The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

From factory to finger

When I came to Texas A&M three years ago, I didn’t realize how special the Texas A&M Aggie Ring was. Raised in a Longhorn household — pause for appropriate hissing — I didn’t really get what was so special about the ring until my own Ring Day drew closer and closer. 

Now, three years later, the day of getting my own Aggie Ring has come, and I understand it.  As I itch to have mine on my finger, I get why it’s a big deal. But, like, many other Ags, I didn’t understand the process that little piece of gold had to go through before getting on my hand and on the hands of the other 4,900 Aggies getting their rings Friday.

Last year I had the great pleasure to go to the factory where Aggie Rings are made and see the process from start to finish. Starting from nothing more than a molding of hot wax, the Aggie Ring goes through hours of heating, cooling, sanding, shining, polishing, antiquing, washing, pebbling and engraving (and half the time, set with a diamond). 

The process from Aggie Ring-tree to boxing and shipping can take two to three days of excruciating detail. Every single crevice is shined and polished. The ring is made to be just the right thickness, to be sturdy but not sharp. It is inspected twice before shipping.

Seeing the men and women who have, on average, spent two decades making Aggie Rings, seeing the care each ring is given as it is hand crafted, gave me a completely new perspective on how special the Aggie Ring is, not only to those who wear it but to those who forge it. 

Their hands show the wear and tear of their hard work, many of them working without gloves or only with a small leather finger protector. Those who work with the hot gold are often up at 5 a.m. to begin the process. 

Just as no two Aggies are the same, neither are any two rings, as each undergoes hand “pebbling,” the act of adding the small indents at the bottom of the ring. Other instances of close hand crafting further makes each ring unique. 

The workers were so thrilled to meet us, too. They took pride in their work, and said they looked forward to seeing Aggie Rings around outside of the factory.

At the end of the four-hour trip, I not only felt honored to get to one day wear the Aggie Ring because it was a symbol of this beloved university, but because it is a symbol of the passion that goes into hard work of all kind. And Friday, I get to forever have that reminder on my right hand.
Lindsey Gawlik is a junior telecommunication and media studies major and news editor for The Battalion.

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