Picture it: you’re scrounging around for coins in between the cushions in the student lounge when you look up. Posted on the wall is a poster that you haven’t seen before. A class ring representative is coming to your school in just a few days, and despite your campus job, you’re beyond broke.
A College class ring (or even a high school class ring) does not have a reputation for being an inexpensive trifle that you buy with a quarter at the supermarket. Are cheap class rings a thing? Do you need to sell your plasma to participate in your junior ring ceremony, or is there a way to make this work?
If you’re a savvy shopper, there are ways to decrease the price of your class ring and still end up with an attractive piece of jewelry. Nobody wants to miss out on school traditions because of cash. Choosing class ring designs with thriftiness in mind is one way to stretch your dollar and put something gorgeous on that college ring finger!
Are you wondering how to design a cheap class ring that still looks expensive? Read on to learn eight class ring customization tips that can help you save money. You might even have enough money left over to order pizza after the ceremony!
1. Trade-in Your High School Ring
If you’re in college, you may be scrounging up cash for a class ring for the second time in just four or five years. If it seemed expensive in high school, it’s downright prohibitive after paying for textbooks, senior week events, and tuition! And the truth is, you haven’t exactly been wearing your class ring after high school, so it’s just sitting in the drawer.
Just because your old class ring symbol meaning has diminished a bit since high school doesn’t mean the ring has any less value monetarily. If your parents helped you to pay for your ring last time, it might be surprisingly valuable!
If your ring is a precious metal such as pure gold or pure silver, that metal still has value. Entire economies are still backed by gold to this day, and the price of gold tends to rise over time, making it an awesome investment. You can bring your ring to any jewelry store or business that buys gold to get an appraisal, and they may buy it from you for cash.
If your old ring isn’t worth a fortune, you’re not out of luck. Many class ring companies will buy back your previous class ring and give you a credit toward a new one. This can go a long way toward paying for a new college class ring if you’re ready to move on to bigger and better things!
Even if you love and continue to wear your high school class ring, there is no shame in trading it in and trading up. You will be able to refine your design to represent who you are after a much longer academic journey. Don’t you think your design choices at twenty-two might say more about you as a person than the choices you made at seventeen?
It’s worth it to look into trade-in options and see if you can get some credit for holding on to your ring. Don’t think of it as a trade. Think of it as an upgrade!
2. Is All That Glitters Gold?
A silver or gold ring is a classic aesthetic that looks great. People will assume that it is expensive and cost you a lot of money upfront. What if you could achieve the look of pure precious metals without the associated price tag?
You will want to start by really considering your metal options instead of choosing the default. Many class ring companies offer a special blend that will look a lot like gold or silver but isn’t quite as pure. When jewelry makers mix precious metals with other metals they become metallic alloys and are very common in the jewelry world.
One alloy that you might see available in your class ring catalog is White Lustrium, and it looks almost identical to sterling silver in every way. The catch is that it doesn’t contain any silver at all.
Instead, this metal is an alloy made up of nickel and chromium. The truth is that silver is an alloy, too. It is “sterling” because a jewelry maker mixed it with copper, which makes it strong and scratch-resistant.
While a white lustrium ring might not be quite as hearty as a sterling silver ring, it will shine just as bright. Better yet, it will save you cash!
3. Embrace the Facade
If you don’t want to choose a less sturdy alloy, or you’re in love with the look of yellow gold, you still have options! The most common metal for class rings is 10 karat gold. This includes rings made of yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.
This is already a less expensive option compared to the 14 karat or even 18 karat gold that you’re likely to see in fancy jewelry stores. You can save those options for when you’re getting married! If the gold offered by your class ring company is still out of budget, there’s another option that looks just as great.
Consider getting a gold-plated ring instead. Gold plating is when a ring made of a less expensive metal receives a thin coating of more expensive gold. The gold will be the only metal visible. Although it won’t be solid gold, nobody will know the difference.
This is an easy way to save a little bit of money and still get a ring in the style that you like.
By the way, if you’re wondering “what finger does a class ring go on? What hand do you wear your class ring on?” the answer is the ring finger of the right hand – the one where you don’t wear your wedding ring. Class ring etiquette dictates where to wear a class ring, so there won’t be any mix-up once you’re getting married and spring for the real thing!
4. Skip the Stone
If you’re not obsessed with bling, you can save some cash by foregoing the big gemstone that you find at the center of most modern class rings. While these stones are shiny and look great, the most affordable options are not precious gemstones. These imitation gems still cost money, however, and designing a ring without one can still yield something thoroughly unique.
For example, you may choose a class ring with a crest or school logo where the stone would go. While simple, this will do the job of serving as a memento of your academic journey.
If you’re in love with the idea of a birthstone ring, you can often get one at a jewelry store without the bells and whistles. Consider stacking one along with your simple class ring, or wearing it on a different finger.
5. Choose Symbolic Over Stylish
College class ring etiquette does dictate that you wear your ring with a logo or crest facing a certain direction before graduation. This might suggest that you absolutely must choose a design with some kind of writing or engraving for your ring to be correct or valid. If you want to skip the stones and the symbols, you absolutely can.
Are you wondering how to wear a class ring if it’s missing all the bells and whistles? Consider choosing one to wear symbolically so you can participate in the rituals and traditions. A great option is a simple band-style ring.
Even if you choose to embed a stone into the band, it will be smaller and considerably less expensive than a traditional central stone. A simple ring is neutral and you can wear it every day, even if you’re not usually a jewelry person. Bands are easy to stack and unobtrusive, too.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of the Basic Option
It’s hard to resist the urge to play around when designing a class ring. You want to try out every option and compare prices with every little tweak. If you’re worried that your flair for the creative might get you into trouble, there’s an option for you.
Once you start the customization process, you might design something and fall in love with it. Suddenly you’ll have to come up with the cash to pay for your dream ring. Once it’s in your head, you might not be able to get it out, and you won’t be happy with what you ultimately buy.
You can skip the customization completely and look only at the basic ring that the ring company offers to students at your school. Usually, this comes in a default design. You’re likely to find a classic-style ring with a stone in your school colors, a simple bezel, and an affordable metallic finish.
This ring won’t come with a genuine heart-shaped birthstone, an engraving of your favorite poem, or the purest gold on earth. It will, however, eliminate the temptation to include bells and whistles that you don’t need. These rings look great, and you can even match your friends and classmates!
The best part is that the basic ring will often cost you under $100 total, and may even include small customizations such as initials. Women’s rings are smaller and tend to cost slightly less than men’s rings. Either way, this is one way to get a fancy-looking ring for the lowest possible price!
7. Consider a Payment Plan
Are you wondering “when do you get a class ring in college?” or “When should I order my class ring?” While this can vary, it’s usually late in your junior year or early during your senior year. These are times in a student’s life when expenses tend to add up, which doesn’t help!
Some class ring companies offer payment plans that will allow you to pay for your ring in installments. You’ll still receive your ring at your class ring ceremony with everyone else. You’ll simply pay for it in chunks over time, which makes payment more manageable.
Are class rings worth it? We think so, but we realize that even a payment plan is a lot for a student. If you have a job and a paycheck waiting for you after graduation, however, it might be a good way to stall your payment until you have the funds!
8. Buy From ClassRings.com!
Just because your college or high school recommends a class ring company doesn’t mean you can’t choose a more affordable one! Many larger ring companies try to upsell you at every opportunity. They make it very difficult to order a ring that fits neatly into your budget.
If you order a ring from ClassRings.com, you will already be looking at lower prices. This includes prices for the same designs, finishes, and stones carried by the larger companies. You will be saving money before you even begin the customization process!
If you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to save even more money off of our already lower base prices. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!
Cheap Class Rings Still Look Great!
There are plenty of ways to join in on the festivities without going broke! These “hacks” for designing cheap class rings will help you to customize your ring in a way that makes it affordable. Plus, rings from ClassRings.com are all high quality, so nobody will know that it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Are you ready to see these tips in action and design your thrifty dream ring? Visit us at ClassRings.com and browse our selection of customizations and designs. You don’t need to be rich to check out our incredible options today!