The Association of Former Students

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History of the Ring

1876 Texas A&M College opens
1889 Oldest known Aggie Ring made this year.
1894 Edward C. Jonas ’94, captain of C Company, chosen to design a new Aggie Ring (he had designed the Commencement programs 1891-1894)

The Ring committee awards contract to a Bryan jeweler.  The resulting Rings are inspected by Professor P.S. Tilson ’89, who discovered they were weighted with lead.
1899 R.J. Poulter is chosen as chairman of a committee to select the 1899 class Ring

Linz Brothers Jewelry Company of Dallas submits design sketches for the Ring

A meeting is held by Poulter’s committee in J.B. Sterns’ room to discuss the designs.  During this meeting the suggestion is made to have the classes of ’00, ’01, and ’02 adopt the design to perpetuate the tradition./1899-Linz Brothers quotes a lower price for rings if Junior, Sophomore and Freshman classes would vote to use the same design

The classes agree to perpetuate the design
1900
The class of ’00 buy their rings from Linz Brothers for $10.50, after testing a ring proved their metallic purity

The classes of ’01 and ’02 did not all buy rings from Linz Brothers; they could not hold a monopoly over the manufacture of the Ring
1912
The state seal and crossed weapons changes sides
1926
The state seal and crossed weapons again change sides
1930 Rings made from 1930-1935 were primarily manufactured by Herff Jones Company
1933 Officers of the class of ’31 petitions the A&M faculty to restrict purchase of the Aggie Ring to students who have attained at least the second semester of their Junior year

Texas A&M President T.O. Walton appoints an Official Senior Ring Committee to standardize the Ring design, create more control for Ring distribution and manufacture, and eliminate some of the undesirable practices connected with handling class Ring orders.  The committee was to consider proposals for rings for the classes ‘35-’39.  No stones (diamonds,rubies) were considered.  Rings would average 12 pennyweight.  Their goal was modernization of the old design while retaining essential features.  The words “Texas A&M College – 1876” were added around the crown

The Star Engraving Company of Houston is awarded a 5 year contract.  Distributors in the Bryan/College Station area that were chosen were John S. Caldwell and Sankey Park
1934 Star Engraving files for a patent on the Ring designed by John Boehme
1935
The Texas and United States flags were added behind the crossed cannon, rifle and saber.  Wording was changed to “A&M College of Texas – 1876” (this design will not change again until 1963)

April - Star Engraving secures a seven year patent of Ring design

April 23 - Star Engraving transfers rights of patent #95172 to Texas A&M College

1937 C.W. Varner is added as a distributor of Rings
1939 Registrar’s Office begins distributing rings with the class of ’39, to exercise tighter control

Josten Company of Owatonna, Minnesota is awarded a contract to supply rings for the classes ‘40-42
1942 Josten Company’s contract is extended to 1948

Ring patent is allowed to expire

1948 L.G. Balfour Company of Attelboro Massachusetts is awarded a three year contract to supply Rings
1963 Legislature changes name of the school to Texas A&M University.  The Ring lettering is correspondingly changed

1963 - 1966 - These class years have an option of College or University

J.B. “Josh” Sterns, Class of 1899, conceives idea of a permanent ring collection
1967 All students of this class year and forward are required to have A&M University lettering on their Ring
1970s Rose and White Gold w/ Antique finishes become available to give students options beyond the Yellow Gold W/ Antique
1972 Balfour’s lifetime warranty for Rings available
1998 Rings are manufactured in a solid one piece design

Natural finish becomes available