Graduation day is a major milestone in your life. Whether you’ve just finished high school or completed a Ph.D., your graduation is a time to celebrate your achievements.
One way to commemorate your time as an alumnus at your school is with a class ring. This time-honored tradition is the perfect keepsake to honor your education and school experience.
You may have seen class rings with engravings and embellishments of different symbols. Each class ring symbol has a meaning that is personal to the wearer.
Students on the verge of graduation can customize a class ring to include important dates, names, and symbols that represent their school.
Keep reading to find out more about class rings, what their symbols mean, and how you can personalize your perfect class ring.
What Are Class Rings?
Class rings are worn by students that are graduating high school, college, or university. These are also known as grad rings, and they symbolize the time of graduation.
The first-ever class ring dates back to 1835, where students at West Point Military Academy wore them to honor their education and time at the school. It symbolized the unity and special bond that the students of that year shared.
Originally, class rings were all made in one style. Modern-day class rings are customizable to each student. They detail their school’s sports team, mascot, colors, motto, and more.
There are a wide variety of symbols available that each graduating member can add to their ring to make it unique.
What Do Class Rings Mean?
This long-standing tradition is a way to commemorate your time at your high school or college. Class rings are simple ways to have a keepsake with you long after you graduate.
The class ring can act as a status symbol and a badge of pride for where you earned your education. Each class ring has meaning and it is detailed with special symbols, words, and dates engraved on the ring.
These are also seen as a rite of passage. It is important to include all of your achievements in your class ring because it will stay with you forever.
Class Ring Metals
The first class rings were made primarily out of gold. They were made with a simple design and they were not personalized as they are today.
Modern-day rings come in a variety of precious metals. They are available in gold, silver, white gold, and platinum. Students have the option to pick the metal that they like best. The price of the class ring will vary depending on the material it is made from.
The material of the ring is cut to highlight the words, dates, and symbols chosen by the wearer. Higher-end rings are made of platinum and gold, with an enamel or satin finish to emphasize the details in the cuts.
Class Ring Gemstone Colors
Choosing precious and semiprecious gemstones is a common way to personalize a class ring and give it meaning and symbolism.
In some schools, they use their school colors for all the rings of the graduating class. Students can still personalize their ring with the shape and cut of the stone.
However, some students choose to use their birthstone as the gem for the center of their class ring. This is a way to express personal taste and preference for their graduation keepsake.
If you want to add a birthstone to your class ring, this helpful guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Class Ring Shape and Size
Class rings come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some of the most common shapes include squares, ovals, or circles.
Although the shape of the graduating class is the same, the size will be a little bit different. The class rings made for women are generally smaller than those made for men.
Class Ring Engraving
There are many different types of engravings that you can put on your class rings. You can have symbols, names, numbers, and words engraved in a class ring.
Class Ring Styles
Just like you can personalize the color, shape, and size of a class ring, you can customize the style. There are some classic ring cuts to choose from, but you can ultimately customize your ring to your taste.
Your Class Ring Symbol Has a Meaning
If you’ve ever seen different symbols on a class ring, you may have wondered what they mean.
Each symbol has a special meaning and it will depend on your school, your taste, and how you spent your time at school. Just like many other parts of the ring are personalized, the symbols will have deeply personal meanings.
Here are some of the symbols that you can see on a class ring, and what they mean:
One of the most common symbols on a class ring is the school name. If you are showing your class ring with pride, you want people to see the name of the school. It is also what unites you and your classmates.
If each member of the graduating class chooses different symbols on their class ring, the one thing they will all have in common is their school’s name.
Incorporating the name or the picture of the school mascot is also a common symbol on the class ring. This is especially true for students who were involved in any team sports. The school mascot is a symbol of team pride.
This is a great way to honor the mascot who cheered on the team members at every game.
Another great addition to your class ring is the degree that you earn. All of your hard work and studying can be shown off right there in your finger for people to see. This also connects you to classmates in the same program.
You can share in the unity and connection of having earned your degree in the same graduating class.
Year of Graduation
The year of graduation is important on your class ring because it helps you connect to those in your same graduation year. Even classmates in different programs can share in the honor of the same graduation year.
Every school has a motto. Many of these are written in Latin and they often contain just a few words or a simple phrase. They represent what the school stands for, what they expect of their students, or what they take pride in.
The school motto to your class ring can symbolize that you embody this phrase even after your time at the school.
Fraternity or Sorority
If you were part of a fraternity or sorority, you will likely have this added to your class ring. Many people create valuable friendships and connections during their time as a member of a fraternity or sorority.
These social groups help to challenge you academically and train you to be a leader. Incorporating a symbol of this is common on a class ring.
Sports Position and Winnings
The sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship on a school athletic team is invaluable during your time at school. It is common to see the school’s sports team honored in the class ring. Additionally, if any big games or titles are won during your time on the team, you will likely add it to the class ring.
Hobbies and Clubs
There are many different clubs in school that you can take part in. If you were an active member of any club or shared a hobby with other classmates, this is a great symbol for your class ring.
Zodiac signs are also popular for a class ring. Many people identify personality traits and characteristics with the zodiac, and it’s a great way to personalize a class ring.
Symbols of School Pride
A symbol of school pride comes in many different forms. A well-established school has a coat of arms, and it is not uncommon to have this symbol on a class ring.
How to Wear Your Class Ring
You might be surprised to know that not only are there different meanings to the symbols on a class ring, but there are also different ways to wear your class ring.
Each of these carries symbolism.
You can wear your ring on any finger that you like, however, it is customary to wear it on the ring finger of the right hand. This was initially done to counter the wedding ring finger on the left hand.
Some students choose to wear their rings on a chain around their necks, while others exchange rings with their high school sweethearts. There are many ways to wear the ring but there are some strong standing traditions before and during graduation.
Before you graduate, it is common to wear your class ring a certain way. You face it towards yourself. This indicates that you have not yet graduated.
It is customary for the graduating class to wear the class ring the same way until it is time for graduation.
There are many subtle customs that commemorate graduation day. The tassel on your cap moves to the other side, toss your hat in the air with your classmates, and you move your class ring. This time the ring faces outward.
This signifies to others that you have graduated.
Turning the Class Ring
This tradition varies depending on your school. Your teachers, classmates, and family members can turn your class ring.
This happens before you graduate and you can choose the direction you want your loved one to turn your ring. However, once you decide, each person must turn the ring in the same direction.
When Loved Ones Can Take a Turn
Having your loved ones and classmates turn your ring can have meaning depending on the order. These rules vary from school to school but they can also have meaning in your graduation class.
For example, everyone can decide that their best friend is the first to turn their ring. Or their favorite teacher has to be the fifth person to turn their ring. If there are no set rules for this at your school, you can create a new tradition with your graduating class.
Passing Down Your Class Ring
Passing down a class ring is another common, and time-honored tradition. It represents your triumph and achievement, and it can be very sentimental for a member of the younger generation to receive yours.
Additionally, the class ring can keep your memory and accomplishments alive long after you are gone.
Your class ring can be considered a family heirloom. You want to take care of your class ring and keep it clean so that it is ready to be passed down. Be sure to check out this guide to cleaning class rings for everything you need to know.
Honoring Your Alma Mater With Symbols on Your Class Ring
Graduating is a time for celebrating your achievements and honoring the time you dedicated to your education. Commemorating this time in the form of a class ring is a simple and traditional way to create a keepsake of this special time. Remember that each class ring symbol has a meaning and you want to ensure that these are personal to your school experience.
You can include your school name, dates, sports teams, school colors, the degree you earned, and even your zodiac sign. Honoring your school with a personalized keepsake is the perfect way to carry your achievements with you, well after graduation.
Visit our website to order and customize your perfect class ring today.