vintage class ring necklaces

What to do with your old class ring?

So you want to fling your ring? You’ve got more options than you might think: Sell it, save it, wear it, share it.

I was studying my high-school class ring the other day, and I really don’t know what possessed me to:

  • Choose a red stone. My birthstone is an amethyst, and I don’t remember red being a favorite color. What was I thinking?
  • Elect to put a gold monogram atop said red stone. It looks like crap now. Why?!
  • Get my name engraved inside the ring. That was the best I could come up with?

I have so many questions for my 18-year-old self. And she has no answers, although I suspect she was so overwhelmed with the choices presentec by the Balfour ring company that she finally just closed her eyes and pointed. (Check out the video above from Herff Jones. The number of options in 2015 is Grade A crazy!)

Thankfully, I can answer this question: What can you do with your old class ring?

You’ve got four basic options:

1. Sell it. 

It likely doesn’t get any easier than selling your ring through, wait for it, They’ll not only send you a free appraisal kit, but shipping is free, too.

You can also take your ring to a gold dealer, in which you’ll be selling it for the precious metal.

As this “junk dealer” explains in great detail, most class rings contain a good deal of gold, which makes them perfect for cashing in when the price of gold is high.

Another option, of course, is to put your ring on the auction block: When I recently searched eBay for class rings, it returned thousands of results. Thousands! People were asking anywhere from $.01 for rings made in China to $3,000 for a 125-year-old ring.

Remember, there are collectors of everything, and if you’ve got a very old or super-rare ring, or one from a prestigious school, you could strike 10k gold.

2. Save it.

I know, you’re sick of looking at it, and you want it out of the house. But how much space is it really taking up? The ring may mean nothing to you, but fast forward 25, 50, 100 years, and it’s an heirloom that a descendant of yours might be interested in. Really.

vintage class ring
No more teachers, no more books: My Grandma Iva Jewel’s class ring from 1931.

My parents recently found my grandmother’s high school ring in a safe deposit box and gave it to me. What a precious gift!

Grandma Iva (the namesake of this blog) was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and there’s no telling how her folks scraped together enough money to buy that band. I know she must’ve been proud of it, and I’m so proud it belongs to me now.

3. Remake it.

Let this inspire you:

class ring necklace
Diament Design’s class ring necklaces, $22

Diament Design’s class ring necklaces appear to consist of ring charms and the little “year” charms attached to mortarboard tassels. This Etsy seller found the necklaces hanging out in an old warehouse and has the following years available: 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92. Could be a fun purchase for an ’80s costume party or a class reunion (if you graduated in one of those years).

If you’ve got a chain in your jewelry box that matches the metal of your ring, voila, instant necklace like no other.

Taking it a step further, you can work hand-in-hand with a jeweler who’ll use the metal and stone of your old ring to create a custom design more appropriate to who you are now.

4. Wear it.

Yes, wear it. I’ve worn my confounding class ring several times recently, and I have to say, it really does have a nice feel to it. And even though it doesn’t entirely represent who I am now, it’s still all mine, and it makes me smile.

I’ve also worn my grandmother’s simple ring many times over the past month, and found it’s a nice, subtle reminder of what’s truly important in life.

I love this Huffington Post article, too, in which the author discusses why he still wears a ring he never wanted until recently. (Quote: “Now I am petrified of losing the damn thing, and I definitely do not care when someone makes a wisecrack.”)

Finally, if you’ve lost your class ring, or found one, circle around to Class Ring Finder, which is designed to help reunite wayward rings and their owners.

Talk about a class act.

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