Buying class rings is always one of those things that struck me as being a dumb investment. Or at least one that people with brains which include more than brain stems don't tend to make. With the freshman "Ring Fling" [agh] just a while ago in which a nicotened/caffeined up salesperson gives out class rings to a group of drugged/pregnant freshmen just heightens my anger. Let's learn a bit about class rings.
The first thing we learn about class rings is that they are made of high quality metals - alloys, actually - as "Ultrium" and "Sunglo". Such rings are encrusted with gems like "Ultralite" (a February gemstone, as I am informed by the company's catelog), "Patriot Stripe" (catering to the rabid republican crowd), "Cubic Zirconia" (of 3$ mass-produced Wal-Mart ring fame), and the ever-popular "Padparadschah" (something most pronunciation coaches probably can't make sense of). Of course, if students want premium metals such as "Extreme Silver Alloy (trademarked, even!)", an alloy that contains 84.3% Silver in addition to the lump of metals grouped in "other metals", they'll have to pay premium prices. Which, of course, mean that they're obscenely priced and no one in their right mind (that's an important condition) would buy one. Think of it as buying a few ounces of silver for 300$. Except instead of being solid silver, there's a big hole in the middle of the silver alloy with random, cliche engravings (wow, I can get a guitar AND a basketball on mine!) and a big inlaid stone of "Emerald Green Royal(!) Cubic Zirconia". My thoughts exactly.
Of course, we then learn that the stones weren't actually mined. Rather, they were grown in a laboratory. So instead of that extra 800% profit on my "Cornflower Blue Hope Star Sapphire" going towards paying subsistence wages to poor African miners (have you ever seen a sapphire described as "cornflower blue"?), they actually end up in the pockets - back accounts, probably - of the company and their lab workers who use a process akin to those elementary school "grow your own crystals!" kits. My fears are allayed, however, when I find out that these lab grown stones are actually chemically and physically identical to real stones. So they're actually identical to stones of mined whatever-the-hell that is. Thank god they cleared that up.
I really hate class rings. Oh, and I really hate freshmen. So it probably doesn't help that these two objects of my hatred get combined into one massive orgy of stupid kids buying things whose raw materials cost practically nothing.
I don't know how to end this. So I'll just end it with that.