Some see mood rings as a gimmick that doesn’t do anything.

However, they are still popular even in the modern day and have some foundation in science.

Education resources


How were mood rings invented?

The first mood ring was created as long ago as 1975 in New York when the inventors Maris Ambats and Josh Reynolds came up with the idea. The theory behind the rings is that their color adapts to match your body temperature and that this body temperature can give an indication of how the person with the ring on is feeling. While they may not be hugely accurate, the colors were a big hit, and the rings shot to popularity. Some sold for $45, with gold versions being made for up to $250, and while the rings have significantly changed, they are still being produced even now.

The meaning behind the colors

A typical mood ring from the 1970s had about seven colors ranging from violet at the warmest to black at the coolest. When reacting to your skin, these colors mean:

  • Violet: You are passionate, excited, pleased, or in love. The color also signifies romance.
  • Blue: You are at ease, calm, relaxed, and loveable.
  • Blue Green: You have very charged emotions and are active but also relaxed.
  • Green: This is the average reading and suggests that you are calm and not under stress.
  • Amber: You have mixed emotions and could be cool, unhappy, unsettled, or nervous.
  • Gray: You are anxious, nervous, and strained.
  • Black: You are feeling tense, nervous, overworked, and harassed.

How do mood rings work?

Mood rings are filled with liquid crystals, which can adapt their color depending on your body’s temperature. In this way, there is a scientific basis to the idea since the amount of blood flowing to your skin can alter depending on your temperature and feelings. If you are feeling stressed, your blood will be sent away from your skin and toward your internal organs instead. This means that your fingers will become more relaxed as less blood reaches them, making the ring a darker gray or amber. You can infer from this that you are feeling stressed or anxious.

Alternatively, if you are feeling very happy or excited, more of your blood will be sent toward your extremities, meaning that there will be more blood and heat in your fingers. Therefore the ring, which sits on your finger, will turn towards the other end of the spectrum, becoming a more blue or purple color which indicated joy and excitement.

Are mood ring colors accurate?

While there are still mood rings made in recent years, they are now made using different materials. Newer mood rings are created with thermochromatic pigments instead of old liquid crystals. Many mood rings have a base color of a green or blue hue, but a range of colors can be used as neutral ones. This means that when you get a mood ring, you need to check the meaning of the colors for that specific ring. One may have the base color as blue, while another could have it set as anything from red or yellow to purple.

Some thermochromic pigments in the newer versions of these rings cycle through the colors, meaning that if a ring is on one color, like blue, any increase in temperature will make it shift up through the cycle to purple. Other versions can show more than one color at a time, while more have a colored, colorless and intermediate stage.

Outside influences on mood ring color

While there is some scientific foundation in the changing colors of mood rings depending on your mood, there are also a lot of external factors that can impact the color that the ring shows. Since the color depends on temperature, it could be the heat level in the area where you are changing the ring’s color.

Another factor influencing the color displayed is where you wear the stone on your body. If you wear it on your finger as a ring, it may display a more fantastic color. However, you may find that if you hang the same ring on a necklace and wear it against your neck, it changes to a warmer color. This is simply because the chest is likely to be a warmer temperature than the fingers, rather than the fact that the mood of the wearer has changed.

Permanent changes to ring colors

As well as being influenced by outside temperatures, the ring can be permanently damaged by other factors fairly easily. Old mood rings especially were easily ruined due to high humidity levels or water exposure. If this happens, the pigments needed to change the color react with the water and can no longer shift between colors. In this situation, the ring becomes black and cannot indicate a mood anymore. The same problem occurs with newer mood rings despite a layer of polymer added to the stones for protection.

In addition, the glass that is put over the ring can influence the colors the stone shows. Depending on the color wheel, placing a glass with a particular tint or hue can alter the stone’s color. For example, a yellow glass placed over a blue pigment will make it appear green even if it is not. While this permanent change means that the colors will always be viewed as the same through the glass, this difference means you will need to be more aware and take time to establish the meaning of the colors. This could be done through experimentation which could help you to work out what colors are allocated to which moods.

As long as you take good care of your mood ring, you should find that it lasts for years and continues to change color. This should remain true as long as you do not expose the stone to any liquid or moisture. Whether you are using your mood ring to indicate your emotions or you enjoy the ring for its changing colors, you should be able to enjoy its functions as long as you follow these simple directions. Mood rings have also become increasingly available in recent years, so even if you face a problem, you can easily acquire a new ring with little problem.