My very first piece of mood jewelry was a watch. However, neither did it work as a watch, nor did it change colors. Plus, a local bully twisted my arm and stole it when adults were not watching. An elementary school playground is a rough place, I tell you.
So, this novelty item is back in fashion. And the pieces that feature this wonder look quite nice. If you’re here, you’re probably tempted to get yourself one or you’ve received a mood necklace as a gift.
Today, we’ll talk about mood necklace colors and what they mean, as well as demystifying mood jewelry. Light an incense stick, take off your platform shoes, and let’s get groovy.
What Came First, the Necklace or the Ring?
Mood rings came first. In 1975, Maris Ambats and Josh Raynolds, inventors from New York, produced the first rings and marketed them to the retail giant Bonwit Teller. Though it ceases operations in 1990, at that time it was a luxury department store and a staple on Sixth Avenue for 8 decades.
As you may guess, the rings did not come cheap. Though today they are little more than a novelty item, back then they were very sought-after pieces of jewelry. Silver rings retailed for $45 (today about $220), and gold ones went for $250 (today’s $1200). Barbra Streisand, Muhammad Ali, and Sophia Loren had one on their finger straight away, with Bonwit Teller making a cool million from the in the first 3 months since release.
And as the story usually goes, competition reared its head. Other jewelers hopped on the trend, and already by the beginning of the 80s we see the cheap plastic ones appear on the market.
These days, mood jewelry is a novelty item you can pick up at Claire’s or Spencer’s. However, whenever the world’s runways decide to revisit the disco era, you’ll also see reputable jewelers break out the good stuff and bring back mood rings and necklaces.
How Does a Mood Necklace Work?
Take a look at your LCD TV. The same crystals that make it work are the secret behind mood “stones”. Let’s backtrack a bit.
A mood “stone” is made either by pouring thermotropic liquid into a glass shell or by covering a thin sheet of these crystals with a glass stone. Thermotropic means that the components within the crystal are very sensitive to temperature and tend to move towards or away from the source of heat. They can react to even the tiniest change in temperature, making them perfect for mood necklaces and creating images on a screen.
As for science, there is no consensus that these “stones” detect your emotions, but they do pick up the changes in your body. Hormones that affect your mood can affect the body temperature as well, the issue is that we all don’t react the same.
Of course, if you’re suffering a fever, all semblance of precision goes out of the window. That being said, mood necklace colors can still indicate changes in your body, even if this piece of jewelry can’t read your mind.
Mood Jewelry and New Age Spiritualism
“Your inner energy will cause the mood ring to change color.”
This is a sentence you may encounter when you’re shopping for mood jewelry, but what is it all about? As it turns out, a lot of spiritualist movements adopted the mood stone as a tool to read one’s emotions, chakras, auras, etc.
This piggybacks off the belief that certain stones and crystals have power and influence over what we can call chi, the body’s inner energy. So, in a way, mood necklace colors become a diagnostic tool that helps monitor emotions and general wellbeing.
How much of this is true? Don’t know, but it’s certain that now you know what to get that friend or relative that’s into palm readings and Deepak Chopra.
Do Mood Necklaces Expire?
Good question, especially because we know that LCD TVs do. You can expect at least a couple of years of “work” from your necklace. There are also some vintage pieces from the 70s that are still in full operating condition.
Quality is important for a long lifespan, but handling matters as well. Water damage and high heat will damage the stone, and it can break on impact.
Some mood stones are dark green before you put them on. If the color is in the cycle and supposed to represent an emotion, that means that you are relaxed and stress-free.
When we are relaxed, our body temperature is slightly lower than usual. Not quite to cause you to shiver, but a comfy blanket would not hurt. Keep in mind that your body temperature can go up even when you’re resting due to stress and other emotions.
If you wear your mood necklace to bed, the stone should stay dark green throughout the night.
Unlike its darker counterpart, light green is a sign of mild anxiety and maybe even jealousy.
At this point, your body temperature is slightly elevated. If you have anxiety issues, this is a welcome early warning that will help you prevent severe panic attacks.
Dark blue is also a possible “default” color on a mood necklace. If it’s in the cycle, you’ll see it when you feel content.
Contentment usually comes with a steady body temperature. This color should appear on you when it matches the temperature of your body when it’s in “neutral” and peak health.
It’s great news if the necklace turns pale blue when you slip it on. This color usually marks happiness and optimism.
We usually experience a rise in body temperature when we are happy. But it’s a pleasant and comfortable heat – kind of like a difference between a pleasant spring day and sweltering summer heat.
If you’re feeling romantic, the mood necklace may turn purple. Why purple instead of pink or red? As you will see, those colors are in play as well, but in the mood jewelry world, violet is also the color of love.
Allegedly, this has to do with the original mood rings from the 70s. Both red and pink were difficult and expensive to work with, so violet had to step in.
It’s a cliche, but pink is the color of love and infatuation. Your heart is racing, can’t eat, can’t sleep, all you think is… well, you know the drill.
Pink can also be the color of happiness (usually when it comes after purple in the mood necklace color cycle).
Also used as a color of love and passion (duh!), but sometimes marks anger instead. If your heart rate’s up, pretty much red will mark one of those emotions.
Black appears when your fight or flight instinct kicks in. You are probably angry or afraid, while some manufacturers are going to use this color to represent apathy as well.
Our bodies behave in a weird way when we are afraid. The body temperature drops at first and then quickly rises to a mild fever. Anger, on the other hand, results in a quick rise in body temperature since the blood is rushing into the muscles.
By the way, seeing black can also mean that you have a broken stone.
If you see gray, you may be nervous or strained. Think of it being more like regular stage fright and less like a full-on panic attack.
Nervousness may raise your body temperature as well as cause dry mouth, sweaty hands, raised blood pressure and heart rate, stuttering, and even dizziness. I guess you don’t need a mood necklace to detect this one.
Amber or Orange
The mood necklace will probably turn orange when you’re unhappy or upset. Nervousness, stress, and confusion might be on the menu as well.
Body temperature usually rises when one is under stress. The rise of body temperature can also lead to confusion and lower our ability to cope.
If a mood necklace has a smaller palette of colors, amber is usually the one that shows up to mark unpleasant emotions.
This color is most often used to represent anxiety and conflicted emotions.
Some people actually can experience a mild fever when they are under a lot of stress, while others get the chills. They will get goosebumps and, in extreme cases, start shivering.
The way the manufacturer marks this emotion may tell you if their mood necklace is for you. Do you experience hot flashes or do you get cold in stressful situations? Knowing the answer to this question will tell you if you’ve found your match or if you should look for another mood necklace.
A Quick Word About the Palette
You might have noticed that some of the colors on the list are not the ones that appear on your necklace. The truth is that different manufacturers use different types of thermochromic (temperature-sensitive) pigments, so you will get a different reaction from your stone.
However, all mood necklace colors have cycles. They will have a resting color and a precise order of colors that appear with the rising temperature.
There’s also a different reaction based on where you’re wearing the piece of jewelry. So, if you start wearing a mood ring around your neck, it will give you a different reading compared to your fingers.
If you’re into necklaces with meaning check out our article for how to make a coin necklace. Sometimes there’s a place you visited, and you find a coin, or they have different currency it could make for a nice necklace.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.