Class ring
A class ring is a ring
Ring (jewellery)
A finger ring is a circular band worn as a type of ornamental jewelry around a finger; it is the most common current meaning of the word ring. Other types of metal bands worn as ornaments are also called rings, such as arm rings and neck rings....

 worn by students and alumni in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to commemorate their graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

, generally for a high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

, college
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

, or university
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...



The tradition of class rings originated with the class of 1835 at the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point.

How to wear

According to the Complete Book of Etiquette by Amy Vanderbilt
Amy Vanderbilt
Amy Vanderbilt was an American authority on etiquette. In 1952 she published the best selling book Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette. The book, later retitled Amy Vanderbilt's Etiquette, has been updated and is still in circulation today. The most recent edition was edited by Nancy...

, the ring should always be worn so that the insignia faces the wearer when his or her arm is outstretched for as long as the wearer is in school; upon graduation, the ring should be turned around so that the ring faces outward, signifying that the graduate has left school and has entered the wider world.

West Point custom however follows different rules. Until recent decades, Academy graduates wore their rings on the left hand. Prior to graduation, the USMA Class Ring is worn with the Class Crest closest to the heart signifying the bond to the class. After graduation, the ring is worn with the Academy Crest closest to the heart signifying the bond with the Academy.

See also

  • United States Military Academy class ring
  • Doctoral ring
    Doctoral ring
    In Swedish and Danish academia, a doctoral ring may be bestowed upon the conferral of a doctorate. Together with the doctoral hat, it forms part of the academic regalia. Doctoral rings are made of gold and in a design specific to the conferring faculty...

  • MIT class ring
    MIT class ring
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology's class ring, often called the Brass Rat, is redesigned each year by a student committee. The class ring has three main sections: the bezel, containing MIT's mascot, the beaver; the MIT seal ; and the class year . The side surfaces show the Boston and...

  • NTH Ring
    NTH Ring
    The NTH Ring known by many names in Norway, NTH-ringen, first known as Høiskoleringen, also known as Ringen, Sivilingeniørringen, NTNU/NTH-ringen or Master-ringen...

  • Traditions of Texas A&M University
    Traditions of Texas A&M University
    The traditions of Texas A&M University are a key aspect of the culture of Texas A&M University. Some of the school traditions date to the 1890s, shortly after the opening of the school, while others have been introduced more recently...

  • X-Ring
  • Gator Wrap Ring
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