How Do They Size A Ring? Important Tips & Facts To Be Considered

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Wondering how your jeweler resizes your rings?

Perfect! You're in the right place. 

In this Learning Jewelry guide, you'll learn:

  • How Can I Tell My Ring Size?
  • How Much Does It Cost to Resize a Ring?
  • Can All Rings be Resized?
how do they size a ring

How to Find Out Your Ring Size

The standard ring size in most jewelry retailer stores is between 6.75 and 7. For years, the industry said those are the average sizes for engagement rings and wedding bands. In my time at Kay's, majority of my customers didn't fit this size. I'd say the average ring size is closer a 6.

Knowing your finger size is crucial to buying a wedding ring because they should only ever be sized up 2 ring sizes at max.

There's a couple ways you can find out your ring size. 

The first is going to your local jewelry store. I'm not quite sure how family owned jewelers feel about you going in to check a ring size, but many people get sized at Kay or Zales. 

If you'd rather not leave your house, our friends over at Blue Nile have a free printable ring sizer you can download. They have an alternative mailing option for those who want a physical sizer. 

It's a free plastic ring sizer you can have delivered to your mailbox. They do offer it 2 days expedited shipping for $15 if you really need it. I had one mailed to me to see it too! 

bluenileringsizer

Quick Tip: You should have an idea as to what width of wedding band you're looking for. You can try on a 2mm ring sizer at a jewelry store, and get the same size, only find out a 6mm ring fits too tightly.

How Should an Engagement Ring Fit? 

You might know what method you want to use to check your ring size, but did you know that a lot of people don't know exactly how a ring should fit? 

Ring sizing can be tricky.

You want it to go over your finger fairly easily. But when you go to take it off, you should have to give it a bit of a tug and twist to get it off. Now, if the ring gets stuck over the knuckle and you're struggling a bit, that's probably a good indication on how the ring should fit. 

On rare occasion, some people find themselves between sizes to where their ring spins. This is more likely to happen with heavier rings, like a channel set cathedral ring. Sometimes the weight of the setting causes the ring to fall over. 

One of our favorite online lab diamond retailer have a line of engagement rings to solve that little issue. Clean Origin has the Perfect Fit collection, where the ring shanks are shaped to fit snugly on the sides.

Perfect fit collection

How Are Rings Sized?

There's actually a bunch of different ways a bench jeweler can resize your ring. They determine the method based on the ring. Certain styles require different techniques and precautions. 

For an example:

You need a jewelers torch to resize a ring. That works for a diamond ring, but not for a ring whose center stone may not be resistant to heat, like gemstone with certain treatments to improve colors. In that case, the stone would have to be removed. 

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How To Size A Ring Up

Generally, if you need a ring to be a larger size, the jeweler will cut the excess metal out. He will use solder, a metal alloy that helps melt less malleable metals. 

He'll keep a small portion of the metal to fit between the two cut ends because he needs a piece of metal to melt the two ends together by soldering with a jewelers' torch. 

If you need a ring to be a larger size, the jeweler will cut the excess metal out. He will use solder. Solder is a metal alloy that helps melt less fusible metals. 

He'll keep a small portion of the metal to fit between the two cut ends because he needs a piece of metal to melt the two ends together by soldering with a jewelers' torch. 

How To Size A Ring Down

Sizing a ring down is usually easier than sizing a ring up. The resizing process to go up varies based on how much the ring needs to go up (max2 sizes). 

If you only need a half size bigger, it makes more sense to stretch the ring rather than cut and add metal to it. Otherwise, 1-2 sizes may be done the same way to resize smaller. The jeweler will add metal and solder the ends together to fuse it. 

After the rings are sized, they are clean and polished. For white gold, a jeweler will use rhodium, which is the liquid metal that keeps white gold looking that silvery color. Rhodium is temporary though, so white gold jewelry needs to be re-plated every year or so. Yellow gold and rose gold aren't subjected to rhodium plating. 

How Much Does It Cost To Resize a Ring?

Affordability in wedding rings can be a range of prices and means different things to different people. There are many reasons why a jewelry buyer might consider a certain wedding band expensive or cheap, and not all of them have to do with the actual price tag. 

Aside from the price tag, you have to consider the length of time you'll be wearing it. Most people  plan to wear their wedding bands all day, every day. Some people can't wear their wedding rings to work. 

People with jobs like these might think dropping $500 is too expensive. After all, they'd only be wearing it a short time every day.

But the person who wears their wedding bands every day might find $500 a bargain. Ultimately, they'll get their money's worth over the years. 

Can All Rings be Resized? 

Not all rings are able to be resized. Alternative metals such as tungsten, titanium, stainless steel, cobalt, and other hard metals can't be resized. Wedding bands in these metals have to be replaced entirely. This also goes true for diamonds or gemstones set in these metals as well. 

Brushed and Polished Comfort Fit Wedding Ring in Black Tungsten Carbide
Cobalt Chrome Wedding Band
Tungsten Black Diamond Wedding Band

Gold, sterling silver, and platinum rings can all be resized. But that still doesn't mean that all styles can be resized. Eternity rings, carved bands, multi-toned gold bands, and textured wedding bands are all types of ring that can't be resized. 

Olivetta Diamond Eternity Ring
two-toned inverted wedding band
Hammered Wedding bands

Wedding bands that have intricate designs or gemstones around the entire ring negates most free resizing policies offered.  Very few will replace the whole ring outside of the company return policy.  

The style of your metal can also make sizing impossible. If you have any kind of carving, detailing usually found in vintage ring settings, jewelers can't replicate the design of the band. If the inside of the ring is engraved, jewelers can redo it, so no worries there. 

Temporary Ring Resizing

You don't HAVE to get your ring physically resized it's a smidge too loose. There's multiple ways for a ring wearer whose within a 1/2 to one size bigger. And it's not anything tacky like tape. 

To decide if you need your ring permanently resized or just temporary, you should consider the facts. Was it once a perfect fit? Is it suddenly spinning or squeezing a little bit? 

One of the main reasons we find out our size changes likes this because of weather. Some people's fingers shrink in the winter when it's cold and swell in the summer because of the heat. 

Let's get one thing straight: ring resizing is not good for your ring. Places like Kay and Zales will pride themselves on giving lifetime resizing. "You can go up or down as much as you want", is what some might say. Believe, you don't want to. 

Truth is, each resizing weakens your metal. Precious metals are still natural, so they're not impervious. This is why many people find themselves with broken shanks. If a ring is continuously worked on in the same spot, it will eventually break or become irreparable. The same goes for gold chain necklaces being soldered in the same spot. 

Avoiding resizing when able to is preferred for the long term integrity of your engagement rings and wedding bands.

Fortunately there are a few temporary ways a jeweler can resize your ring up.

1. Sizing Beads

Sizing beads are pretty easy for a jeweler to put in. They take two small metal beads and solder them to bottom of your ring shank. Sizing beads are ideal for those need their ring to fit just a little bit tighter. The beads can be removed and the ring is buffed out to its original state.

2. Spring Insert

A spring insert is a thin strip of metal in a "U" shape. It lines the bottom of the shank. When you go to slide the ring over your knuckle, it essentially springs open. Once past the knuckle, it tightens again to fit snugly around your ring finger. Surprisingly, the spring insert is generally pretty comfy for the wearer. 

3. Sizing Bar

A U shaped sizer bar is attached to the inside of your shank, right across the bottom. It can also be called a "fold over" device. It has a hinge on one side of it and then a latch on the other. It functions so you can actually use it to go multiple sizes smaller. You just have to open latch to put in on and close to tighten. These are also reported as comfortable. 

Huge Holiday Sale: James Allen, our #1 ranked online diamond retailer, is currently offering 25% OFF engagement ring settings and more. Plus, for the first time ever they have 3% OFF on all Earth-created diamonds. Click Here to combine savings from these amazing offers.

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