memories of the ’70s – mood rings

There was no need to explain yourself in the 1970s – if you wanted to let someone know how you were doing – you just wore your mood ring.

Made from a thermochromic element, such as liquid crystal, the mood ring changed colours because of your body’s temperature and each colour symbolized a different emotion. The ring became a popular item in the mid-1970s, with two men credited for bringing it to market – Marvin Wernick and Joshua Reynolds.

Wernick saw a physician use a thermotropic material to gauge the temperature of a young patients, and as a jewellery designer, realized how it could be used for jewellery. He researched and created the traditional oval ring, with a tag explaining the colours and emotions:

Dark blue – happy, romantic, passionate

Blue – calm, relaxed

Blue-green – somewhat relaxed

Green – normal

Amber – a little nervous or anxious

Red – insecure

Gray – very nervous or anxious

Purple – moody

Black – stressed

Joshua Reynolds is also credited with creating the mood ring in the 1970s. A marketing whiz, he was the one who brought this item to market in a big way and has gone on to create other hot consumer goods, including The Thighmaster.

Women embraced the mood ring – an affordable piece of jewellery and something fun to wear on a night out. My Mum had a mood ring, and I used to try it on, hoping to get it to change colours. Not understanding that is was my body’s heat that affected the ring, I would dangle it on my finger and will it to change colours, but nothing would happen. Then I discovered if I kept it in my pocket, I could get it to change colours, as my hand heated up the ring.

I don’t know what happened to the mood ring – knowing my Mum its probably still in her jewellery drawer – a forgetten affectation of the ’70s.