Today's Feature Friday focuses on Mood Rings - that cool piece of jewelry that contained a stone that changed color depending on your mood. Some people believed in them, some didn't think they worked. What did you think?
The Mood Ring was invented by a jeweler named Marvin Wernick in the late 1960’s. Wernick discovered the process when he went on an emergency call with a friend who happened to be a doctor. The doctor used a strip of thermotropic material on a young boy’s forehead to check his temperature which gave Wernick the idea for the mood ring.
Even though the technical discovery of the mood ring was by Wernick, credit is most often given to Joshua Reynolds for what became one of the biggest fads of the 1970’s. Reynolds was the first to popularize the rings in 1975 and even though they were a fad in the 70’s, they continually resurface for periods of time throughout the years.
The ring consisted of a liquid crystal thermometer in a quartz or glass stone that changed color depending on the temperature of the finger of the wearer.
When a person’s body temperature increases the temperature of the liquid crystal increases, and takes on a different molecular structure at every temperature. Each molecular structure reflects or absorbs different wavelengths which are responsible for the color change in mood rings. The color of the ring actually changes because of body temperature, not because of mood.
When the liquid crystal was calibrated with body temperature, it was also calibrated for color. Average body temperature displays a blue/green or teal color on the mood ring. The following is a list of all the colors and there corresponding moods, starting with the coldest temperature:
Black: depressed or down, really cold outside or a damaged ring
Brown/Gray: anxious or nervous
Yellow/Amber: tense and excited
Green/Teal: average day and average body temperature
Blue: calm and relaxed
Violet/Purple: happy or passionate
The rings initially sold for $45 in a "silvery setting" or $250 for gold.
They were short lived in the 70's and mostly worn by young girls. However, they did make mention in pop culture including a Peanut's comic strip where Peppermint Patty gets so angry at Charlie Brown that her mood ring explodes.
The Mood Ring re-emerged in the 1990's and this time came in different styles, not just the traditional oval stone. Some were bands, heart shaped, triangular and so on.