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You have the cadets at West Point to thank for the class ring tradition. More than 170 years ago, the class of 1835 got class rings, the first to do so. Since then, class rings have become a popular tradition in U.S. high schools and colleges.
Seal or signet rings were first worn by the ancient Egyptians. Worn throughout their lives and even after they died, these rings were thought to give the Egyptians eternal life. The design of class rings was based on the look of these ancient items.
As with a wedding band, there is a standard finger associated with the wearing of a class ring--the right hand's ring finger. Designs for early class rings were fairly consistent. White or yellow gold was used and the center stone represented the school's colors or the birthstone of the wearer.
There are a variety of shapes and styles to choose from today in class rings. Students can opt for different engravings and stones to reflect their interests and activities. The name of the student's school is often engraved around the class ring's stone. Other popular options are to have the student's graduation year engraved on one side of the ring. No matter how the class ring is designed, it is worn as a symbol of school spirit and educational pride.
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