A class ring is a piece of jewelry worn by students and alumni to commemorate their graduation from a high school, college, university or military academy. To some extent, these rings are normally personalized by the student, with one side showing a name, year and degree and the other side displaying the school crest and appropriate designs. A typical class ring differs for both males and females, but the wearer will often follow standard etiquette or customs when wearing the ring in public.
Consult a ring designer regarding any questions you may have about your class ring. Many schools and universities will have a designated company offering quality crafted rings in silver or gold, and its associates and salespeople will be able to answer any questions you may have about etiquette regarding this ever-lasting symbol of academic success.
Research the customs and traditions of your high school, college, university or other academic institution before your ring arrives. According to Balfour, a designer of class rings since 1917, each place may have its own practices regarding how the ring should be worn. On its website, the company spotlights the University of Texas at Austin, which asks its juniors and seniors to wear the ring facing one direction until Commencement Day.
Place your class ring on the ring finger of your right hand, which leaves the ring finger of your left hand to be reserved for an engagement ring or wedding band. According to the Class Ring Shop, this is the proper etiquette to follow, though the company notes some wear their class ring on the same finger as the wedding ring. The wedding ring is slightly beveled in order for both rings to properly fit together.
Wear your class ring so that the insignia is readable when your arm is outstretched. This is according to the "Complete Book of Etiquette" by Amy Vanderbilt, which also reiterates that many high schools and universities have their own traditions where the wearer turns the ring around facing outward at graduation. This "turning of the ring" is said to represent the wearer of the ring is ready to face the world.
Place your class ring on a chain or necklace if it can no longer be worn on the proper ring finger. Displaying the ring this way is also acceptable if giving it to a girlfriend or boyfriend to wear, which may also take the place of or become a symbol of a promise ring. This is meant to signify a commitment to a monogamous relationship.
- Balfour: College Rings
- "The Complete Book of Etiquette"; Amy Vanderbilt.; 1952
- Justin Beaupre/Demand Media