Home School: The Ring

Among high-school rites of passage, it ranks right up there with the prom and the SAT: getting a class ring. And as more students are being home-schooled, they're starting to want rings, too. Jostens began offering home-school rings three years ago; at rival ArtCarved, sales are up 25 percent. Home-school rings look much like regular high-school rings, with etchings of activities like soccer or trombone on the sides, and maybe a garnet or amethyst in the center. In place of the school name, Jostens offers inscriptions like HOME EDUCATION or DEUS VERITAS FAMILIA (GOD, TRUTH, FAMILY). Some families get creative. Ellen Kramer of Myerstown, Pa., inscribed her kids' rings with HOLY NAME OF JESUS HOME SCHOOL. "I figured that if there was anything good the public schools did, we could adopt it," she says.

David Rachal, a Jacksonville, Fla., home-school student, recently spent $390 on his white-gold ring; he had Jostens inlay cubic zirconia where the school name would ordinarily go. "A lot of my friends who go to public school have class rings, and I wanted to show that I worked just as hard to graduate," he says. "It's a symbol of accomplishment." And, like every other high-school ring, it'll probably land in his sock drawer as soon as he gets to college.