They come in many shapes and sizes, and incorporate many different stones and designs. For students, class rings serve as an expression of what is important to them, as a way to remember their high school years. At Helias, students order their rings in the spring of their sophomore year. For many of them, it can almost seem overwhelming, trying to make so many choices at once. The cost also deters some students.
When designing a ring, students pick from different collections. They range from “Trandwinds” and “Achiever”, the tried and true rings with a round stone surrounded by the name of the school, to “Heritage”, with a more vintage-style with a rectangular stone, to “Signature”, for girls only, comprising rings with a smaller, more delicate style.
After picking a design, the next choices are those of metal, stones, and customizable sides. Most rings come in white and yellow lustrium, and some can be upgraded to white or yellow 10K gold for an additional fee. Many students choose their birthstone for their ring, but their is a variety of choices to choose from, including garnet, alexandrite, ruby, topaz, and several colors of spinel. There are also many different cuts to pick from.
“I chose archery and nursing because they are important to me,” said junior Elizabeth Stewart. “I participate in archery here at Helias, and I want to be a nurse.” Nursing and archery are just two of the many sides available to students. Others range from sports, hobbies, and other activities to careers and expressions such as religious symbols.
Although rings are ordered in the spring of their sophomore year, students do not recieve the finished products until August of their junior year. Jostens, the same company that prints yearbooks, and provides graduation caps and gowns, works all summer to have the orders ready when school starts in the fall. In the days following the rings’ arrival, many students could be spotted wearing their new jewelry around school. Although interest has waned somewhat, some students continue to wear their rings daily. “I wear my ring every day,” said Stewart, “I wasn’t used to wearing a ring every day, so it took some getting used to. I really like it now.”
Fellow junior, Cayla Carr also enjoys wearing her ring, although, “When I first picked up my ring, it didn’t fit,” Carr said, “I still wanted to wear it, so I put it on my necklace chain.” Like Carr, several other students found that their rings were not the right size, or had been made with the wrong sides. After notifying Jostens, they were sent a new ring within three weeks.
Many students often see class rings as a way to express things that they care about. “They really show off the wearer’s personality, because each ring is so unique,” Carr says. Her ring, for example, has a clear stone to represent diamond, her birthstone. On the stone is a picture of the Crusader. “I really wanted to incorporate our school mascot.”
Class rings are sometimes written off as an unnecessary purchase, but Carr believes otherwise. “I think they’re a great investment,” she said, “it is going to be something you can look at years later after hih school, and remember what was important to you then. You’ll have memories because of it.”
The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 1
The “Home” coming for the Holidays Issue