The photo above is provided courtesy of Ron George Jewelers in Annapolis. Ron George has served the Naval Academy with high quality Class Ring Mods℠ since 1991.
Modification is the only way to make a class ring truly yours. Mids have been modifying USNA class rings for decades. Customization can provide your ring with a reflection of who you are and what you have achieved. Some Mids choose to keep it simple and just modify the stone, while other Mids choose to add additional gemstones, gold and engraving for a truly unique ring. Although the manufacturer usually provides a customization option many Mids choose to have it done by their local jeweler. This tends to be less costly but a much higher quality. Below you will find a list of popular modifications that are performed by Mids upon receiving their class rings.
The center piece of any USNA class ring is it’s center gemstone. The gemstone type and quality vary greatly from ring to ring. It is a good idea to make sure you purchase the ring with an open back to ensure optimal light intake. This will allow your gemstone to shine brilliantly when worn and allow for easier cleaning. Midshipmen may also choose to replace the center stone with a solid gold plug on which they can engrave a crest or initials.
Center Cluster (Halo)
A center cluster or “halo” is a ring of diamonds or gemstones that is set around a smaller center stone. The cluster can be made using all diamonds or it can be made using colored stones. Some jewelers use higher quality clusters than others making the class ring truly shine. It is also possible to alternate between diamond and color gemstones around the center stone.
Usually diamonds, these stones are set into the side bezel of the ring in between “United States” and “Naval Academy”. While diamonds are the most popular, it’s possible to set a variety of other colored gemstones there as well. Beware of the so called “free diamond dividers”. Some jewelers may offer this, however it’s good to note that these are lower quality and unflattering when set into the side of a your class ring. The cost of your gemstone may also be marked up as much as 20% to compensate the diamonds “free” price as well.