The tradition of class rings originated with the class of 1835 at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  The oldest high school class ring tradition in the United States is at Falls High School in International Falls, Minnesota.
How to wear
The Complete Book of Etiquette by Amy Vanderbilt indicates the following protocol for wearing of a class ring: For as long as the wearer is in school, the insignia should face the wearer to remind him/her of the goal of graduation. Upon graduation, the class ring gains the status of a "badge of honor" similar to a diploma, with the effect that graduation entitles the wearer to display the insignia facing outward so that it faces other viewers. An additional justification for this practice is the rationale that the ring also symbolizes the graduate him/herself: During the wearer's time in school, he or she focuses on self-development and goals specific to the insular academic environment; upon graduation, the wearer enters the wider world and puts what she has learned to work in shaping it.
A notable exception to this protocol is the custom followed by older graduating classes of the United States Military Academy at West Point: Today, as in years past, Academy graduates frequently wear their rings on the left hand in observance of the ancient belief, which also underlay the Anglo-American custom of wearing wedding bands on the left hand, that a vein connects the left ring finger to the heart. Prior to graduation, these classes wore the USMA Class Ring with the Class Crest closest to the heart, signifying a given cadet's bond to his class within the Academy. Following graduation, members of these classes wore (and, for surviving members, still wear) the ring with the Academy Crest closest to the heart, signifying their bond with the Academy as a whole.
- Ring melt ceremony bonds past with the future, United States Military Academy
- Complete Book of Etiquette, Amy Vanderbilt, p. 156
- CLASS RINGS, MINIATURES, AND A-PINS The traditional Jewish custom is to wear a wedding ring on the right index finger, and only women wore them originally. However, most Jewish people will move rings to reflect the national custom of where they live.