The History of Class Rings
The tradition of the class ring began more than 170 years ago at West Point. The class of 1835 received the first class rings, a tradition that has become a popular one at high school and college campus across the United States.
The rings were based on seal or signet rings, jewelry the ancient Egyptians wore their entire lives and even after death. The belief was that the rings promised eternal life.
Today, a class ring is typically worn on the ring finger of the right hand. Not only does the ring symbolize a student’s school spirit, it easily identifies the young person as a student or graduate of a particular institution.
Earlier class rings were fairly uniform, but in recent years students have been able to personalize the rings with engravings and different stones, as well as different shapes and styles. White or yellow gold are the traditional metals used, with the center stone typically representing the school’s colors or the wearer’s birthstone.
The rings will also often feature the name of the school engraved around the center stone. Other common engraved features are the graduation year and symbols to denote membership in a fraternity, sorority or honor society.
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