Mood Rings, How They Got Invented, What They Mean

Scott Smith Oct 19, 2023
18 People Read
Box of 36 Mood Rings

Introduction to mood rings


A mood ring is a type of finger ring that changes colors, reflecting one's moods of the moment. Each mood ring has some type of mood stone, or band, that literally shifts between a range of different colors. Each color represents a different emotion or mood. After studying the idea of how to make a ring that would work this way, Joshua Reynolds and Maris Ambats invented the mood ring in 1975. They devised a color chart to show what specific emotions are triggered by different degrees of heat.

To get more technical, mood rings are thermochromic. Thermochromism is the property of substances to be able to change color in response to a change in temperature. This is how the mood ring works. It contains a clear glass stone filled with tiny liquid crystals. Much modern mood jewelry is made from a flat strip of liquid crystals with a protective coating. The crystals vibrate and twitch as the ring heats up or cools down. As they move around, they alter the wavelengths of light that reflect on our eyes. This is the way that stones appear to change their color.

The crystals are re-arranging themselves on a molecular level which in turn changes the reflection of colors of light from the light spectrum, producing a range of color hues.

With a good quality mood ring, the bands changing color are instantaneous, changing color in seconds. These results, however, can also be slightly skewed by how tight you wear the rings and how it is positioned on your finger. Additionally, there is the matter of the ambient temperature, where you are at the time. Whether it's at the beach in the summer or while skiing in December. Mood rings will typically show neutral green when worn by a person with an average resting peripheral body temperature of around 82 degrees.

Cultural Interest

The ongoing widespread enthusiasm is very interesting. I think it's just part of a bigger level of interest people have in things that can help them, or have some kind of power, or some kind of symbolism. People like to wear accessories that fall into a category of meaning something, usually in addition to making them look good when it's worn. Maybe things are believed to have a special power or energy to help them. Think in terms of wish bracelets, dream catchers, friendship bracelets, dame-drop items, gemstones ....and mood rings.

Color Meanings

Here is an example of how some current economically-priced mood rings are displayed at beach stores during the summer. These are examples of ones with nautical themes that are packaged in display boxes. You normally receive a little piece of paper for you to put in your wallet so you can keep checking to see what mood you are in. (or... you can check your mood by simply looking at the expression on your face in the mirror, lol)

The brighter colors manifest when you are cooler, and the darker colors when you are warmer.

Here is an expanded explanation of what each color means:

Black color

This is the color of somebody being overworked, stressed out, and tense.

White color

This color is associated with feelings of monotony, confusion, frustration, and boredom.

Gray color

You're experiencing lower stress levels than black, and you have a sense of anxiety and nervousness. This is the first color sign you will see when you're just starting to feel slightly uncomfortable over something. As the stress gets worse, the mood ring shift to the color black.

Amber or gold

This color indicates a range of emotions that can be as simple as being surprised or slightly shocked but also as complicated as feeling slightly upset.


This color represents creativity and a person wandering in that direction.


This is the color of uncertainty which can also mean the initial stages of excitement, interest, and arousal.


This color means you might be feeling a little bit more willing to take risks than usual, and you are looking for something new and exciting to spice up your day.


This is the color of somebody with their energy revved up energy.


This is a sign of contentment and peace. The person is calm but also alert.


This indicates the person is happy and friendly and wants to have fun and maybe party out. Dark blue represents when your mood is shifted to the highest possible level, indicating the desire for passion, love, and romance.

The brighter colors manifest when you are cooler, and the darker colors when you are warmer.


The original mood ring was just a round, oval-shaped bead on a plain silver band. It was a clever and novel idea. It was a huge hit and over the years, it has evolved into thousands of different variations.

Usually, the bands are adjustable on these rings so that one size will fit the most. However, the more expensive primo quality Aurora Promise rings generally have just one size band since it's harder to make adjustable silver band rings. The lower quality rings have a more flexible band and so can be made adjustable. Many of them use a silver surface-colored plastic band. 


Aurora Promise is a relatively new company with high-quality, attractive silver ring designs. They focus on the Mood Jewelry niche and stand out because they choose to specialize in just this. 

Here are some of my favorites


Although not as sensitive to temperature changes, mood jewelry comes in other things besides rings.

Here are some of my favorite Aurora Promise necklaces.