Class rings might not be your cup of tea, but if you are into honoring traditions that have been passed down across generations by alumni of your school, you might be interested in getting yourself a class ring with a class insignia too.
But what are these customizable class rings made of? Is there more than meets the eye where the class rings are concerned?
This article explores more of the class rings, and in it, we’ll share important insights about the materials that the class rings are made of, perhaps helping you determine if the ring is worth your money or not. So, let’s get started!
What is a class ring?
A class ring, also known as a senior or a graduate, can be defined as the ring that is worn by high school or college students and alumni in commemoration of their graduation from the school. Some universities have class rings too. And in the world of class rings today, these rings could also be customized, not just in terms of what’s engraved on them, but also the material that the class ring is made of, the style of the ring, and even the cut and the color of the center stone or gemstone. The class rings also feature different words, pictures, and emblems added to the inside of the ring, in the gemstone, or on the sides of the ring.
You could also think of a class ring as an academic memento ring that commemorates your time in college, high school, or the university on their graduation. Depending on the occasion, the class ring is also called a grad ring, senior, or graduation ring.
Interestingly, the class rings are not really a devise of the American schools and educational institutions as it’s been around longer than some people might be willing to admit. The history of class rings is actually deeper, and it seems to date back to the ancient Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations. Then, the class rings (or rings that resemble the class rings) were worn by specific individuals as their way of showing their alliance or association with particular groups or cults in society.
This changed somehow when the idea of class rings was adopted in the US in 1835 at the country’s leading military institution. Essentially, the traditions behind the class ring and the fact that it’s worn by specific individuals or groups of people still hold.
With this in mind, the idea that these rings were worn by individuals belonging to a particular societal class seems to make sense, especially if you think about how common these rings were common with the most prestigious American schools before most schools adopted the idea of class rings.
What are most class rings made of?
Most class rings are made of 10k gold and sterling silver. See the picture below.
What metal are class rings made of?
Today, class rings can be customized fully so that the ring is made of different materials to match an individual’s style and preferences. Even so, class rings are essentially all made of the same materials.
Often, gold, sterling silver, and nickel are used to make class rings, although gold is the most common and the most preferred metal option for the creation of class rings. But then, the class rings are not made of 14k or 18k gold – a whopping 70% of all class rings are said to be made of 10k gold. The gold class rings are available in yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.
Beyond these traditional metals, the new variety of class rings are mostly crafted out of platinum and palladium. These white-colored metals are shiny, and they are also resistant to corrosions. To make them easily customizable, the class rings made of platinum and palladium are often mixed with silver, which allows for the best possible engravings.
Other metals used to make class rings include:
White Lustrium – this is an exclusive kind of metal used for class rings. It is white or silver-toned and boasts a beautiful shine.
Sterling silver–class rings are also made of 925 sterling silver, an alloy of pure silver (92.5%), and 7.5% copper. These options are reasonably priced, and the rings are durable, elegant, and befitting for class rings.
There also are class rings made of forged iron and copper.
What about the gemstones used? Well, most class rings are fixed with beautiful stones, but the stones used often are not the high-value ones but often the cheaper gemstones that don’t impact much on the value of the rings. The rings are also not often plated, and most of them are corrosion and rust-resistant.
The vintage class rings are, however, made of different metal combinations that make them unique and quite beautiful. Some of these metals are patented options by jewelers, but they give the rings their uniqueness. The metal options used for the vintage class rings include Precium, a palladium and silver alloy, and lustrium, an alloy of chromium and nickel. Interestingly, these alloys can still be found in production today, meaning you can buy a lustrium class ring today – the best part is that the lustrium rings are available in white and yellow, just like gold.
What is the best metal for a class ring?
The best metal for class rings is 10k gold, but with a preference for the white-colored metal rings, sterling silver, platinum, white gold, and palladium are the best metal options for class rings. These metals not only make lustrous rings but are also durable.
And because most of the class rings have a black oxidized design that makes the rings stand out, the use of these white metals is the ideal option.
Are Jostens class rings real gold?
Yes, Jostens class rings are made of real gold, but this is the case only for their luxury collection, which includes white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold in 10k, 14k, and 18k. But if you are looking for something cheap, the brand offers gold-plated varieties too.
Are the stones in class rings real?
Well, it depends on the quality of the ring and how much you are willing to pay. For the high-end class rings, the stones used are genuine gemstones, but for a smaller budget, you will find rings made with synthetic gemstones. The complex class rings tend to have metal emblems or special-cut gemstones.
What kind of stones are in class rings?
Some have onyx or the tiger’s eye, among other natural stones, but in most cases, the rings have cheaper birthstones. If you are looking for the more elegant class rings, you can have the ones with stones like the hermatite, carnelian, jade, lapis, turquoise, malachite, pietersite, or the dinosaur bone.
How to choose a class ring stone?
Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing a class ring:
- When choosing the stones for the class ring, opt for the stone that matches your personality and style and perhaps your birth month. You could choose a natural stone or a birthstone if you need something steeped in tradition.
- Consider your budget too, and make sure that the metal and stone combination, as well as other customization features, fit within your budget.
- Choose a high-quality setting stone that is free of skin irritants
- Don’t get a ring design just because everyone is getting one like it; get a ring that you actually love.
Class rings are made of good quality metals and stones, and the best part is that you can choose the metal and stone combination that best matches or describes who you are.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.