Americans go crazy for their classes! 76.8 million Americans were enrolled in school in 2018. They take a wide range of courses and extracurricular programs, and each student has their own set of experiences.
But when it comes time to graduate, there is one great way to celebrate all students: handing out class rings. However, you can’t just order some rings and expect your graduating class to love them. You need to think about some ways to develop fun rings that people want to wear.
How can you allow students to personalize their rings? What design features should your rings have? How can you encourage students to wear their rings over time?
Answer these questions and you can make the perfect rings in no time. Here are 12 tips you should know about.
1. Allow for Customization
You can send out the same ring to everyone, regardless of who they are. However, custom class rings can make the rings more special and encourage people to wear them more often.
There are a few ways you can allow people to customize rings. You can connect people to your ring manufacturer and have them place orders with the manufacturer. You can also make a design for your class and allow people to choose between that design and their own designs.
Within your design, you can allow for customization through personalized messages. A person can write their name on their ring, or they can attach a senior quote or another phrase. Keep in mind that the ring will be small, so they may only have ten or so characters.
2. Gather Ideas From Your Class
Many high schools or colleges have class ring committees. This allows a group of people to bounce ideas off of each other and raise money for class rings.
If your class doesn’t have a committee, you should form one. You can have the class president or members of the student government in it. You should represent many backgrounds, including several majors if you are making college class rings.
Do not limit yourself to the members of your committee. You should conduct surveys and gather ideas from your peers and faculty members. You can send out Google surveys, or you can conduct focus groups testing out different designs.
3. Reflect on Your School Experience
Your class ring should reflect your experience in school in some way. If your school building has a particular color or texture, you can put that color or texture in your ring. If something happened at your school that you want students to remember, you can put a motif on your ring that alludes to it.
You should keep in mind that everyone experiences school differently. Some people may have had a better time than other people. You should keep any reference to school events small and allow people to remove those motifs if they don’t want to be reminded of the events.
If you’re stuck for ideas, you can put in a picture of your school. You can also put an image of your school logo or flower. Flowers tend to look very good on rings, and they can add a splash of color and texture.
4. Distinguish Class Rings From Other Types of Rings
As students get older, they are going to acquire additional rings. If they get married, they are going to have an engagement ring and a wedding band. They may have anniversary bands or friendship rings as well.
Your class ring should stand out from these rings in some way. Engagement rings can be very simple bands, or they can be elaborate jewelry with diamonds in them. You should look at a few different popular engagement ring designs and do something different with your design.
Wedding rings traditionally have diamonds, so you should avoid putting diamonds on your class rings. You may want to put a gemstone or a piece of glass in your ring instead.
An easy way to distinguish your ring is to make it into a square or rectangle. You can have a circle cut out of the center of the ring so your recipient can slide their finger into it.
Many people wear their wedding ring on their left hand. You can make a right-handed class ring so people can wear their wedding and class rings at the same time. Make sure the ring doesn’t limit how people write or eat with their right hand.
5. Distinguish Your Class From Other Classes
Your design can share elements with the designs from previous years. But there should be something in your ring that speaks to your specific class.
Take a look at the different rings from other classes. You can talk to the alumni network at your school and develop a portfolio of previous designs.
At a minimum, you can put your class number on the ring. You can choose to write “2022” or “22,” if you need to conserve space.
You can also vote on a class flower, color, or visual motif. You can then put that motif on your ring.
If you want a bold design, you can look at complementary colors and create an interesting color clash. You can put a green gemstone on a red bezel.
6. Look at Some Gemstones
Gemstones are the most common decorations in rings. You have many different choices for stones, so you should spend some time considering your options.
Amethyst is a purple stone that is very durable. You can put it in a ring of any size and shape, and you can find several kinds of amethyst. If you want a very dark purple stone, you should select one with iron in it.
Citrine is an orange stone that is also versatile and affordable. You can find citrine stones that are pale yellow and amber as well.
If you have a higher budget for your rings, you can put in emerald gems. However, emeralds can be very brittle, so you should protect the gems in some way. You can put them inside a glass coating or case so your students can wear them for daily use.
7. Write a Few Words
A ring can accommodate a few words on it. Many class rings have the motto for their school or class, namely in Latin. Latin phrases can add a traditional aesthetic and an air of exclusivity, as only the members of the class may know what the phrase means.
You can write the words on any part of the ring. Many rings have the name of the school around the gemstone, but you can put words on the hoop or shoulder.
8. Try Environmentally Friendly Materials
The effects of gold mining on the environment can be substantial. Mining an ounce of gold can create 20 tons of solid waste and damage soil and plant life. Many miners dredge rivers, which bring toxins out of the earth and pollute the water.
You should opt for environmentally friendly materials and processes for making rings. Instead of putting gold in your ring, you can select silver or another precious metal.
You can buy rings made from recycled materials, including previous gold rings. Some companies buy fair trade materials, which are regulated by organizations that impose environmental standards.
If you really want to have diamonds on your rings, you should buy lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds don’t come from mines that damage soil and consume electricity. They also tend to be cheaper than authentic diamonds.
You can order wooden or plastic rings, but they can be expensive and they can have their own environmental impacts. You should only order a small amount and give them to people in a certain group, such as your student government.
9. Design an Affordable Class Ring
Selecting affordable gemstones is one way you can bring the cost of your rings down. You should select an alloy metal instead of a pure one for your hoop. Though alloys are not as durable, they can cost $300 compared to more than $600 for pure silver.
You can add a finish to your ring that makes your gemstone sparkle. But this finish can cost extra money, so you should skip it if you want to reduce your expenses.
You may be able to strike a deal with your ring retailer if you buy enough rings. Talk to them and see what packages they offer so you can keep your expenses down. If you need to buy extra rings, you can give them to faculty members or the significant others of students.
10. Consider Ring Etiquette and Fashion Choices
Ring etiquette is more complicated than you think. You can wear a class ring on any finger or on either hand. But people traditionally put romantic rings on the ring finger, so you should try putting a class ring on a different finger.
Thumb rings are a traditional sign of wealth and power. You can design your class ring to be worn on the thumb, especially if you attach an expensive gemstone to it.
Some people like to match the metals in their rings in order to make their sense of fashion seem coordinated. Other people like to make clashes to call attention to their rings. You can use whatever metal you want in your class ring, but you may want to have options for metals so people can find the right rings for their wardrobes.
Many people like simple rings that complement their other accessories. They can wear bands with casual and formal outfits, and they can match them to necklaces and watches. You can consider a simple design for this purpose.
You can find some unique ways to wear rings. You can turn a ring into a necklace, especially if your ring is too big or small to fit on your finger. You can also turn it into a hair ornament or hang it off a tie.
11. Update Your Rings
You can have anniversary rings for your class in addition to graduation rings. This is a good idea if you have a strong alumni network and friend groups.
You can update your design by putting in anniversary stones. For the tenth anniversary of your graduation, you can send out blue sapphire rings. For the 20th anniversary, you can send out emerald rings.
You can adjust the words on your rings to reflect the passage of time. “Forever Young” is a simple slogan to put on the ring, as is “Tempus Fugit.”
You should try to reconvene your ring committee so you can develop a good design. If the old members of your committee are not interested, you can get new members from your class or from students at the school. Getting current students on your committee is a great way to build connections among classes.
12. Connect With Alumni About Rings
As people get older, the contours of their fingers change. It may be harder for them to fit the class rings on their fingers, and they may need to resize the rings. In your alumni newsletter, you should give the contact information for your jeweler so someone can schedule a resizing.
Give advice in your newsletters that helps students wear their rings. You can attach a guide on how someone can temporarily resize their ring so it doesn’t fall off their finger. You should also let them know about ring repairs and warranties so they can make fixes when they need to.
Design the Perfect Class Rings
Class rings are trickier than they may seem. You should have distinct design features in your ring, whether you include a special gemstone or an interesting slogan. Yet there should be room for the recipient to personalize their ring.
You can take influence from previous classes, but your ring must be distinct in some way. You also must create a ring that people can wear with different outfits. Use complementary colors and environmentally friendly materials to do this.
Don’t design a ring on your own. classrings.com lets you design beautiful and affordable class rings. Browse our collections today.