Written By: Christa Smith
Getting a class ring was a popular high school tradition of the past but the rush to get one has died in recent years.
Reporter, Amy Pearson, in her 2012 article for for Winona Daily News, “Sales of class rings have declined by half in recent years,” says that only 35 percent of students make class ring orders.
Reasons for this may be that many are turned off by its prices. Liberty High’s most affordable ring being at $202 and the most expensive one being at $500. Considering that these items are being sold to teenagers who usually only pocket enough for basic necessities like gas and lunch, the pricing could definitely be considered questionable.
Others, however, are turned off by their “tacky” designs as they lack subtlety. Most class rings are chunky in size, obnoxious, and usually contain loud colors like cobalt blue and ruby red. The numbers on these rings, while with sentimental value (e.x. graduation year) can come across as pretentious as they are often the center of these designs in their big obnoxious font.
Some making the purchase are driven by its sentimental value. Many parents have their own class rings and these kids, following in their parent’s footsteps, make the purchase. For others, it is less about “family tradition” and more so just to have a souvenir to commemorate graduating and the experiences that high school has offered them.
This especially applies to those who play sports as many class rings can be designed to feature an athlete's jersey number and their team’s logo. This further personalizes the rings for this demographic.
While the sentimental value of the rings are appealing, they just are not worth it. They can’t be worn subtly and they’re pricey; hardly any present day high school student ever remembers its existence.
However, this doesn’t mean that school spirit isn’t alive and well. To be frank, the masses who use to buy class rings have flocked over to another market - school clothing wear. Many students on campus can often be seen geared in school sweatshirts, hoodies, sweats, hats etc.
So, sure, we as a collective have seemingly put class jewelry to rest but that’s okay because we’re probably still down to wear anything else in the name of school spirit; like our much more affordable contemporary, school clothing.