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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 51  |  June 28, 2022


Laguna’s Josh Reynolds, inventor of the 1970s Mood Ring, to launch new and improved 2018 Mood Stone

By DIANNE RUSSELL

During 1975, the same year the pet rock was introduced, the movie Jaws scared audiences around the country, Bill Gates and Paul Allen created Microsoft, and the average income was $14,100, a new phenomenon burst onto the scene in a big way. 

Mood Rings. “The ring that reveals emotions,” ads claimed.

And who knew that the inventor of the Mood Ring, Josh Reynolds, lives right here in Laguna Beach? (Maris Ambats was a co-developer.) Reynolds has a long history of new product development and marketing, and he invented the ThighMASTER. 

Those were the days

Marketed as an accessory for the “Me Decade,” a time when people began to actively explore their feelings, the color-changing jewelry first became popular in New York City and quickly spread throughout the US. Every Mood Ring contained a temperature-sensitive liquid crystal encased in quartz. As the body temperature of the wearer changed, the crystals changed colors, and each hue the ring displayed corresponded to a different mood. 

In the mid-seventies, while the Bee Gees belted out Jive Talkin’ (blue stone – for caught in your groove), and The Captain and Tennille sang Love Will Keep Us Together (purple – for passion), we’d gauge our moods by the glow of the rings on our fingers. 

And did we really say, “Far out?” That alone is a good reason not to travel back to the decade.

Lagunas Josh original blue

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Submitted photo

Mood Ring design, circa 1975

For those who don’t remember – or weren’t yet born – there were seven colors in all, each with a different meaning: blue meant happy; reddish brown meant insecure; black meant the wearer was upset; golden yellow was a sign of tension; and so on. 

It wasn’t just hocus pocus, from a scientific perspective, the Mood Ring was a supposedly valid indicator of someone’s emotional state; its metal band conducted heat from the finger to the liquid crystal, which changed color in response to the temperature of the skin. 

Original Mood Ring a big seller

And evidently, people were keen to know how they were feeling. According to reports, when the Mood Ring hit the market, “The retail industry went wild, generating an estimated $250 million in sales in just four months.” 

On Augist 7, 1975, Bonwit Teller claimed they had $5 million POs in the first week. 

The Chicago Tribune reported, “Mood Ring monitors your state of mind.” 

People Magazine, in its September 15, 1975 issue, said, “The Mood Stone you can trust. It’s the only Mood Stone that can reflect the ever changing real you, your stress or relaxation level, anxiety or bliss, disinterest or sexual arousal. Mood Stone reveals all.”

Ah, the good old days. 

Lagunas Josh new design

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2018 Vermeil (gold coated sterling) design by local jeweler Kirk Milette

New Mood Stone to be launched 

And now 43 years later, a bit of that bygone era is reappearing in the form of the 2018 Mood Stone.

Reynolds says, “The Mood Science Company is currently raising funds to launch the new and improved original Mood Stone ring via a DR TV and digital online marketing campaign. Hopefully, we will complete funding and be able to launch early in the first quarter 2019.”

The Mood Team also includes co-founder and Science and Medical Director Laura Ellis, MD, who will attest to the real science behind the Mood Stone, and IT and Marketing Manager Deborah Najm.

“We have done considerable research that suggests the self-awareness and stress management features of the ring have a considerably broader appeal range from teens to boomers, today than 40 years ago,” says Reynolds.

One of their advertising slogans is, “Introducing the 2018 Mood Stone ring: Where Fashion and Function Meets Multi-Generational Fun!”

Lagunas Josh new on yellow

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Submitted photo

New sterling silver design by local jeweler Kirk Milette

“Our initial launch will feature the original design in two stone sizes, and a new retro design by local jeweler Kirk Milette. Rings will be offered in both sterling silver and Vermeil (gold coated sterling). A User’s Guide will feature the history of ‘mood science,’ and how the new stone technology with improved calibration and sensitivity more accurately reflects your true mood.”

But why bring it back now? 

The time is right, according to Reynolds. He says that they are hoping to capitalize on three converging trends: higher stress levels, resurgence of 1970s nostalgia fashions, and growing interest in self-awareness (noted by the explosion of interest in functional wearables, e.g. Fitbit, iWatch, etc.) and self-improvement (yoga, mindfulness and meditation).

A scientific study for stress reduction

In addition, Dr. Ellis will be conducting a study to show that merely wearing the Mood Stone will lower one’s daily stress levels. During the study, subjects will also wear a separate electronic stress-monitoring device, which will be used to assess possible changes in individual daily stress levels.

Reynolds explains the premise of the study: “By frequently observing your mood stone’s color or color change, then taking ‘inventory’ of how you feel, i.e. what’s going on inside of you, it will help build more self-awareness. The key is to become more aware of the early internal onset cues of stress. Just this simple action will typically attenuate, if not stop, a stress response before it builds up a head of steam.” 

Lagunas Josh family

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The Reynolds Family: (L-R) Josh, Myriah, Jonah and Barbara

“What’s more, we plan to have another group in the clinical, to practice a rapid stress release, a relaxation technique that will be given to them,” continues Reynolds. “The premise is that if you are more aware of subtle changes within you, such as the early stages of a stress response, and if you immediately intervene with a relaxation response such as deep breathing, meditation or mindfulness, there›s an even better chance you will lower your stress level.”

Now may be the perfect time to introduce the 2018 Mood Stone. Angst levels are high, social media has resulted in self-doubt, world situations remain unpredictable, and we’re feeling unsettled and anxious. 

So next year, be on the lookout for the new and improved version of the Mood Stone. Its launch won’t be a minute too soon.

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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