The first thing you noticed is that everyone is rocking college logo hoodies in the hallway, or hanging pennants from their locker doors. Everyone in the junior class seems to be looking for a way to show off where they’re going next.
When they get there, what will they display to tell the story of where they’ve been?
When you see the poster advertising the arrival of the Class Ring Company representative, you know it’s the perfect opportunity to craft something special. You have the chance to design your junior ring. You can memorialize your entire high school career in precious metal and carry it with you for the rest of your life!
The first step is deciding which of the many styles, colors, and details you want – as if college decisions weren’t pressuring enough! Do you know what story you want to tell the world about where you come from and what you accomplished there?
If you’re struggling with indecision, you are not alone! Plenty of high school students take their time designing their junior class ring! Keep reading to learn about all the trendiest junior ring styles to carry you through your junior ring ceremony and beyond!
Why Do High School Students Get Rings?
First thing’s first: what is a class ring, exactly?
The class ring is a tradition that began at West Point Military Academy, way back in 1835. The students were seeking a way to remain bonded for life after all they’d gone through at the academy. They came up with a design for a class ring, which they all received before graduation.
The West Point class ring ceremony became a tradition, with graduating students receiving a ring every year. For a time, all of the rings were identical. As technology improved, however, even the traditional West Point grads began to customize their rings with unique metals, stones, and more.
From there, many other institutions followed suit. Class rings became a popular tradition at many colleges and Universities. Ultimately, it trickled down to high schools, too.
Why wouldn’t a high school graduate want a precious memento to remind them of their hometown and accomplishments?
Thus, high school rings became a widespread tradition in nearly every corner of the United States and beyond. Traditions surrounding class rings tend to vary by region. One of the most popular of these traditions is the junior ring ceremony.
What Is a Junior Ring Ceremony?
In essence, the junior ring ceremony is when a high school junior receives his or her class ring. Typically, students who are on track to graduate the following academic year may participate in this rite of passage.
You may be wondering, “When should I order my class ring?” If your school participates in a junior ring ceremony, you will most likely choose your ring during the Winter or early Spring of your junior year. In most cases, a ring company representative will arrive at your school when it’s time to order.
The representative will measure your finger to ensure that the ring you select will be the correct size. Then, you may receive a catalog or order form with all of the options to choose from.
Once you’ve placed your order, the ring company will take it from there. Your school will most likely send you an invitation to attend the ceremony. All juniors will arrive at a designated location, where the ceremony will take place.
Different schools conduct their ceremonies in different ways. You can expect that someone will announce your name and that an administrator or class advisor will give you your ring.
When most students ask “Are class rings worth it?” the answer is an emphatic yes! It serves as your ticket to this special ceremony and rite of passage. For many students, the junior ring ceremony is more intimate and memorable than their graduation!
What hand do you wear your class ring on and what finger does a class ring go on? In both high school and college, you’ll probably wear your class ring on the ring finger of your right hand.
What Happens Next?
Class ring etiquette in high school is generally the same as college class ring etiquette. At your ring ceremony, you will wear your ring with the logo, crest, or other text facing toward your body.
When you are preparing to graduate, students at your school will probably participate in “the turning of the ring.” Again, different schools have different traditions. Usually, a school will have its own number of “turns.”
Friends, teachers, and family members may turn your ring. Some turns are specifically for certain significant others, or individuals with designated roles in your life. You should always save the final turn for a person of great importance.
Then, you will flip your ring and wear it with the ring facing away from you and toward the future. Wearing your class ring after high school is incredibly common. This is how to wear a class ring until the day comes when you choose your college class ring!
Your high school class ring finger is the same as your college ring finger. Most students graduating from college will remove their high school ring and exchange it for their college ring at this time.
When do you get a class ring in college? Again, this varies, but usually during your senior year.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Before you graduate college, you’ll need to design your perfect junior class ring!
Elements of the Perfect Junior Ring
Some schools still only sell one class ring design, so that all of the rings will be nearly identical. There may be a unique silhouette for masculine and feminine students. In these cases, your job is already done – you don’t need to make any decisions!
The average high school student will have a choice to make, however! You will have to choose your ring shape, color, stone, designs, and text. It’s possible (and likely) that every student in your graduating class will have a unique ring!
If there is a feature you’re sure about, such as the type of metal or stone, you can build your ring around that element. If not, take it slow and design a ring that you are genuinely likely to wear. There shouldn’t be a question about where to wear a class ring if it’s a design you love.
If you’re overwhelmed, it can help to go through these elements one at a time. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Classic or Contemporary?
When it’s time to design your ring, you’ll notice that the ring options look like they came right out of different centuries! This is totally intentional. Many students enjoy a vintage look as it makes them feel connected to the history of the school.
Even if history isn’t your thing, a classic ring style is trendy right now. In some regards, a vintage silhouette can really never go out of style! Classic class rings tend to feature large crests or stones and might have thicker bands.
If you want to design something more contemporary, however, you’ll have plenty of options! Modern designs tend to be a lot sleeker. You can choose simple engraving, multiple stones, or even stones in unique cuts and shapes.
If the bells and whistles overwhelm you, you might consider choosing a ring in a simple band style. These unobtrusive rings lack the fancy stones and engravings but can serve as a reminder of high school without all of the bulk.
Silver or Gold?
Once you’ve decided on an aesthetic, you need to decide what type of metal you’d like. In the past, fashion rules dictated that you shouldn’t mix your metals. You should wear gold-toned or silver-gold jewelry, not both.
Today, fashion rules have relaxed, and mixing metals is in! This makes it both easier and harder to settle on your metal! While you don’t need to match your ring to all of your existing jewelry to keep from breaking fashion laws, you do need to decide!
Both silver and gold are neutrals, so there is no “better” option. Some metals are more expensive than others, however. You will want to weigh your budget against your chosen metal.
If you love the look of gold but wince at the price tag, you can consider a gold-plated ring. This is a ring with a sterling silver base that is coated in a thin, exterior layer of gold.
Typically, a silver-toned metal will be less expensive than a gold-toned metal.
Other options might include platinum finishes, rose gold tones, and “distressed” metals, which add to a vintage look.
Stone or Crest?
Today, some contemporary rings may not have a central stone or school crest. It’s a classic element that you’re likely to find on a vintage or traditional style ring. Even so, choosing the glimmering centerpiece of your ring can be one of the most thrilling parts!
A common choice is to select a central stone in one of your school’s colors. A school whose athletes bleed green and white might select an emerald. A blue and gold team might choose a bright sapphire or topaz.
In some cases, you might be able to get a small school crest set on top of the stone. This is a great option for student-athletes who want to put school pride at the front and center. You can also often choose a school crest without the stone.
If you’re less interested in pride and more interested in attractive jewelry, consider choosing your birthstone. This is a personal connection that is unlikely to go out of style. If you choose a more contemporary ring silhouette, it can become everyday jewelry without making the world aware of its special meaning and history.
Don’t be afraid to simply go with your favorite color! At the end of the day, it’s your ring, and you need to love it enough to wear it. When the design is in your hands, there is no wrong answer!
Certain ring designs have space for special symbols to represent your high school journey. Have you wondered about this class ring symbol meaning? There are as many symbols as there are sports, clubs, and activities, so choose the ones that are meaningful to you.
If your school has concentrations or focuses of study, you may want to choose a symbol representing your academic focus. Consider choosing a symbol representing your favorite sport or club. Honors students may wish to represent their favorite honor society or achievement.
Many students choose to have their name, nickname, or graduation date engraved on the inside of their ring. Others choose a special quote or use the space to honor a loved one. This part of the ring will be private and just for you, so make it meaningful.
Your Future Starts With Your Ring
For so many high school students, the junior ring is the first concrete and tangible evidence that they’ll be graduating. It represents the first major decision that you will make about your future! As long as you design a ring that makes you happy, you really can’t go wrong!
If you’re stuck, a representative from ClassRings.com can help! Reach out today to learn more about the many features and designs we can offer you as you prepare for your big transition! You will step confidently into your future with an affordable, high-quality ring that you love!