|Written by Bill Hanks|
Are Class Rings Worth the Cost? As a junior in high school, I had the opportunity to purchase a class ring fromÂ Jostens. Myself and one other boy decided against it. My reason was to use the money for a down payment on my first car. A car, that I would use to go back and forth to college within two years.
Being a former high school teacher, I observed many students sitting with their parents and going through catalog after catalog with jewelry companies. We even had a special night so that they could come in and sit down one on one with a salesman. Class rings are big business. We often had another company try to compete with Jostens. Eventually, Jostens won out because they gave our school a big break on our school yearbook.
You can now design your own class ring. It use to be that you had several to choose from. All you had to do was pick out the size and the stone.
With the downturn in the recent economy, many parents and their children are taking a second look at class rings. They are asking many questions. Is a class ring that important for now? Can we really afford to purchase a ring? Should we use the money for college tuition? Why buy a ring that our child will only wear for a few years? What will happen if it gets lost? All of these are important questions, as they were when I was in school.
Companies turn out very good looking class rings. I consider Jostens one of the best. It isn't a matter of the quality that they turn out. It is more of a consumer decision, that has to be made by parents and their children. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.
Ring companies will bring in the big knuckle buster of past World Champs like theÂ Pittsburgh Steelers. This catches the eye of the buyer right away. Practical sense goes out the door.
Recently, the price of gold has rose quite a bit. During bad economic times, gold always goes up. So does the cost of jewelry. I once had a friend that worked in a jewelry store, that told me some items are marked up between 300 and 600 percent.
Jewelry businesses have that right. It comes back down to the consumer and the question, "Should I buy or not?" Children put pressure on their parents and other children put pressure on their friends. A parent doesn't want to say no. However, common sense requires parents to take a second look at class rings. Â Each family has a different financial position, when it comes to purchasing a class ring for their child.
My best advice would be to stay practical when considering a purchase of such magnitude.