James collects small shiny things and reviews products. He does this because he's obsessed with practical gifts.
One of the most persistent and aesthetically curious cyclical fads of our time, mood rings have delighted, bedazzled, annoyed, and confused people ever since they became popular in the 1970s.
Mood rings are rings set with a stone that changes color depending on the wearer's mood. But is this really what is happening? Is it all a lie, or is there something to this claim?
In this article:
- How do mood rings work?
- Mood ring color meanings and chart
- What it means when a mood ring turns...
- Do mood rings actually tell your mood?
- Mood ring color interpretation advice
- The future of mood rings
What Are Mood Rings?
A thermochromic substance is injected into the stone of the ring and reacts to body temperature, allowing the gem to change color based on "mood". Or rather, temperature.
So in the case of excitement or (ahem) arousal, blood is directed away from the skin, lowering the surface temperature and changing the mood ring color.
Since color changes are based on temperature, it is important to realize that mood rings are not a scientific benchmark, but can pick up an unerring and often subconscious array of physiological changes.
The connection between skin temperature and emotion is well documented. In a study published by the U.S National Library of Medicine, a group of psychology students was exposed to music of different kinds and researchers found that relaxed and happy songs were linked to an increase in skin temperature. Conversely, stressful or sad music brought skin surface temperature down.
Mood Ring Color Meanings
Now that we've discussed the science behind mood rings, it's time to discuss what each color shift purports to represent.
Here is a visual breakdown of what colors and emotions are generally associated with mood ring color shots (note: many mood rings will come with their own instructional leaflet and may customize color).
Mood Ring Color Chart
What Does it Mean When a Mood Ring Turns...
Here's a very simple breakdown of color and meaning. Please note that traditionally, because the color represents emotion, the resulting expression requires interpretation and can mean different things!
Neutral (unresponsive), stressed, fearful.
Fearful, worried, rebellious.
Aroused, thrilled, excited.
Excited, on edge, impatient.
Wary, nervous, tense.
Balanced, peaceful, mixed emotions.
Friendly, happy, relaxed.
Deeply relaxed, blissful.
Loving, affectionate, wonder.
Meditative, confused, stunned.
Aloof, cool, indifferent.
Mixed emotions usually denoting rapid temperature change and therefore emotions.
Shades of all these colors have their own meanings and interpretations. This brings me to an important point about mood ring accuracy.
Do Mood Rings Actually Tell Your Mood?
While the thermochromic liquid crystal is great at reacting to changes in temperature, that's really all we can say it's doing with any degree of accuracy.
Considering the following facts:
- The stones are calibrated to an arbitrary temperature (usually 37 degrees celsius, the baseline average), but everyone's "normal" temperature is a little different. A person whose baseline temperature is higher will likely experience different "moods" than someone whose temperature is lower.
- There is no objective regulation that governs mood ring color interpretation. It's down to the producer of the item to define their own interpretations. This is why mood ring charts vary so widely.
- Mood rings are particularly susceptible to water damage. If water leaks into the stone the liquid crystal will become unresponsive (black).
The bottom line is this: Mood rings do a good job of measuring variations in skin temperature. However, while this color change usually signals a change in "mood" (temperature), there is no way to be sure about what that temperature change signifies. Simply because everyone has different baseline values.
A Better Way to Interpret Mood Ring Color Meanings
Your mood ring should come with its own color chart, and this is probably a good starting point. But given the fact that our individual temperatures vary quite a bit, a better way to make sense of color changes is to match our emotions to colors over time.
Take note of what a baseline reading is for you, and what happens to the color liquid crystal material when in certain emotional states.
Ultimately, we should aim to compile our own charts based on our own temperature variations and emotional states. This is a far better way of improving mood ring accuracy!
Just a Fad? The Future of Mood Rings
Mood ring designs have adapted over the years. For those who are nostalgic, original mood ring designs are still very popular (and laughably cheap). 1970s designs were usually quite flowery and elaborate (usually nickel-plated), while today they have become more elegant and minimalistic.
But mood rings, in the face of stiff competition from other forms of jewelry are beginning to leak into other product ranges such as furniture, giving houses an added touch of emotional interactivity.
Are there different types of mood rings?
Absolutely. The setting of the stone and the overall design of the ring can vary. There's no "right way" to do it. The main attraction here is the emergence of the color of the mood ring and the significance of that color. All that matters is that the stone itself is made with thermochromic material.
Mood pendants, clothing, bangles, and bracelets are also pretty popular these days.
What happens next is anyone's guess. If you ask me the simple fact that mood rings work on some level, by attuning themselves to our body, means they will always find someone who appreciates them. Perhaps not so much as a scientific tool, but as a novelty gift, a great ice-breaker and conversation starter.
Conclusion: Not Just a Childish Daydream
People who notice your mood ring will be quick to point out that while it is certainly pretty, it isn't a scientifically accurate way of reading emotion.
Sure, the colors are an approximation, but that doesn't mean they are completely random. Because they aren't. They are reacting (to our skin temperature in this case).
By monitoring our own body's effect on the liquid crystal we can devise our own chart of values, which, if you ask me, is not without meaning.
And to those who claim these rings are frivolous and somehow anti-scientific: I beg to disagree. We are wearing a ring made of thermochromic material that is reacting in real-time to micro-changes in the skin's surface temperature. It's essentially a scientific experiment continuously unfolding before our eyes.
Now that's pretty neat!
tinkerbelle smith on October 05, 2017:
i lost my mood ring which was my engagement ring i don't know how to tell him so i am going to get a magnet and search the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and yes my parents named me tinkerbelle
tinkerbelle on October 05, 2017:
i want my brothers mood ring so badly and i can not afford one
Charlie Adamson on June 08, 2017:
I'm sure you know this one but, just in case...,
"I lost my Mood Ring, I don't know how I feel about it...!
sahar on December 31, 2012:
i love that mode chair and it was fun to see the colors change
i have a mood ring and i love this on so much my is a cross
i used to have anther one it was a dophand
Linda on May 17, 2012:
Last weekend my husband and I went to a swap meet and we found a mood ring. I fit perfect, I got so excited because I hadn't seen one seen the 70's and the silly thing turned bright green. It said on it "kiss me". My husband did and it turn red. The man started laughing. It was fun! Needless to say I had to find out what each color meant! I love this mood ring!
vesna on May 14, 2012:
i am 11
i am from slovenia
i buy mood ring to
phoebe on April 20, 2012:
i have a mood ring i got it on my holiday and i got back to day mine is normally blue,green,purple and black so far i no blue means happy purple i think means sad black is calm and green means surprised
faith on April 05, 2012:
what dose blue mean i got mine from a boy at school gave it to me im only a kid mine is alwase on blue or a greeny orangy blue but mostly blue
emma on March 31, 2012:
i have a really cute mood ring its a penguin and its his belly that shows the mood
:) :) :) :) :)
mari on March 25, 2012:
mood rings are awesome!!! i am mostly on blue, purple and sometimes pink, oh and also blur green :)
eian fullerton on March 24, 2012:
could you take the ink that's in them and put it in a tattoo that would be cool
Lora on March 21, 2012:
Where can this chair be purchased?
Natalie on February 25, 2012:
I love mood rings so muche whate dose pink
natalie on February 21, 2012:
I love mood rings
Eyra on February 18, 2012:
Im always blue!!!!!!
holly78 on February 06, 2012:
hi i love mood rings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
caitlinhodson on January 22, 2012:
that was amazon were the chers chang into different colers.
James Nelmondo (author) from Rome, Italy on January 09, 2012:
Hey Kenn, I'm not sure where you can buy one, but the prices can vary from mid-ranged to very, very cheap!
kenn on January 09, 2012:
where i can buy mood ring here in the philippines and how much it is?
ashley on January 05, 2012:
love it! My mood ring! it knows tht im in LOVE. ? lmaoo
Rocket on December 31, 2011:
Mine is on blue 99%of the time.
toiletbowl face on December 22, 2011:
Why did the cookie go to the Docter?Because it felt crummy!Knock knock,who is there?Sindyluw,Sindyluw who?U no who.Ha ha.U no ,from THE GRINCH.
kaykay on December 20, 2011:
I love mine!But it always seems to land on Dark Blue.
Molz on December 06, 2011:
Mine always seems to rapidly change colour! But it always settles on green... I'm pretty average!!!
Pat on November 20, 2011:
My mood ring often stays between a very pale pink and pale lavender, also teal and amber which are described above. Can you tell me anything about the very pale pink and very light lavender? As I am writing this it is a lime green which is odd for me as I've never seen lime on me.
moodringluva on November 11, 2011:
i have that same ring on the page on the top with the silver!!!
Erica on September 12, 2011:
I bought one when I went to Wonderland and i'm always happy for some reason (it is always blue)
jjhdeyd on September 10, 2011:
i don't get it
Elsa Virgo from US on June 22, 2011:
Awesome info about mood rings.
Jewel on May 24, 2011:
Mood rings are awesome,and there also beautiful. I got mine at florida.I love mood rings.
it me on April 26, 2011:
Hey i bout a mood ring today and im wanna no wat the colors mean.. explain: green, blue, purple, brown, black, and red for me please.. if you don't mind :)
Rings on January 25, 2011:
Mood rings are great fun. I find one friend is never happy with their mood colour. Can be good for children to play with, not ecpensive and gets them involved in rings too.
dana on January 24, 2011:
I love the mood ring I go it 3 days it so cool!!!
charls on December 28, 2010:
hi i just bout one 2day and ps there not tha real meanings these r the real ones
blue green flirty
green happy and purple exsited and also black sad
Emily on December 24, 2010:
I think they are cool and butful.I have one myself.I love Mood Rings!!!!
morgan on November 11, 2010:
im exetremly moody
ladycordelia17 on November 02, 2010:
Last time I was at a Six Flags theme park, I got a Superman-themed mood pendant as a souvenir. As such, I think it's always most fitting whenever the pendant is a nice sapphire-blue (matching the blue shade of Superman's costume) at a time when I'm calm, or when I'm under pressure but handling it well. (As in, it may be rough right now, but I'm in control; I'm perfectly all right.) On the other hand, however, there have been times when my pendant was an unpleasant shade of yellow-green at the same time that I was feeling distressed and overwhelmed (the coincidence being the fact that the thing that causes Superman a great deal of pain - kryptonite - is also yellow-green).
mansbestfriend from South East Area of Kent, UK on October 31, 2010:
great information on the mood rings, I have one myself!
Arlecchino from Top of the Cloud on October 24, 2010:
I like these mood rings. I think each boss has to have these rings than we will know what mood she/he has :)
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on October 24, 2010:
Mood rings are fun. Thanks for detailing the meaings of the colors. It seems whenever my girls got a mood ring they lost the paper that told what every color meant.
James Nelmondo (author) from Rome, Italy on October 19, 2010:
Hello anon! I agree with the chair needing a serious makeover aesthetically speaking, but it is a great idea!
Thank so much for dropping by!
on October 19, 2010:
When mood rings first came out in the 70s I lived in a northern clime and during the winter that poor ring was always black...brrrrrrr. The scientific nature--or mythical nature--is quite fun for the young but alas it's just about temperature, as you mention.
As for the chair--what a great upgrade on an old theme, however, that poor thing needs some arm rests...lol.