The History of Class Rings
As a tradition, class rings are a great way to show both your school spirit as well as document the interests you had during high school or college. They also show your affiliation and comradery with others and it was because of these types of things that rings were brought into existence in the first place.
The history of class rings, or fellowship rings, can be traced as far back in time to ancient Egypt where certain sects would wear matching rings to show their connection to a particular cause, class or religion.
It was a practice that was then embraced by the Romans. It’s been said that Cleopatra gave Mark Antony a ring which fascinated him so, that he then had similar rings made for his Praetorian Guard, and this was how the idea of fellowship rings spread to the military.
Spring forward in time to 1835 and this is where the modern history and popularity of the class ring begins to unfold. Cadets at West Point were given class rings by the administration as reminders of the school’s values, as well as a symbol of pride for having graduated from such a prestigious institution.
From there, the practice spread to other institutions such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Today, class rings are a common symbol of pride and accomplishment throughout virtually every high school and college.
Of course, today’s class rings offer students the ability to customize their rings far more than previous generations. They are not only available in a wide variety of metals and stone colors, but they also can be individually tailored with the wearer’s name and interests.
In terms of how the class ring is traditionally worn, while the ring finger on the left hand is reserved for a wedding band, the class ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
Tradition also states that while the individual is still enrolled in classes the school insignia on the ring should appear inward, facing the wearer, and then upon graduation, the ring can be switched with its insignia facing outward for all to see.
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