Graduating from one education level to the next or a student and into the job market is significant.
A lot of hard work goes into receiving a certificate, diploma, or degree from a recognized institution. The early morning classes, intense assignments, and long nights studying for term papers take effort. So, why not mark your college graduation the right way?
That’s right! College class rings. While the tradition is two centuries old now, it’s still active in most colleges.
Read on to learn more about the class ring and why it remains a significant part of the American culture.
What Is a College Graduation Class Ring?
A college class ring is an actual ring worn by alumni from colleges as they graduate from their respective institutions. It commemorates the time spent together and serves as a reminder of good old college days, but the tradition didn’t start in colleges, high schools, or junior ring grades.
The first trace of class rings was in 1835 where the graduating class of soldiers from a Military Academy in WestPoint received class rings during their graduation ceremony.
The rings would remind them of their outstanding achievement and signify each soldier’s bond with the other.
Types of College Class Rings
In the past, college rings had a uniform design and shape, but now institutions approve class ring customization. Provided you keep the school name and emblem, you can tinker with other features to match your style and preference.
Typically, class rings differ in terms of their metallic material. Some come in gold, others silver, and even nickel, although in rare cases. However, newer class rings with platinum and palladium steel are becoming more popular because they’re easily customizable and corrosion-resistant.
What about the gemstones inside, you ask? Well, they’re pretty much all similar. The only difference is that some gemstones are of high value and hence, better quality than the cheaper ones.
While a 10k gold class ring is more preferred because of its class and durability, you can find the perfect class ring for yourself by:
Defining your Style
First and foremost, choose a ring that matches your personality. Then, go for a style that tells your college story or signifies a memorable part of your life. Remember, everyone has their style, whether luxurious, sporty, or traditional. Find yours.
Choosing a Gemstone
The gemstone is the first item people notice when you wear your college class ring. Thus, you want to make an excellent first impression by selecting between a natural ring and a birthstone. Just make sure your stone choice fits your style and budget too.
Customizing the Sides
Next to the gemstone are the class ring sides that also significantly impact how you look while wearing the college ring. The sides should be captivating and full of your college passions and interests. Besides, here, you can state your class year and name.
Some rings come from low-quality setting stones that can cause severe skin irritations. For this reason, pick a high-quality ring with an original make and no side effects on your college ring finger.
How to Wear a Class Ring
A college class ring or any other class ring is different from the traditional wedding ring. It, therefore, doesn’t occupy the same hand or finger as is custom. But where exactly does it fit?
Well, here are the comprehensive answers to each question according to the college class ring etiquette:
What Hand do you Wear your Class Ring On?
It can be confusing to wear rings with different symbolism and significance on the same hand.
So, typically, college class ring designs are worn on the right hand. The left hand is usually reserved for engagement rings, wedding rings, and other rings for special occasions, so that people won’t notice the class ring there.
Which Finger Does the Class Ring Go On?
The right-hand ring finger is the natural position your college ring occupies, so that the ring meaning won’t be misinterpreted.
But, if you want your class ring noticed, you can wear it on the index finger instead. Not only is the index finger larger than most fingers, but you use it often when gesturing, which exposes the ring better.
Besides, while still in school, the institution’s name or symbol should be facing you. This means once you stretch out your arm, you can easily read the institution’s name. Wearing the ring in this way makes the turning ceremony more meaningful.
If you’re wondering, the turning ceremony is usually held during graduation day or days before the actual graduation ceremony.
Here, students get to turn their class rings such that the symbol faces away from them as a symbolic representation of the shift from being a student to a working citizen.
When Do You Get a Class Ring in College?
Now, you’re probably thinking. When should I order my class ring? Well, class rings orders usually start coming in before the spring semester comes to a close as the graduation day nears.
Typically, the college contracts a class ring company to handle student class ring orders on specific dates before the ceremony, at particular times, and at designated locations. But before you can order through the school, you must meet their specific demands for graduation.
For example, UH alumni students must have completed at least 70 hours of coursework to qualify for a college class ring. The case is different for every institution.
All the representative needs are your ring size, and they’ll ask a few questions about the metal type, class year, and engraving. If you have specific class ring designs you’d like customized for you, this would be the point you tell the rep.
After, you pay the deposit through the school and make full payment as you receive the ring within a few days or weeks, depending on the agreement.
Lastly, you’re always advised to order your ring when it nears the graduation date once you confirm your name on the graduation list to avoid disappointment.
Benefits of a College Class Ring
Since you already have a high school class ring, you may be asking, are college class rings worth it?
While both rings are essential because they symbolize two crucial periods in your life, college class rings are more significant. For many graduates, college is the last point of their education before joining the working economy.
The following reasons serve as a timely reminder of why college class rings are essential:
College is a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
College life is a special but short time. During your last days in college, you reflect on all the years and the experiences – good or bad and feel as if you were just enrolled yesterday. Whoa! Where did the time go?
While there’s no way to turn back time and relive the college experiences, class rings help you relive these memories fondly. And since out of sight, out of mind, having a class ring on your finger even well into your adult life ensures you always remember that period of life.
The longer you have the class ring with you, the happier you’ll be even though you’ve grown distant with some of your college buddies.
Class Rings have High-Quality Materials
With so many fake rings disguising as original in the market, how do you ensure you get a quality item?
The last thing you want is for a token of commemoration, such as a class ring falling apart or rusting after weeks or months of wearing. Some even change colors in between and turn your finger colors as the coating comes off.
Not with class rings, though. They come from the finest materials on earth, including sterling silver, gold, rose, and platinum. Besides, original class ring designs last forever, meaning you’ll have college memories long into old age and may never need another piece of jewelry.
To Celebrate College Accomplishments
Some students go to college to have fun and come out with nothing to show for it at the end of the course year. Even if they order a class ring, it won’t be the same as a student with numerous accomplishments.
In a way, a class ring is a portfolio that you wear on the finger because you can customize it to list almost any of your achievements. On one side, you can list your favorite subjects, especially those you ranked high.
While on the other, detail any worthwhile experiences you’ve been involved in.
If you participated in sporting activities, you could include a picture of your jersey with its number engraved. Besides, if you won an award as a college student, you can engrave your ring’s National Honor Society designation.
Besides your achievements, there are many other unique things to add to a class ring. They include things such as your signature on the inside.
It’s In-Line with Tradition
The ceremony didn’t start with your generation. Class rings have been a long-standing tradition in colleges and other institutions of higher learning for decades since they first began at the Military Academy in WestPoint.
Class rings first became a sensation in learning institutions when Virginia Tech came up with an annual class ring dance in 1911. This was a ceremony where junior transitioned to seniors, and they celebrated through dance with their newly bought rings.
It would be best to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and become part of a long-standing tradition that transcends many generations. This way, you can tell your kids stories about the class ring, which may inspire them to follow suit.
Class Rings Show your School Spirit
According to studies, the higher the school spirit, the better the academic achievement. This is why top-ranking institutions like Harvard and Princeton still maintain the class rings tradition because they’re proud of the school spirit.
By buying a college class ring, you’re first-hand advocating for your institution and proving that you love it. Even when you’re out of school, you’ll still meet up with college friends, compare rings and relive unforgettable memories through the rings.
Honor your institution and build on its legacy and spirit by wearing your classing ring even after graduation.
College Rings Are a Whole New Experience
While you probably have several class rings – one for junior to senior and another from high school to college, none beats college class rings. College is a different milestone from other transitions in your life.
For starters, life after college is a new chapter devoid of books since it involves working hard to get money and pay the bills. Besides, there’s no way you’ll become a student again after college, and even if you pursue your master’s, it still won’t be the same as college.
Some of your close friends will get jobs in other states or even countries, and you’ll never meet again. But, the experience of going through college and graduating is enough to warrant a customized class ring full of these memories.
It Fosters Posterity
It is normal to feel that a college class ring is insignificant in college, even as a graduate. The ceremony may seem lame and unpopular even among some of your close friends. So what if they make fun of you for taking part in this old-school tradition?
Years after graduation, when you have kids and possibly grandkids, the class ring can be a source of reference for stories. It will prompt them to wonder what kind of person you were back then and ask questions, which are suitable for bonding.
Furthermore, you can pass on the class ring to future generations until it becomes a family heirloom.
Order your Custom College Graduation Ring Today
It seems evident that class rings are a popular American tradition that is not going away anytime soon. While the ceremony is optional and varies from school to school, getting your customized class ring is a personal choice.
Just make sure you leave your specifications with the ring company representative to get one that matches your personality.
Then, if you’d like to order your custom college graduation ring today, shop for the best rings in the region. Oh! And hurry while stocks last.