The tradition of wearing class rings originated all the way back in 1835 at the US Military Academy at West Point. Owning and wearing a class ring can be a wonderful way to commemorate your time at school, whether it was high school, college, or university.
These days you can get customizable class rings. This means that you can make your ring even more personal to reflect your experience at your school.
Where are you supposed to wear your class ring, though? Which finger should you wear it on?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Where to Wear a Class Ring
The traditional way to wear a class ring is to wear it on your right hand’s ring finger. The ring finger on the left hand is customarily reserved for one’s wedding band.
There is also a sense of tradition about how you wear your ring on your hand. The general rule is that you should wear the ring with the insignia facing you when you are still in school. This means that when you look down at your hand, you can read the name of your school right-side-up.
Once you graduate, the custom is to turn your ring around. This means that if you looked down at your hand, your school name would be upside down. When others were facing you, they would be able to read the name of your school.
Class Ring Symbolism: Finger Choice and Meaning
While it is traditional for people to wear their class ring on their right-hand ring finger, that isn’t the only option. There’s nothing wrong with bending the rules a little bit, though.
Sometimes people wear rings just as an ornamental piece. However, there is also deep symbolism about rings and their meaning. In myths and fables, you’ll notice that it’s common for rings to have supernatural or spiritual significance.
The history of wearing rings dates back thousands of years in cultures across the world. It is known that rings were made and worn in the 3rd millennium BC in ancient India, and examples of ancient rings can also be found in the histories of archaic and classical Greek, the ancient Near East, and ancient Rome.
Let’s take a look at the symbolism of wearing your class ring on each of your fingers.
Wearing Your Class Ring on Your Pinky
Wearing your class ring on your pinky is perfect for signet rings but can be done with any type of class ring. If you wear your ring on your right pinky finger, it can be viewed as an indication of your professional status. In the fields of ecology and engineering, wearing a pinky ring symbolizes graduating with a degree in your particular field.
People who wear rings in this way do so on their dominant hand. Considering 90% of people are right-handed, most people would wear a ring in this fashion on their right hand.
Wearing rings on your left hand’s pinky has a variety of meanings. Back in the day, wearing two rings on the left pinky used to signify that a man was married. The signet ring would be on top and the wedding ring would be on the bottom.
However, this custom fell out of favor since it was popular during the 19ths and early 20th centuries.
Wearing a pinky ring on either hand can actually also signify something much more nefarious. There is some cultural connection between wearing pinky rings and being associated with organized crime.
In some western countries including Great Britain, men’s left pinkies are reserved for wearing a signet ring. This is an old tradition that goes back centuries. These rings typically symbolize status and family.
On a ring of this fashion, you might commonly see a coat of arms for the family. These rings might be heirlooms that have been passed down through generations.
In terms of palmistry, the pinky finger is ruled by Mercury. This means that it symbolizes persuasion, intelligence, intuition, and communication.
Wearing Your Class Ring on Your Ring Finger
Traditionally, the left ring finger is where one would wear engagement jewelry and wedding ring. This is true in many cultures. Some people might also choose to wear a promise ring on their left ring finger.
Wearing a ring on your left ring finger indicates that you are married, engaged, or otherwise have made a romantic promise to another person. Individuals might also choose to wear purity rings or chastity rings on their left ring finger.
The right ring finger is where most people choose to wear their class rings. In some cultures, the right ring finger is where the wedding ring is displayed. These include India, Germany, Russia, and others.
As you can see, there are different customs in different places in terms of the meaning of wearing rings on your ring fingers. In much of North and South America, wearing a ring on the right finger for men signifies engagement, while the left hand indicates marriage.
Within the tradition of palmistry, the ring finger is represented by Apollo. This means that it symbolizes creativity, relationships, and the love and appreciation of beauty.
(Searching for more information on how to wear a class ring? Check out this complete guide.)
Wearing Your Class Ring on Your Middle Finger
The meaning behind wearing a class ring or any ring on your middle finger isn’t as clear cut as with your ring and pinky fingers. What it means to display your ring on this finger is open to your own interpretation.
Since the middle finger is in the center of the hand, it can be seen as a symbol of order and balance. This can also be a representation of masculinity because this is the largest finger on the hand. However, you don’t see men wearing rings on their middle finger in many cultures.
In palmistry, the middle finger is represented by Saturn. This symbolizes the law, balance, soul-searching, responsibility, and justice.
(Are you looking for a class ring company to purchase from? Here’s a guide to help you choose the best company.)
Wearing Your Class Ring on Your Index Finger
There is not a set symbolic meaning for wearing a ring on your left index finger. However, this is a great place to prominently display your class ring gem.
(Are you wondering which kind of gem you should have in your class ring? Check out our complete guide to class ring stones.)
In some cultures, wearing a ring on your right index finger is a way of indicating marriage. This is the traditional placement of a wedding ring in Jewish ceremonies. However, these rings are usually plain gold bands, so wearing your class ring on your right index finger won’t create confusion in this regard.
There is some symbolism that is specific to men about wearing rings on your index finger. Rings used to be a way that people symbolized their societal ranking and wealth, and in some European cities, people below a certain rank even used to be banned from wearing index finger rings. These days, many men choose to display their class rings on their index fingers.
The index finger is ruled by Jupiter in palmistry. This means that it symbolizes leadership, self-confidence, spirituality, and ambition.
Wearing Your Class Ring on Your Thumb
Wearing your class ring on either of your thumbs can be a great way to display your class ring prominantly. However, it isn’t always the most practical place to wear a ring. Consider whether or not your class ring would impede fluid hand and finger movement if you wore it on your thumb.
There is some symbolism about thumb rings that is specific to men. In most societies, wearing a ring on your thumb symbolizes either power and influence or interaction and friendship.
In palmistry, wearing a ring on your thumb represents willpower and self-assertion. The thumb isn’t named after a Greek god in the way that the other fingers are.
Why Wear a Class Ring?
There is something so special about the four years you spend in both high school and college. During these years you likely participated in many clubs, learned a lot, and shared priceless memories with your friends. This is a time of growth and many achievements as well as life lessons.
When you wear a class ring, you are participating in a time-honored tradition. Students and alumni alike wear class rings to celebrate and commemorate their graduation. This is a wonderful, simple, and stylish way to carry the memories you cherish from school around with you everywhere you go.
This is also a great way to show school pride. Since you can get a customizable class ring, this is a perfect symbol of your school, yourself, and the way that school impacted you and vice versa.
Wearing a class ring is also a great way to participate in a uniquely American tradition. While rings have been worn by many people in many cultures across space and time, class rings are a distinct piece of Americana.
When to Wear Your Class Ring
There are no hard and fast rules about when and where you should wear your class ring. Maybe you choose to display your class ring in your home most of the time and only wear it for special occasions such as high school or college reunions. But there are certainly many people who choose to proudly wear their class rings every day.
If you find that you don’t like wearing your class ring on your hand, but you’d like to display it, you might choose to put it on a chain and wear it as a necklace. This is a nice way to show your school pride and showcase your accomplishments without having a bulky ring on your finger. It’s also a good way of wearing your class ring if you’re worried about losing it.
Customizable Class Rings: Creating a Ring That Uniquely Suits You
There are so many different options when it comes to creating the perfect class ring that uniquely represents your relationship with the school you attend or have graduated from.
For example, the gemstone you choose can be a symbolic representation. Some people choose their birth stone, while others choose their school color. You might also choose a gemstone based on the symbolism associated with that stone as a representation of your experience at the school.
You can also choose to get your class ring engraved. This is a place where you can display important dates or quotes that are meaningful to you. You can also have images engraved as a way to depict the activities you participated in as well as your interests as an individual.
These days, so much of the jewelry that people wear is just for show. Wearing a class ring is an awesome way to have something meaningful with you at all times.
Are You Looking for the Perfect Class Ring?
As you can see, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to where you wear your class ring. Your class ring is both a symbol of your education and experience as well as a means of self-expression. Remember that rules are meant to be broken, and you can sport your class ring however you feel is right!
Are you looking for the perfect class ring but haven’t quite found what you’re looking for? Be sure to check out our online shop here.