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What does a purple mood ring mean?

What does a purple mood ring mean?

Purple mood rings have become a popular jewelry item that claims to reveal the emotional state of the wearer based on the color it turns. But what does a purple color on a mood ring actually signify? Here’s an in-depth look at the meaning behind a purple mood ring.

How Mood Rings Work

Mood rings contain thermochromic liquid crystals inside the stone or band that are heat-sensitive and change color based on the temperature of your skin. The ring is designed to be worn on the finger, where it is in direct contact with the skin. As your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, the heat-sensitive crystals inside the ring change color in response.

The mood ring color chart is calibrated to correlate certain colors with different emotions. For example, blue and green are thought to signify calmness and relaxation. Meanwhile, black, gray, and brown typically represent stress or anxiety. The color purple on a mood ring falls somewhere in the middle of the emotional spectrum.

What Does the Color Purple Mean on a Mood Ring?

A purple mood ring generally corresponds to a neutral, meditative, or thoughtful emotional state. Your body temperature will cause the ring to turn various shades of purple when you are feeling reflective, peaceful, or passive.

Here is a breakdown of the common purple tones on mood rings and what they mean:

Purple Shade Meaning
Light purple Relaxed and happy
Medium purple Thoughtful and introspective
Dark purple Sad or melancholy

As you can see, lighter purples represent more positive, upbeat emotions. As the purple gets darker, it is thought to correspond with more somber or contemplative moods.

Why Does a Mood Ring Turn Purple?

Your mood ring will shift to a shade of purple when your body temperature hits around 86-90°F (30-32°C). This typically occurs when you are awake and active, but in a relatively calm emotional state.

Purple is considered the “baseline” color for mood rings when you are feeling neutral. Your body temperature and heart rate are likely elevated from sleep, but not spiking with strong emotions in either direction. The purple color signifies you are centred and level-headed.

Some activities that may cause your mood ring to turn purple include:

– Meditating
– Reading or studying
– Having a pleasant conversation
– Resting after exercise
– Commuting or traveling
– Engaging in mild physical activity
– Being deep in thought

So in summary, seeing a purple shade appear on your mood ring does not denote any extreme emotions. Rather, it reflects periods of peaceful awareness, introspection, and steady-state activity.

The Origins of Mood Rings

Mood rings first emerged in the 1970s during the New Age movement and were advertised as a form of biofeedback. The rings were said to allow the wearer to monitor their emotions and energy levels throughout the day simply by glancing at the color of the ring.

Joshua Reynolds is credited with inventing the mood ring in 1975. Reynolds worked with a specialized team to develop the heat-sensitive liquid crystals and correlate specific colors with emotions for the mood chart.

By the late 1970s, millions of mood rings had been sold. They became a popular fashion statement and cultural fad, though many questioned the scientific accuracy behind them. While mood rings may not be scientifically sound, they remain a novel way for people to tune into their emotional states.

How Accurate Are the Colors of Mood Rings?

Most mood ring retailers provide a basic color guide that links certain colors with specific moods or emotions. However, the accuracy of mood ring color meanings is questionable.

The color changes are based solely on temperature fluctuations near the surface of the skin. Skin temperature can vary for many reasons unrelated to mood, including air temperature, exercise, circulation, and metabolism. Things like drinking a hot or cold beverage can also alter the color.

Additionally, people experience emotions in very nuanced, personal ways that likely cannot be simplified onto a color spectrum. Mood is complex and influenced by many factors, both biological and environmental.

So while mood rings can be fun novelty items, they should not be used as a scientifically reliable measure of someone’s emotional state. The colors may have some accuracy at the extremes (blue for relaxed versus black for stressed), but the subtler gradations are unlikely to consistently align with complex moods and feelings.

Tips for Reading Your Mood Ring

Though mood rings have questionable accuracy, they can still offer some loose insight into your general state of mind when utilized properly. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your mood ring readings:

– Wear it on your dominant hand. This will give the most accurate reading of your stable baseline temperature.

– Give it time to adjust. When you first put on the ring, ignore the initial color it turns and wait 10-15 minutes.

– Take note of patterns and changes. Look for color shifts throughout the day to spot your temperature spikes and dips.

– Remove distractions first. The reading will be most accurate if you are still and calm for a few minutes before checking the color.

– Consider external factors. Did you just drink something hot or cold? Have you been exercising? Is it freezing outside? Account for these environmental influences.

– Use it in combination with mindfulness. Tune into your body and emotions in the moment when glancing at the color, don’t rely on the color alone to tell you how you feel.

– Consider it one data point. Use the ring in combination with other indicators to gauge your mood, like your gut instincts, energy levels, body language, or interactions with others.

While mood rings have limits, keeping these tips in mind can help you glean useful information from the color changes. But always remember, you know yourself better than any jewelry can!

Alternative Explanations for a Purple Mood Ring

Although most retailers provide a standard mood ring color guide, there are some alternative explanations for why your ring may turn purple besides your emotional state.

Here are a few other reasons your mood ring might appear purple:

– Drop in body temperature – Feeling cold from a chilly environment, illness, or low blood pressure can cause purple tones.

– Circulation changes – Decreased circulation to the extremities can reduce finger temperature, resulting in a purple color.

– Allergic reaction – Skin inflammation from a metal or crystal allergy may alter skin temperature and cause a color change.

– Malfunction – A damaged or low-quality stone may default to purple and stop responding properly to temperature changes.

– Sun exposure – The sun’s heat can warm the band and interfere with the thermochromic crystals, turning it purple.

– Skin discoloration – Bruising, very dry skin, or anything obstructing the contact between the ring and your skin can affect the reading.

So if your purple mood ring does not seem to match your emotional state, consider whether any of these other explanatory factors are at play. Be aware of your physical health and environment in addition to your mood.

Matching Your Mood Ring to Your Mood

Though mood rings have limits to their accuracy, you can take steps to better match the ring color to your actual mood. Here are some suggestions:

– Focus on your breath – Take some deep breaths to relax and center yourself before checking the ring. This can stabilize your temperature.

– Still your mind – Meditate briefly to get in touch with your emotions and calm your thoughts. This can make the reading more accurate.

– Monitor trends – Record the color changes throughout the day to detect patterns related to your energy and mood over time.

– Wear it consistently – Keep the ring on the same finger at all times to establish your normal temperature baseline.

– Remove distractions – Eliminate outside influences before checking the color by sitting quietly and limiting temperature fluctuations.

– Verify your mood – Check in with yourself about how you are feeling in the moment when you look at the color, rather than just relying on the ring.

With mindful use and by minimizing confounding variables, you may find greater consistency between your mood ring color and inner emotional state. But be open to the fact that mood is complex, and no single color will perfectly reflect how you feel.

The Meaning of Mood Ring Colors

While purple is the focus of this article, here is a quick overview of the other common mood ring color meanings:

Blue – Relaxed, calm, peaceful

Green – Normal, neutral, balanced

Yellow/Orange – Happy, cheerful, optimistic

Red – Excited, passionate, energetic

Brown – Nervous, stressed, anxious

Gray – Sad, bored, fatigued

Black – Tense, overwhelmed, angry

Keep in mind these are broad generalizations, and your own mood interpretations may differ from this standard guide. Watch for patterns in color changes rather than focusing on one color alone.

Customizing Your Mood Ring Color Meanings

Since mood ring color meanings are subjective, you can customize the guide to match your own emotional responses. Here are some tips for calibrating the colors to align with your personal moods:

– Reflect on times when you experienced strong positive or negative emotions – What color was your ring and how did it correlate?

– Make notes when your mood does not match the ring color – Track patterns over time.

– Separate physical states from emotions – A color change related to illness, for example, is likely unrelated to mood.

– Account for your environment – Note external temperature influences on the color.

– Consider your unique responses – What makes you cheerful may differ from the standard guide.

– Adjust the guide as needed – Change color meanings that don’t resonate with your emotions.

– Repeat this process regularly – As your moods fluctuate, continue editing the guide when needed.

With consistent tuning-in and recording, you can improve the accuracy of your personalized mood ring color meanings.

Pros and Cons of Mood Rings

Mood rings can be fun and intriguing, but are they actually useful? Here are some key pros and cons:


– Provide a visual snapshot of your body temperature.
– Increase mindfulness and self-awareness when used thoughtfully.
– Allow you to observe general patterns and trends in your energy and moods.
– Serve as a conversation starter about emotions.
– Offer a novel way to track your physical and mental states.


– Limited scientific accuracy in detecting emotions.
– Easily impacted by external temperature factors.
– Color meanings are subjective and not universally validated.
– Can provide false insight if used without reflection.
– More of a novelty than a reliable tracking tool for mood.

Overall, mood rings offer light entertainment and a creative outlet for self-expression. But their legitimacy in terms of mood tracking has limits. Use with realistic expectations, and rely more heavily on your own self-knowledge.


When used mindfully, mood rings can potentially offer some loose insight into your general frame of mind based on subtle temperature fluctuations throughout the day. A purple color typically indicates a reflective, meditative state without intense emotion. However, many other factors beyond mood can influence the ring’s color, so it should not be relied upon as a completely accurate emotional assessment tool. While mood rings have varying legitimacy, they remain a staple decorative item for anyone who enjoys their nostalgic appeal and conversational value as a novelty jewelry piece.