to make if you decide to go with this idea, but it is worth it in the long run. You’ll feel its worth when you can run your finger over the personalized engravement and remember your accomplishments.
Image or Lettering
A skilled jeweler can engrave a number of things for a college ring. You need to consider all of your available options before settling on an idea.
Engrave an image, like a school signet, or lettering, like a name. Include the name of the mascot or numbering, like the date you graduated.
Font, Size, and Style
Do you want your lettering in all capitals or elegantly scripted in cursive? Would you prefer the year to be listed traditionally or in the popular roman numeral option?
Consider these things to make your engraving the most personal to your preferences.
College rings come in every variety and contain different groupings of essential information. Because rings are so small, they can’t include everything. You can’t get your whole diploma printed on the ring, but you can pick and choose the contents of what you hope to commemorate.
Decide between whether you want your first and last name or perhaps just initials anywhere on the ring.
Perhaps you’d like the year you graduated or the dates you started and finished.
Some people include their school’s name or initials or the mascot name and symbol.
Some engravings include a message to a loved one for whom the ring is a gift. Messages like “great job” or “I love you” can be powerfully delivered in the engraved font on a beautiful class ring.
There are many different places where text or engraving can appear on a ring.
Do you prefer to see it on the top and outside, or would you like it more subtly placed on the inside or the bottom? These are essential things to consider as you custom design your class ring.
4. Stackable Rings
Stackable rings are a great way to wear your graduation rings. They typically come in sets of three sleek rings meant to be stacked on the finger.
Stackable class rings can each bear different pieces of design, color, and information. For example, you could engrave one with a date, while another could feature a gemstone in the school’s official color. A third could twist elegantly to blend with the other two cohesively.
If you simply can’t decide on a type of ring or just one thing to engrave, stackable rings can be your answer.
5. Simple Band
A simple band can be a beautiful and elegant graduation ring. It doesn’t share the same bulky or heavy front as a traditional class ring, but it still carries the same prestige and elegance.
A simple band can come in silver, gold, or other materials. It wraps around the finger without anything emerging from the top or sides.
It can come with engraved lettering, dates, or jewels, but it will always be less bold than a traditional ring.
6. Traditional College Class Rings
These beautiful rings are a nod to years of tradition. They are made in both men’s and women’s varieties.
These typically include a large stone in the front and center, surrounded by lettering and engravings that indicate the school, the year of the graduating class, and more.
Many students drop out before they even reach college. A class ring can help you celebrate the long, arduous journey.
7. Rings With a Bridge
This unique styling places lettering delicately over top of a stone or jewel, taking prominence front and center.
You can have the year you graduated as a bridge across the central gemstone on your ring. You could also have your school’s initials, your own initials, and more.
This is a great way to add a birthstone or other gem without making it the focal point of the graduation ring.
8. School Logo Signet Ring
If gems aren’t your thing, get a flat ring with your school’s signet adorning the top. This can be a great way to stand out to other alumni and represent your alma mater.
These rings place an engraved and elegant school logo, whether the mascot, name, initials, or official symbol, front and center on the ring.
9. Elegant Twists
Rather than the chunky traditional ring, go for a slimmer band that wraps around your finger with an elegant twist.
These trim options are better for slimmer fingers or those who may wear other jewelry pieces. Rather than get overcrowded with clunky pieces, opt for a subtle petite ring that commemorates your graduation.
10. Popular Metals
Did you know that rings don’t just come in gold and silver? You can select gold, bronze, silver, and even stainless steel. On top of this, gold comes in many forms at many price points.
These popular ring metal varieties are the usual choices for class rings. Graduates can select the metal that works for their style and their budget.
11. Class Pendants
Did you know that you can enjoy the tradition of getting a class ring without even wearing a ring? If you aren’t the type to enjoy this type of jewelry, a pendant may be more fitting with your style.
Pendants contain the same engravements and adornments as class rings but sit on a necklace chain with a clasp rather than on a ring around your finger.
They can come in the same styles, as a traditional cushion cut with center stone or signet or a simple, classic oval cut. You can even find marquis shape class pendants on the market.
Try this option for a unique alternative to the usual variety of rings.
12. Class Ring Necklace
Pendants aren’t the only alternatives to the traditional college class ring. You can also wear your ring on a chain around your neck. If you decide you want the option of wearing your ring on your finger or as a necklace, simply order a ring and use this method.
Just slip the ring around a chain and clasp it behind your neck for this alternative way to style your class ring.
Things To Consider
Remember to get sized early for your ring to ensure a good fit well. You don’t want it to slip off your finger or get stuck. The quickest way to ruin an incredible gift of a class ring is by getting one that doesn’t fit.
You’ll also want to consider durability and longevity as you pick out your ring. While some features may be more expensive, they could lead to a longer lifespan for your graduation ring.
If you get your ring before graduating, the insignia should face your body until after graduation. At this point, the graduate can flip their ring around to face outward, as per tradition.
The History of the Class Ring
The first instance of the class ring was in 1835, but the popularity of this tradition still rings true today.
The tradition began at West Point Military Academy but gradually disseminated to other university campuses and became a more widespread tradition among general college graduates.
The college class ring became a way to symbolize your matriculation and to commemorate the hard work and time spent at school. While you can’t wear your diploma, you can wear a form of it with a class ring.
Scientifically, something as simple as your outfit can make you look more or less professional on a first impression. In the same way, a college ring can say to people that you take your education and career seriously.
Find Your Style in College Class Rings
Did you know that more than half of the college student population doesn’t graduate on time? That makes graduation something truly special, and it should be celebrated and commemorated. So get a class ring today to celebrate the end of your schooling and the beginning of the next chapter of your life.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all college class rings. You can choose from endless styles, designs, cuts, metals, and sizes to find the best stylistic fit for you. Select from men’s and women’s varieties, check out traditional rings, or go for a modern twist on a classic.
Invest in a diploma you can wear by visiting our site to customize your very own class ring today.