If you didn't already know, I'm a very proud former student and graduate of Texas A&M University, class of 1994. For Aggies, getting their senior ring is a very big deal, surrounded by traditions that have grown up for over a hundred years (the first rings were made in 1889, but the design wasn't the same).
Unlike any other school of which I am aware, you can not just buy an Aggie ring. Theoretically, I could go online and purchase a ring from Baylor, or Notre Dame, or even t.u. (that cow school in Austin). Not the Aggie Ring. You have to earn it. Usually in the fall or spring of your junior year, you turn in an application to the Association of Former Students (our alumni organization, who owns the rights to the ring design). The Association will check your transcripts and grades and determine if you meet the criteria to purchase your ring.
Each part of the design has a symbolic meaning.
The only visible difference in the ring is size (ladies' rings are smaller scaled), class number (the last two digits of your graduating class year), and your signature, engraved inside the ring. Some students opt to have a diamond added or have it 'antiqued,' but that's not part of the official design.
Here's mine. I essentially never take it off, and won't until I am buried. Notice, it's a bit worn.
J Womack '94, History
And today, right about the time this posts (I scheduled it yesterday), my oldest son will receive his Aggie Ring. I'm very proud of him.
Greyson Womack '18, Biomedical Science
One of the traditions of getting your ring that goes back at least thirty or so years is the 'ring dunk' ceremony. Essentially, you don't put it on until you have taken it to a bar, dropped it into the bottom of a pitcher of beer (soda is okay if you're teetotal, but most college students drink the beer), and drink the entire pitcher to get it back. Some people try to chug it down quickly. I prefer to enjoy my beer, but to each their own. Just don't puke it back up or choke on your ring!
Anyway, we are heading to the Dixie Chicken to dunk his ring (and re-dunk mine!). The sun is over the yardarm somewhere!