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What are the emotions of a mood ring?

What are the emotions of a mood ring?

Mood rings first became popular in the 1970s as a way for people to get a glimpse into their emotions. The rings change colors based on body temperature to supposedly reflect the wearer’s mood. While mood rings don’t actually detect emotions, they can be an interesting novelty item. In this article, we’ll explore what mood rings are, how they work, and the meanings behind the different colors.

What is a Mood Ring?

A mood ring is a ring that contains a thermochromic liquid crystal that changes colors based on the temperature of the skin underneath it. The ring is usually set into a metal band made from materials like stainless steel or brass. The mood ring first hit the market in 1975 and became a popular trend in the late 70s and early 80s.

The “mood” aspect comes from the ring changing colors and the colors supposedly correlating to different emotions. The warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are said to reflect happiness, passion, and creativity. The cool colors like blue, purple, and black are thought to reflect calmness, serenity, and nervousness.

How Does a Mood Ring Work?

A mood ring works by using liquid crystals that change color at different temperatures. The ring contains thermochromic liquid crystals in a clear quartz stone or glass capsule set into the band. These crystals are made of compounds that change structure based on temperature.

Temperature Range Color
82°F and above Black
77° – 82°F Blue
74° – 77°F Green
69° – 74°F Yellow
69°F and below Brown or bronze

Body temperature is usually around 97°F on average, but can vary anywhere from 96°F to 99°F. As the crystals sense this skin temperature under the ring, they will change structure and reflect different wavelengths of light, resulting in a color change.

Mood Ring Color Meanings

While mood rings don’t actually detect your mood, the colors are meant to indicate various emotional states. Here are the commonly accepted meanings behind mood ring colors:


Black is thought to represent stress, tension, or negative emotions. A black mood ring may mean you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or upset.


Blue is associated with calmness, relaxation, and peace. Feeling tranquil and sentimental may result in a blue color.


Green is tied to feelings of balance, wellness, and energy. A green mood ring reflects stable emotions.


Yellow represents happiness, optimism, and hope. Yellow signifies joy, creativity, and an upbeat mood.


Brown and amber hues are linked to grounded, comfortable feelings. It may signal you are feeling relaxed and centered.


Gray mood ring colors are said to indicate fatigue, boredom, and sluggishness. The color may reflect feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Color Meaning
Black Stress, tension, negative emotion
Blue Calm, relaxed, peaceful
Green Balanced, well, energized
Yellow Happiness, optimism, hope
Brown Grounded, comfortable, relaxed
Gray Fatigue, boredom, sluggishness

Keep in mind these meanings can vary slightly based on the specific hue and individual interpretations. Most mood ring color guides are more for fun than scientifically proven correlations!

Limitations of Mood Rings

While mood rings have an appeal in their supposed ability to monitor emotions, they do have limitations. Some key things to keep in mind:

– The color changes are based on skin temperature only and do not actually detect brain activity, hormones, heart rate, or other physical signals that correlate to moods.

– Outside temperature, sun exposure, and activitiy levels can impact the skin temperature being measured and affect the ring color.

– Everyone’s neutral or “baseline” temperature is different, so the colors indicating a positive mood for one person may not be the same for someone else.

– Hydration levels, circulation, and other physical factors can influence skin temperature and mood ring colors from day to day.

– The meanings behind the colors are not scientifically proven, just loosely interpreted correlations.

So mood rings can be amusing as a jewelry piece but have significant limitations in their accuracy and ability to genuinely detect emotions. The technology is based solely on skin temperature and does not account for the many complex biological and psychological factors that influence moods.

The History and Popularity of Mood Rings

Mood rings first became popular in 1975 when two New York inventors, Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats, began marketing the rings with the color-changing abilities. They worked with a jeweler to create silver rings with the thermochromic liquid crystals encased in quartz stones.

The mood ring craze peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1977, Reynolds and Ambats made an estimated $45 million in mood ring sales. Celebrity interest and marketing that promised mystical mind-reading powers fueled interest in the rings. However, popularity declined in the 80s once consumer skepticism grew over the rings’ abilities.

While no longer the widespread fad of the 70s, mood rings remain available today as novelty items. Modern versions come in an array of designs like flower shapes and heart motifs. Mood ring color guides are also popular online. The rings maintain a nostalgic appeal and whimsical reputation in the jewelry world.

How To Use a Mood Ring

Using a mood ring is extremely simple! All you need to do is:

– Slip the ring onto your finger (it should fit snugly but not too tight). Any finger will work, but pointer or ring fingers allow the bottom of the band to make firmer contact with your skin.

– Allow your body heat to cause the crystals in the stone to change color. This usually takes 5-20 seconds. Warmer skin temperature will show more red/orange/yellow tones while cooler temps give blue/green.

– Take note of the color and check it against a mood ring color chart to interpret the supposed meaning.

– Enjoy watching the colors shift as your skin temperature naturally fluctuates slightly throughout the day! Blue and green are common daytime colors while yellow and orange may emerge with activities.

– Remove the ring before showering, swimming, or participating in vigorous sports or activities that could cause it to loosen, slip off, or get scratched.

Mood rings are fun novelty pieces that seem to reveal your emotions through color. Just keep in mind the color changes are driven solely by skin temperature, so the accuracy in reflecting moods is questionable. But they can still be an interesting jewelry item to wear and watch transform before your eyes!


Mood rings have a fascinating history and cultural appeal in their supposed power to reveal emotions through colors that change based on skin temperature. While they cannot actually detect brain activity or hormones that drive moods, they can still be an enjoyable jewelry item. Mood rings allow you to watch your body heat cause the thermochromic crystals to morph colors throughout the day. Different colors correspond with claimed emotional states like blue for calmness or yellow for joy. So a mood ring makes an intriguing accessory that seems to showcase your feelings through its chameleon-like abilities! Just keep in mind the limitations and that moods are far more complex than skin temperature alone. But embrace the nostalgic novelty of a jewelry piece that reacts to you and enjoy the conversation piece it can make.