What Are Mood Rings, And How Do They Work?

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Have you ever wanted to show people around you your mood without telling them?

Well, if you have ever found yourself in such a situation, the mood ring would offer the solution for you.

This invention has been around for several years; it had its hay days in the 1970s; however, its popularity dwindled.

Most of us don’t know what exactly a mood ring is; this is a ring that changes color depending on the mood of the person wearing it.

Darker colors are associated with negative feelings, while brighter ones are related to positive ones. If you want to know more about this mythical invention, here is the article for you.


What exactly is a mood ring?

What Are Mood Rings

Many of us in the modern age find it difficult to wrap our minds around the idea of a ring that can show a person’s mood.

Over the years, people have grown intellectually and have come to understand that feelings and emotions can only be noticed through a person’s behavior and not any other physical display.

Many people approach the idea of a mood ring with a lot of skepticism, but once they get to understand how the mood ring works, they are more welcoming to the idea.

What Are Mood Rings

Mood rings first came into existence in 1975. They were advertised to be able to show the variations in a person’s mood with absolute precision.

At first, people were skeptical, but since many people at the time were not informed, many were open to the idea. This ring would change color to correspond to the person’s mood and seemed to work as advertised, so it gained a lot of popularity, especially among young women at the time.

It has since stayed in the market, and over the years, it has undergone changes to make it appealing to more people giving rise to mood necklaces and mood bracelets. But the necklace and bracelet were not as effective as the rings, so their popularity fell.


A brief history of mood rings

What Are Mood Rings

Mood rings first came to the market in 1975 and took over the jewelry market by storm. The rings were invented by Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats.

These men discovered the amazing properties of thermochromic materials; the mood rings were created entirely based on the principles of these materials.

Thermochromic materials are materials that undergo a reversible chemical phenomenon that allows them to change color with temperature changes.

What Are Mood Rings

However, another scientist Marvin Wernick claims to have discovered over ten years before the duo came to the discovery. But since he did not patent his invention, this gave other inventors like Maris and Josh a chance to claim the invention as theirs.

The rings gained popularity in the 1970s, especially among young women who were smitten. Despite the exorbitant prices the rings were retailing at, people seemed to want them even more.


Mood ring manufacturing process and its composition

What Are Mood Rings

The mood rings are made using three main components that are put together somewhat like a sandwich. They mainly consist of a plastic or glass cover, a thermochromic liquid crystal piece, and a silver ring. The ring would seldom be gold plated for the ones who want to be a bit extra.

The ring is made in a manner that allows the thermochromic liquid crystal piece to fit in a space within the ring and the plastic or glass over to be put on top.

What Are Mood Rings

The seal between the glass and the ring needs to be of impeccable quality because if water gets to the thermochromic liquid crystal piece, the ring will not function as advertised.

The glass or plastic covers are put on to make the rings more aesthetically pleasing as well as to protect the thermochromic liquid crystal.

The necklaces and bracelets whose glory days were short-lived were also made in a similar manner to allow them to function properly.


How do mood rings work? The science behind it

What Are Mood Rings

In order to properly understand how mood rings work, we need to understand how its components function. The main component in a mood ring that gives it mood-sensing capabilities is the liquid crystal in it.

The liquid crystal is thermochromic in nature, which means it undergoes a reversible chemical reaction when heat is introduced, making it change its color in response to the change in temperature.

Since the thermochromic liquid crystal is attached directly to the ring, it is able to detect small changes in the heat produced by the body. Since the ring is made of silver or gold, it is able to detect the slightest changes in body temperature since both materials are excellent conductors of heat.

What Are Mood Rings

Science has proven that emotions directly influence the body temperature of a person. When a person experiences negative emotions such as; feeling sad, the body’s natural tendency is to direct blood away from the skin and to internal organs; this makes the skin’s surface temperature to drop.

On the other hand, if a person experiences positive emotions such as; feeling happy, more blood is directed toward the skin making the skin’s surface temperature to rise.

The mood ring senses these slight changes in a person’s body temperature and makes the liquid crystal change its color, corresponding to the change in body temperature.

What Are Mood Rings

Higher temperatures make the liquid crystal turn into a brighter color signifying positive emotions, while lower temperatures make the liquid crystal turn into darker colors signifying negative emotions. Maris and Josh explored this physiological response in order to come up with a “stone” that would sense “mood changes.”

Normally the thermochromic liquid crystal is calibrated to within normal body temperature. If the temperature changes significantly, then the ring will conduct the heat, and the liquid crystal will register this change with a corresponding change in color.

When the ring is removed from the finger, it will turn black since it does not register the body’s heat; however, if the ambient temperature is high enough, the ring’s color will remain close to that which it was on the body.


Are mood rings actually precise in indicating mood changes by changing colors? What Are Mood Rings

The precision of the ring’s mood-sensing capabilities is highly debatable. This is because the ring depends entirely on the body temperature to register changes in its color.

As discussed earlier in this article, when a person experiences positive emotions, which include the feeling of happiness or excitement, the body’s physiological response is to direct more blood toward the skin, thereby increasing the body skin’s surface temperature.

The ring will register this rise in temperature, causing the thermochromic liquid crystal to become lighter in color, which represents positive emotions.

What Are Mood Rings

On the other hand, when a person experiences negative emotions such as the feeling of sadness or anger. The body responds by directing blood to vital internal organs and away from the skin.

This lowers the temperature of the skin’s surface, making the ring register a drop in temperature, which will cause the thermochromic crystal to become darker, representing negative emotions.

However, the ring will not be accurate all the time since the skin’s temperature varies depending on various factors. Such is the health condition of the person, like when a person has a fever that will register as a positive emotion, yet the person is unwell.

What Are Mood Rings

The prevailing weather conditions also greatly affect the body’s temperature through vasodilation and vasoconstriction.

Also, if the person wearing the ring happens to be in a region of the world where the temperatures are constantly high or low, the ring will always register positive or negative emotions respectively.

Hence, this is what makes the color changes of the ring unreliable since changes in the body temperature will not always be a direct result of mood changes.


How long does it take for a mood ring to change color?

What Are Mood Rings

The color on the mood ring changes gradually according to the temperature of its surroundings. If placed in a cold place for a long period of time and then transferred to a warm place, the time for the color change to occur will be longer.

This is because the ring material has to gain temperature first before the thermochromic liquid crystal can register the change.

However, when the ring is constantly on the person’s finger since the temperature changes are gradual, the change in color will be slow and gradual as well.

What Are Mood Rings

If the person wearing the ring takes it off, it will take about two minutes before the ring can go back to its default black color. This time is spent slowly dissipating the heat into the environment.

However, the time for the color change to be noticed varies greatly depending on the type of thermochromic liquid crystal the manufacturer uses in the ring. Hence the time for changes in color to be noticed is not standard across all mood rings.


Mood rings color meaning

What Are Mood Rings

Since its invention in the 1970s, manufacturers have found a means of coding the different colors to correspond to different moods.

We all know that the stone registers minute changes in the body’s temperature; these changes will make the thermochromic liquid crystal to different colors depending on the degree of warmness or coldness of the body.

However, these colors are not standard across all mood rings since different manufacturers use different types of thermochromic liquid crystal in the design of their rings. For most rings, dark blue is the warmest, and black is the coldest color.

What Are Mood Rings

  • Dark blue: Happy, romantic, or passionate.
  • Blue: Calm or relaxed.
  • Blue-green: Relatively relaxed.
  • Green: Normal or average.
  • Amber: a little nervous or anxious.
  • Gray: Very anxious or anxious.
  • Black:stressed, tensed, or feeling harried.

 Pros and cons of mood rings

What Are Mood Rings


  • They are an interesting way to keep in touch with yourself.
  • They can help you notice changes in your body.
  • They are a fun way of interacting with other people.


  • They are expensive to buy.
  • They are not accurate in detecting mood changes.
  • Contain high levels of lead, which is harmful to your health.

Should you buy mood rings for yourself?

What Are Mood Rings

No, it would be best if you did not buy mood rings for yourself.

Not only are they inaccurate in showing a person’s mood, but they also contain lead which is a toxic element when brought into contact with the skin and even more dangerous if ingested.

They are also expensive to purchase and do not offer value for money.



Mood rings have fascinated many people in history since their invention in the mid-1970s.

For many years people believed in its mythical powers to show people moods.

However, with increasing knowledge, people have debunked this myth and have discovered that it is a hoax.

The ring contains lead, with may have dramatic effects on the body.

Mood rings had their hay days back in the day, but they should not have a place in modern society.

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