Class ring divide

The Jostens ring order form. Photo courtesy of Griffin Morehead
The Jostens ring order form. Photo courtesy of Griffin Morehead

On Sept. 13 and 14, the main lobby was full of students looking to buy class rings.  The tradition of buying and wearing class rings started in 1835 at the military academy at West Point, where students would wear rings to commemorate their graduation.  From West Point, class rings spread to most high schools and colleges in the United States and Canada.

Josten’s, the company LRHS buys rings from, has many rings suiting all sorts of budgets and styles.

However, many in this massive collection come with “insane prices,” said Jen Pierce, senior.  The reason all these rings are so expensive is that they are made with very high quality gold, platinum, and silver.

Zachary Blatt, sophomore, does not plan to order a class ring.  Blatt said that he “doesn’t want some lame ring on his finger, and the prices are bad.”

Katie Arney, sophomore, said that her parents are going to make her pay for it, so she won’t order one until later in her high school career.

The rings themselves are pleasing to the eye because of the many options involving metals, stones, and designs.  “They’re pretty and shiny,” said Arney.  The consensus from most interviewed is that the prices are too high, but the rings, once bought, are beautiful.

Chris Rushing, junior, believes that “you get what you’re asking for.” Chris means that the rings are definitely worth the price, due to the types of metals used.  Rushing owns his ring because it is a family tradition.

Megan Pendergraft, senior, owns a ring and thinks that the rings are very nice but really hard to keep clean; regular scrubbing of the rings often leads to unwanted scratches on the finish.

Pendergraft also said that the “only way to clean them is to dip them into ring cleaner and hope for the best,” meaning that there is not a guaranteed way to make sure your ring is both beautiful and undamaged.

Carter Hering, sophomore, said that “the metal on your finger means much more than just a crafted item.”  The class rings here at Leesville symbolize many things, chief among them accomplishments at academics and sports, but also that you “beat life before and during high school.”

Andrew Morehead, alumni of Little Snake River High class of ‘85, owns a class ring, which he does not wear regularly.  However, it is in extremely good condition, despite its age, because he respects the ring and what it stands for.  To Morehead, the ring stands as a symbol of his school pride, his glory days, and his interpretation of what high school represents.

Stefanie Farzanegan, alumni of Durham High class of ‘83, also owns a class ring. The ring, to Farzanegan, stands for belonging in your senior class, and it also really helps her identify with her school.

Whether the rings are symbols, works of art, or simply shiny pieces of metal is up to the buyer.  Know that a class ring is a once in a lifetime thing– until college that is.


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