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Herff Jones and Expensive Stones

The+cap%2C+gown%2C+and+tassel+supplied+by+Herff+Jones+are+a+necessity+to+walk+and+are+expensive.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay%29
The cap, gown, and tassel supplied by Herff Jones are a necessity to walk and are expensive. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

The cap, gown, and tassel supplied by Herff Jones are a necessity to walk and are expensive. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

The cap, gown, and tassel supplied by Herff Jones are a necessity to walk and are expensive. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

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Each school year, a familiar announcement is heard by the students. “Brashier is being visited by a Herff Jones representative today.” Whether you’re a junior or senior, you know the Herff Jones Company as the provider of class rings and graduation supplies. While some value the memories and the experiences that the rings, gowns, and caps bring, others have mixed feelings about the company and its business choices.

“I would like a class ring because I feel like it’s a good way to honor the senior class. However, I will not be getting a ring because they’re too costly for my family. I know the rings are nice, but Herff Jones is just too expensive,” says senior Connor Gioia.

The pricing of supplies and rings is the main problem for students. The basic package for graduation supplies is almost seventy dollars. For some people, paying this price just to “walk” isn’t worth it.

“I think the school should supply the hat, gown, and tassel because those are the required supplies to walk. I don’t think that having to pay for supplies is fair, which is why I think that Brashier should pay for the necessities,” says senior Taylor Thornton.

On the other side, class rings are also a platform for discussion among students. Basic rings are more than $400 and some can be almost $1000. Despite this, there are still many who are excited to wear a token of their high school years on their fingers.

“I want to remember my years at Brashier. Yeah, I get yearbooks, but the ring is a luxury item. I think the amount of customization makes up for the price because it’s truly unique to you. You’re not likely to find someone with the exact same ring as you,” says junior Bryson Padilla.

Herff Jones has supplied caps, gowns, yearbooks, and rings to students in states all over the nation and even in Canada for nearly 100 years. The rings are highly customizable, boasting many gem and metal options, and they also offer the choice of over 100 different pridesides. This makes each ring unique, but is that going overboard?

“I don’t know enough about ring making to confirm whether or not it’s overboard, but I definitely think Herff Jones’ customizing abilities are good enough to make up for the extreme prices,” says Gioia.

It’s not just juniors and seniors who have to worry about the style, shape, and stone of the ring. Freshmen and sophomores also have to think about what they might want. Luckily, they have more time.

“I think it’s interesting [how many choices there are.] You have to look at how many combinations there are and how much time it takes to make them; it’s really impressive if you think about it. The employees probably take a lot of time doing all of these and they do it perfectly. And yes, it is overwhelming to think about the choices. Coming from a guy who has a hard time making choices, it will probably take time to pick my exact design,” says sophomore Alex Ross.

Even with the uniqueness, some students don’t think it would be worthwhile to buy a ring in high school. The so-called rite of passage can be considered a luxury rather than a necessity.

“I don’t feel the need for a class ring. Brashier is a great school, but there’s no reason for me to buy a ring for high school. I’m better off buying one in college. Just because you’re able to customize it doesn’t make up for the price. I’d rather have a ring that looks like everyone else’s than pay too much,” says Thornton.

Paying too much is an issue for both juniors buying rings and seniors buying supplies.  The upsides are that students are able to simply order their supplies, and that the school is able to get supplies through a third party; although, the latter could be considered a downside. However, the graduation supplies lack the excessive customization that the rings do have.

“I think that Herff Jones is able to sell supplies for high prices because it’s a forced market. In order for you to graduate, you need to buy supplies. They have no need to innovate whatsoever; they can hand you the same product every day and you’re forced to buy it because it’s required,” says Gioia.

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Herff Jones and Expensive Stones