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Vintage Bling: Mood Rings

Updated on August 14, 2014
That Grrl profile image

Laura likes retro, vintage, old things. Choosing to preserve or repurpose is her dilemma - can't change your mind once started.

Vintage mood ring.
Vintage mood ring. | Source

Why wear a mood ring? Why not. Mood rings can be a mystery, a mood indicator, vintage fashion, or just colourful and a conversation starter. Mood rings were created in the 1970s, they use chemicals and temperature changes to indicate the mood of the ring wearer.

You may not know what a mood ring is. The rings were around in the 1970s and 1980s as rings which changed colours according to your mood. I had one. It did change colours but according to my mood ring I was never in a good mood. Of course, it might not help that my ring tended to suffer frequent water damage and I have always enjoyed cool/ cold weather. I think long walks on a cold and rainy day would have a negative effect on a mood ring - though it left me feeling pretty great.

My sisters had mood rings too. We would check our rings (they had to be worn in order to show results) at different times over the day and compare the colours. The rings came with instructions which explained what the colours meant.

It was fun and interesting (a great way to pass the time on long car rides) but not very efficient as a mood tracker. I wouldn't trust a mood ring as a way to evaluate anyone's mood. But, they were fun, colourful (most often shades of blue and violet for my sisters and I).

What are Mood Rings?

Two New York inventors, Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats created mood rings in 1975. Mood rings were a fad of the 1970s but had a little comeback in the 1980s.

The mood ring stone is a hollow quartz or glass shell containing thermotropic liquid crystals. A strip of crystals with a protective coating. Temperature changes cause the crystals to absorb or reflect light and they change colour.

If you feel happiness or passion your body temperature increases and the crystals reflect blue. Stress or excitement will cause blood to flow less on the body surface and the skin temperature cools down a little so the crystals reflect less light and become more yellow. If the ring is damaged (water tended to finish off many a mood ring) or in cold temperatures, the stone would be unresponsive, showing a dark grey or black stone.

Novelty mood ring.
Novelty mood ring. | Source

Mood Ring Colours and Their Meanings

  • violet - romantic or happy
  • blue - relaxed or calm
  • green - peaceful
  • yellow- imaginative
  • amber - excited or tense
  • brown - restless
  • gray - anxious or nervous
  • red - excited and energized
  • pink - uncertain or fearful
  • lilac - sensual or clarity
  • black - very stressed



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    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      8 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I don't think you need to worry about the mood ring confirming your mood. Between my sisters and I the mood rings were almost always blue or black when they stopped working. I went through a lot of moods in my teenaged years but the ring didn't reflect much of them.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      8 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Actually the idea of something confirming my mood seems a bit scary. Voted up and interesting, but I'm going to still observe my gut feelings. Good hub - very good explanation and use of photos.


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