Rings are the trickiest pieces of jewellery. Unlike with a necklace, bracelet and earrings that are typically one size fits all, rings need to be a certain size for them to fit! Whether you’re buying a ring for yourself or for another person, it’s vital that you get the sizing right, especially if you’re purchasing an engagement or wedding ring. In particular, wedding rings are something you’ll want to wear all the time and you don’t want to have to stop wearing it because it doesn’t fit perfectly. Keep reading to find out how to find ring size, the resizing process and where to get your ring resized.
How to find ring size
First, let’s start with how to find the right ring size. If you find your perfect size initially when you buy it, you won’t have to go through the trouble of getting it resized when it arrives and doesn’t fit. If you’re buying a ring in a shop, you can try on rings to find one that fits you or you can ask the jeweller in the store to measure your fingers for you. However, if you’re buying something online, you’ll need to have your size at hand before you hit the checkout.
There are 3 ways to measure your fingers at home. First is using a ring sizer. A ring sizer is a piece of plastic with measurements around the outside which you can fix around your finger. When you tighten it, you’ll see a letter and cm/mm measurements that denotes your size, and this is what you’ll be asked to put in when you order your ring. Next is to use a ring you already have and measure the inside diameter of it. Finally, you can measure your size by using string to wrap around the base of your finger and then measure this with a ruler. Make sure you convert the ruler measurements into letters by using a ring chart, which you can find online. For more information on how to measure your ring size, read our full guide here.
Now that you know your size or someone else’s, there are some circumstances where a perfectly fitting ring can stop fitting so well. Fingers fluctuate due to the temperature and the time of day so this is why your ring might feel a little loose in the afternoon compared to when you put it on in the morning. Other factors that affect how your ring fits is due to you growing older and changing in weight. Rather than discarding your ring or letting it dull in a jewellery box, here’s how to resize your ring.
How to make a ring bigger
Before we go into methods that jewellers use to resize rings, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t try and do it yourself! This could ruin or break your ring and if it’s a meaningful ring, you’ll never get another one again, especially if it was unique and custom made. Rings can be resized up to two sizes either way – so two sizes bigger or two sizes smaller than the original size - so whatever you need doing, a jeweller can help you!
There are 2 methods jewellers use to make a ring bigger: adding extra metal or stretching. Making a ring bigger is more complicated than making it smaller, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! To add metal, a jeweller will cut into the metal and then add an extra bit of metal to make it bigger. When the metal has been matched up and placed to the right size, the jeweller will carefully match the ends of the ring together and solder, clean and polish the whole ring. This process is to make sure the ring doesn’t have any cracks or tarnishes and that there is no obvious line for where the ring was cut and joined. As this method needs more material added to the ring, this can cost more than stretching or downsizing but we’ll get into pricing later.
The stretching method is effective and best used on wedding rings. You should never stretch a ring with gemstones in as this could pull them out of their setting, so if you’re looking to resize a plain band or wedding ring, this method is for you! The jeweller will stretch the metal by heating it up and pulling. This can be done to make the size a half size larger so if you need more than that, you’ll have to pick the first method. Stretching makes the band of the ring thinner and can distort its shape but the jeweller will go back and reshape the band so it’s good as new!
How to make a ring smaller
Making a ring smaller is much easier than making a ring bigger. Similar to the adding metal method, jewellers will do the reverse to make the ring smaller. The bottom of the ring will be cut, and a small part of the shank is removed. The ends are put back and soldered together. The clean and polish process ensures there aren’t any signs that the ring has been resized. The simpler the band, the easiest the process will be. As this method doesn’t involve any stretching, it can be done on rings with gemstones set into the band. If there are gems dotted all around the band, it might cut out a gem so that’s important to keep in mind.
Ring types that shouldn’t be resized
While most rings can be resized, there are some types that you should avoid resizing, especially through stretching. As we’ve said previously, anything with gemstones should be checked by the jeweller as the gem can be knocked out of its setting. Eternity rings with gems enveloping the whole of the band are tough to resize as it can damage the stones and distort the size.
Another thing to look out for is the metal. Rose gold rings aren’t great at being resized as they can crack. Stainless steel, titanium and tungsten are almost impossible to resize because of their hardness. Alternatively, non-metal materials like wood or quartz cannot be reshaped or modified due to their properties. If you’re resizing an engagement ring, you should double check the setting as this can be affected during the modification process. In particular, a tension setting should be avoided as it could alter the strength of the setting and prong, displace the stone, or knock it off centre.
Finally, if you’re resizing a ring that has any engravement on the inside or outside, you need to inform the jeweller before any resizing takes place. If you’re adding or removing a part of metal, the engraving can be avoided but it’s important to make sure that part of the engravement isn’t cut out. Stretching is a BIG NO as it will stretch the engravement and make the writing look strange and hard to read.
Ring sizing top tips: how much, how long and more…
Depending on whether you’re sizing up or down, the price can really vary. Typically, most jewellers will charge £50 upwards to resize a ring. How you need your ring resized is also a factor in how long it will take for it to be done. How thick the ring is, engravings and stones also contribute to this, but it normally takes around a week up to a few weeks. If you’re unsure where to get your ring resized, the best idea is to take it to the brand who designed and made it because they know it best!
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