Receiving your college class ring is an incredible rite of passage, yielding a timeless relic of your academic journey that you can pass down as an heirloom for generations. At the moment, however, those “generations” you’re thinking about so fondly are only dreams for the future. The only person who gets to rock your class ring right now is you, future grad… but where?
The biggest question most students have after their junior ring ceremony is “Which one is the college ring finger?” You can sing through ‘Where is Thumbkin?’ a million times and you won’t come up with an answer.
So, what finger does a class ring go on, exactly?
There is proper college class ring etiquette to be aware of, and it might help you decide how to wear a class ring without doubting your choice! Read on to learn all about the symbolism behind choosing the right finger for various rings, as well as the answers to a few frequently asked questions about your new class ring!
Rings on Fingers, Bells on Toes
No matter who you are, when others look at you, they begin to make inferences about who you are. One of the oldest symbols in our culture is ring symbolism. People glance at your fingers to make all kinds of decisions, from whether to make a move while sitting at the bar, or whether to strike up a conversation about shared lifestyles or cultures.
With that in mind, the finger on which you choose to wear your ring might send a message without you even realizing it! For many students, this is an appealing prospect! If you’re going to get this shiny, new piece of jewelry, why not make a real statement and let the world know who you are?
Some fingers are historically more neutral, however. There’s no shame in wanting to keep a few tricks up your sleeve and keep people guessing! The choice to keep hints about who you are to yourself is just as valid, but it is still a choice!
If you’re looking to make an informed choice about where to wear a class ring, it’s a great idea to start with the classic symbolism.
When you think about your class ring, you’re probably not thinking about a pinky ring… but why shouldn’t you? In the past wearing two rings on your left pinky finger was a sign of marriage. Some people also associate left pinky rings with the mafia, so you might want to steer clear of wearing your class ring there!
Meanwhile, a right pinky ring has professional symbolism that might be appealing to students entering certain fields. Individuals entering either engineering or ecology might consider wearing their class ring on their right pinky as a subtle wink to others in those fields.
The Ring Finger
We have a finger specifically dedicated to rings, so why not stick your class ring there? That’s certainly a popular, traditional choice, but there is a lot of symbolism associated with the designated ring finger. Namely, this finger is traditionally designated for romantic proclamations.
In the majority of Western cultures, the ring finger denotes marital status. In certain subcultures, your ring finger is also where you wear rings denoting engagement and might be the traditional spot for chastity or promise rings.
This tradition dates back to antiquity, so your favorite figures from mythology probably wore their wedding rings on the ring fingers, too. That’s because there was a belief that the ring finger contained a vein that went directly to the heart. That explains the romantic connotations!
This is why most students who choose to wear their class ring on their ring finger wear it on the right hand. It is a finger with status, but won’t take up real estate intended for your wedding ring. This is the most traditional place to wear your class ring.
The Middle Finger
The middle finger isn’t traditionally associated with neutrality in our culture. When it comes to rings, however, the middle finger is neutral territory! It has no symbolic associations, so you can feel free to wear any ring on this finger without signaling anything.
As the finger at the center of your hand, a ring on the middle finger can represent power. Ultimately, however, it’s a blank slate for whatever statement you hope to make as you graduate and begin your future!
The Index Finger
In the Jewish faith, the right index finger is the correct place to wear your wedding ring. If you aren’t Jewish and you aren’t married, however, then your index finger is another blank slate — without any of the implications of the middle finger! This is the finger that the average person chooses when they want to show off costume jewelry, ornamental rings, or, yes, class rings!
But what hand do you wear your class ring on? Those who choose to wear their class ring on their index finger often go with the left hand. It’s a high-impact spot where people are sure to notice it.
It’s also statistically more likely to be your non-dominant hand, so it won’t get in the way.
The thumb isn’t a spot where many people choose to wear a ring. It tends to be a person’s stubbiest digit and doesn’t show off a piece of bling quite as nicely as your longer and more elegant fingers. For that reason, there isn’t any traditional symbolism associated with the thumb.
If you want to be a trendsetter, you can wear your class ring on the thumb! Many people choose to wear chunky statement rings here. If nothing else, it will make you look fashion-forward and confident!
What’s the Correct College Ring Finger?
While there is no one “right” finger on which to wear your class ring, there is one finger where it is traditionally worn. That would be your right ring finger. That leaves your left ring finger free for your wedding band if you should be so fortunate!
If you’re choosing to wear your ring while still in school, there’s another tradition to keep in mind. If the style of your ring includes insignia, it should face inward and toward you.
This is the reason why many schools with a class ring tradition also offer a “turning of the ring” ceremony as part of their graduation week. During this ceremony, someone will turn the ring so that the insignia will face away from you. Different schools have different traditions regarding who exactly does the turning, but no matter who turns your ring, it is proof that you are on your way to doing bigger and better things!
This is also the case when wearing your class ring after high school. If you are currently in college and will be receiving your second class ring, this is a great time to make the switch from one class ring to another. While some students may choose to wear both, this is not traditional.
Post-graduation, you should continue to wear your ring facing outward, assuming you continue to wear it on your hands. Many graduates choose to string their ring on a chain and wear it as a statement necklace with a lot of meaning!
In essence, if you’re following tradition, you should wear your college class ring on the ring finger of your right hand. If you’re looking to break with tradition, wear it on the finger that is the most comfortable, and with the class ring symbol meaning the most to you!
Frequently Asked Class Ring Questions
When you’re on your way to owning a symbol that is so fraught with meaning, it’s common to want to do everything the right way. Once you’ve chosen the correct finger for your ring, you might have further questions about the process. Here are some of the questions we hear the most often from students eager to become a part of this tradition!
When Do You Get a Class Ring in College?
The specific timing can vary depending on your college, especially because students graduate at different times. On average, however, a student becomes eligible to purchase a class ring during their junior year of college, or when they have earned approximately 70 credit hours – whichever comes first.
Often, there are two distinct ceremonies associated with class rings. The junior ring ceremony is when students receive their rings and symbolizes that they are now getting closer to graduation. At this ceremony, students will all put on their rings with the school name or insignia facing inward.
The second ceremony is the turning of the ring, which will usually happen during graduation or commencement week. During this ceremony, students with rings rise one at a time to have their ring “turned.” The insignia will now face outward toward the world and the future, to indicate that the student has graduated.
When Should I Order My Class Ring?
Usually, a representative from the ring company will visit your college campus. This is the best time to order because the representative will be able to help you throughout the entire process. This includes helping you with one of the areas that make most first-time ring buyers nervous – measuring your finger and sizing your ring.
Often, the representative will come to your school each year during the spring semester. This is assuming that the majority of students purchasing rings will be graduating the following spring. If you will be graduating during the summer or fall semester, you will want to anticipate this and order your ring on the appropriate timeline for you!
While the representative is on campus, you can consult with them regarding any customizations you might want to make. It’s good to know which finger you’ll be wearing your ring on during this meeting. This will ensure that the representative takes the correct measurements!
Are Class Rings Worth It?
A class ring is a personalized, wearable symbol of all of the hard work and sacrifice that you have made as you have worked toward your degree and your future. When you purchase a class ring, you will become part of a tradition that has existed in higher education since the 1800s! A class ring is forever, and many people pass their rings down to children or grandchildren, who are happy to have a piece of history that they can hold in their hands.
A class ring is a quality piece of jewelry with both physical and sentimental value. Modern class rings are attractive, stylish, and look great as an everyday piece of jewelry. Many students continue to wear their class rings for years after graduation, as they are excellent conversation starters, and can lead to networking opportunities!
Furthermore, your college class ring is your ticket to your junior ring ceremony and turning of the ring ceremony. You can take photos, make memories, and get dressed up as you celebrate your academic accomplishments with your friends and peers. For many students, the ring ceremony is more meaningful than their large and impersonal commencement!
So, are class rings worth it? Absolutely! Once you own a class ring, you will always have been part of something, and you’ll have a gorgeous heirloom to prove it!
Wear Your Class Ring With Pride!
Whether you take the traditional route and wear your class ring on the ring finger, or go your own way and wear it somewhere else, you will be part of a long and illustrious tradition. You can imagine all of the students before you who proudly turned their ring on your very campus. Congratulations – you’re now part of that grand tradition, no matter which college ring finger you choose!
Are you ready to choose your perfect class ring and begin the journey toward graduation? Make sure to visit classrings.com to browse a selection of high-quality, affordable class rings to mark the occasion.