Posted on March 19, 2015 by Mary Hood | 2 Comments
Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats invented the mood ring in the mid-1970s. The mood-revealing jewelry rapidly became a fashion trend, and since then, love for mood rings has never completely died. They’re still widely available on Etsy and in boutiques and souvenir shops.
The idea is simple: the color of the ring changes to reveal your current mood. Most rings come with a little chart indicating which colors correspond with which moods. Most of them look a little like this:
Dark blue: Passionate, romantic, happy.
Blue: Relaxed, calm.
Blue/green: Somewhat relaxed.
Green: Average, not much going on.
Amber: Slightly nervous or anxious, melancholy.
Gray: Very nervous, irritable.
Black: Tense, stressed.
But how does the ring “know” to turn blue and reflect your state of calm?
Even though mood rings aren’t able to predict your mood with scientific accuracy, they can give a rough indication of your surface body temperature—and there is some correlation between your emotional state and your body temperature. Other factors, however, such as illness and physical exertion, may affect your temperature as well. Additionally, average body surface temperature tends to decrease with age, so not everyone’s “happy” will be the same temp!
Mood rings are created with a glass shell or piece of hollow quartz filled with thermotropic liquid crystals—or with a clear quartz or glass stone sitting on a sheet of liquid crystals. These crystal molecules twist and change shape depending on the surrounding temperature. A certain temperature will make the molecules twist one way, causing them to absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others. For example, the average surface body temperature (82°F) may cause the molecules to twist and absorb green and violet while reflecting blue, thereby turning the stone blue.
According to Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine, our surface body temperature tends to rise when we’re feeling happy and relaxed. When we’re anxious or scared, our blood flow is directed more towards our internal organs rather than our skin and extremities, thereby decreasing our surface body temperature. Perhaps this is where the term “cold feet” comes from.
That’s how mood rings work! Twisting liquid crystals were perfectly trippy for the free-spirited ’70s.
Here’s a crazy tidbit: Recently, a series of patents have been created for various mood collars for pets! If only we could really know what our furry friends are thinking.
Have you worn a mood ring? Did it match your mood?