Throwback Tuesday: Why Class Rings Are the Classic Jewelry Making a Comeback

classic jewelry
classic jewelry

Are you a fashion trendsetter? If so, then you know the 90s and early 00s style trends are back with a vengeance! Right-hand rings are big in the 2020s, with retro jewelry looks embracing big statement pieces.

Wearing a class ring is a great way to bring a trendy style throwback to your image.

We know nostalgia fuels fashion trends and that classic jewelry will always be in style. Class rings are those forever pieces that combine the best of what’s down your memory lane and time-honored ring designs.

Maybe you want to commemorate your high-school graduation or college degree? Or, perhaps you ended that chapter of your life many years ago and you’ve got a class ring buried at the bottom of your jewelry box? Now is the time to wear that ring proudly and be part of this classic ring’s trendsetting comeback.

Here’s all you need to know about the tradition of class rings and how to buy and wear one!

What Exactly is A Class Ring?

A tradition that is fuelled by honoring hard work, class rings are a way to celebrate graduating achievement. Usually crafted in gold, although brass, silver, or platinum are other popular options, class rings are made to last for the rest of life’s memories. 

Class rings have been around since the 1800s, starting at the United States Military Academy. They create a sense of community pride when worn by a student still attending school. Junior students are to wear their ring facing towards them and once graduated, there is often a traditional ceremony of turning the ring to face the outside world.

Some schools have elaborate ring presenting ceremonies, while others keep it more casual with individuals celebrating their ring how they see fit. If your school has a ring dance, it will occur in the Fall for Seniors and the Spring for Juniors.

A class ring is made to uniquely represent its wearer, with custom inscriptions and styles. Although they are designed to highlight the individual’s interests, such as being on the football team or debate team, they also create a sense of unity by including the class year, team name, and school symbol.

A class ring symbol is often an animal and will represent the school spirit, motto, or virtue. Sometimes a crest, circle, wreath, or sword will be used to embody dedication, hard work, and independence. Many students choose to celebrate what they feel makes them unique, like choosing a stack of books to commemorate their study skills and high grades or a lacrosse stick for being on the team.

University and college rings tend to be more understated with smaller bands, lower profiles, and fewer emblems. They usually incorporate just a school crest.

Another way to customize your class ring is with the gemstone. Precious and semi-precious stones are available to represent your school achievement. Choosing your birthstone is the traditional way to decorate your ring, but most schools have color themes that can be picked for sentimental reasons.

How To Wear A Class Ring

This unique piece of jewelry is both a statement and a souvenir. It is meant to be worn on the right hand and on the third finger, or ring finger. Although this is the traditional way to wear it, it doesn’t mean you have to follow any of these “rules.”

Big, statement jewelry is a trend that is not going away any time soon! It can be played up in an ironic way or worn as a complement to a sleek and sophisticated outfit.

Wearing your chunky and bejeweled class ring on your right hand is a sure-fire way to let the world know you’re fashionable and trendy, as well as educated!

It can also cause recognition with other alumni that you’re a fellow student, working as a great icebreaker at a party. People love a reason to get to know each other and wearing your class ring proudly is a subtle way of displaying some of your personal history to the world.

When Should I Order My Class Ring?

There is no hard and fast rule on when to order your class ring. Some high school students want to have their ring in Junior year to create a visual bond over the remaining school years with their graduating class.

Other high school students feel their class ring is a nice reward for their final year in school.

For college and university students, it is recommended to order their class ring after they have completed at least 70 hours of coursework for their studies. It is important to wait to order your class ring until you are certain of your graduating year. This ensures the details carved into your ring will be correct.

If your school days are long gone, but the thought of having a class ring appeals to you, there’s no harm in reaching out to the jeweler that supplied your school to see if they can accommodate your class ring dreams!

Classic Jewelry Statement Pieces

Rings in precious metals, adorned with gems and inscribed with meaning are classic items that both men and women should have in their rotation. Class rings fit this description perfectly.

Right now, chunky and bold jewelry is having a big moment. Statement pieces that express individuality, history, and nostalgia are big for the 2020s. Class rings are similar to signet rings, a classic, masculine design that both women and men can rock.

The influence of 70s culture trends on what’s currently hot has brought the pinky ring back for the fashion-conscious. Class rings make perfect pinky rings and add a bit of satirical style to the sleek and serious silhouettes that are dominating the runways.

Class rings also look great strung from a gold chain around the neck. These timeless jewelry pieces are versatile and can be worn creatively to continue to stay fresh, unique, and in vogue.

Sleek Options for The Understated

The traditional chunky ring design isn’t the only option available for those looking to invest in this tradition. Some people prefer an understated look. Some may have petite hands and prefer a skinnier band, or perhaps they may want to celebrate their achievements but in a more discrete way.

Nowadays, class rings come in varied styles and there will be one that fits your needs. Women’s college rings often are a small gold band with the emblem or symbol modestly presented on a tasteful coin. Men can choose to opt out of the themed images and instead only celebrate their class year motto.

While gold, both yellow and white, still remains the most popular and traditional metal to choose for your class ring, the options are varied. Brass is an economical option, while silver creates a timeless look. Platinum is for those who need an attractive yet strong metal to hold up to everyday demands.

Choosing a more muted design style may allow for more versatility and wear long-term. Considering the jewelry you regularly wear, or want to own, like a wedding band or watch, is important when selecting the class ring style best for you.

Embrace Americana Fashion Trends

Because of Hollywood movies and TV shows, nothing seems more All-American than varsity jackets, prom nights, and class rings. This style has become a classic staple and by weaving individual Americana pieces into a contemporary wardrobe, it adds a trendy depth to any look.

Maybe the 1950s car-hop look isn’t one for your everyday presentation, but when you invest in classic jewelry designs, your wardrobe becomes easily adaptable for staying on-trend. All well-rounded accessory collections should include classic jewelry pieces like class rings.

Americana looks don’t have to be in your face, like gingham hoop skirts, penny loafers, or white-ts and leather jackets. Modern Americana has evolved to mix and embrace a few classic items from the past with the current flavor fad.

Enjoy A Romantic Tradition

Part of the class ring tradition is to exchange them with a romantic partner. This goes along with some of that Hollywood Americana. We’ve all seen movies where the heartthrob gives his girl his ring as a promise for the future.

In real life, the exchange of class rings can be a loving and thoughtful gesture that is best left for long after graduating. You want to make sure the person you’re giving your ring to is one that’s going to stick around in your life. Otherwise, you might not get that ring back!

Also, after you’ve had some time away from school, the significance that the ring may represent for you may have shifted and it may hold a sentimental value in a different way.

Sharing your special piece of jewelry, one that has been custom-made for you and your accomplishments, is a beautiful way to show your sweetie you love them. Your partner can wear your classic class ring on their finger, if it fits, or around their neck on a chain.

Sentimental Value

Graduating high school is an experience you only get once in a lifetime. When you are young, it is often your biggest accomplishment, and one that is hard for many people to stick through and complete.

Celebrating by commemorating this hard work is best done with a class ring. A treasured item that represents a sentimental value will last longer than a photoshoot, a yearbook, or graduating outfit. A ring can be cherished whenever you feel like wearing it or kept safe in a jewelry box to be handed down to your own kids as family heirlooms.

Investing in class rings is also a great way for high school friend groups to share a bond when so many of them go off on their own unique paths. It doesn’t matter if your best friend moved away, looking at your class ring can remind you of all those beautiful memories together!

College and University rings hold even more sentimental value due to the time and financial commitment post-secondary schooling involves. This is the time in your life when some of the biggest changes happen. Class rings from college and university are often considered status symbols because they signal to the world where you come from and what you stand for.

People attend college to set them on their career path, but it is often where they meet their significant other. Having both a high school and college class ring in your collection is a fun way of honoring and uniting these two important life events. It’s nice to show your friends and family what your major accomplishments are.

When you’re older it is a good idea to have these classic pieces to wear to look back on and feel nostalgic. Choosing a jewelry company that will accommodate what you want to commemorate is an important aspect of ordering a ring.

Investing In Memories

Everyone wants to embrace what’s trendy and current but that doesn’t mean we should forget about all our traditions. Class rings are one of those statement pieces that are worth investing in for personal memories and cycling fashion trends.

As you’ve just learned, right-hand rings are an essential way to represent your fashion flare. Why not choose one that also shows off your hard work, accomplishments, and alumni spirit?

Class rings are a tradition that is versatile by giving you the joy of bonding with your peers when wearing them while attending school, or by setting you apart from the competition out in the ‘real world’ by proudly displaying your alumni. 

They can also add a colorful splash to a serious outfit or be given as a token to someone you love. Class rings provide a lifetime of memories in a beautiful package.

Are you and your friends looking to buy a class ring? Check out our shop for the best selection of modern and classic rings styles. We can help you with any questions you may still have about which one is right for you or your loved one.

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