how to size a ring

Ring sizing is one of the most common repairs that we do here at Philip’s Diamond Shop. It’s also a repair that a lot of people don’t totally understand. They come in and drop off a ring one size and they come back and the ring is a different size.

How does ring sizing work?

Ring sizing is really just the adjustment of a ring from one finger size to another. Bigger or smaller, ring sizing works the same way.

The first step in any successful ring sizing is figuring out what ring size a ring needs to be! It seems simple, but getting the right ring size is key to a comfortable ring. Sometimes, finding the right ring size can be the hardest part of the whole process! There are lots of online tools that involve printing out charts and setting rings on them and wrapping paper around your fingers, but nothing is quite the same as trying on ring sizers to see which one fits you best. Also, having a professional who knows how rings fit to help you is very helpful as well. Rings of different shapes, sizes and widths all fit a little differently, so someone who has some experience with making rings fit can make the different between a ring that’s almost right and a ring that fits perfectly.

After you’ve got the ring size, it’s time to get down to business and make that ring fit!

To make a ring bigger, one of our experienced jewelers will make a cut in the shank of the ring at the bottom. Using a ring mandrel (those long pointy things that jewelers slide rings onto to find the right size) they’ll work the cut apart until it’s at the right size. Next, they’ll add a bit of gold that fits in the space opened up by making the ring bigger.

After the jeweler places the new piece of gold in, they’ll solder, file and polish the ring until the new piece of gold is indistinguishable from the existing ring.

Sizing a ring down works in much the same way, except instead of adding a bit of gold, a small bit is cut out and then the shank is reattached to make the ring whole again.

There are a few cases where sizing can be a tough thing, like when sizing up or down many sizes or when gemstones are mounted in such a way that bending the ring might loosen them. Each piece can be its own puzzle to solve, but thankfully, we’ve got years and years of experience making rings fit on fingers and can walk you through any hard bits. You just need to drop your ring off and when you come to pick it up, it’ll fit and look like a brand new ring!

What about “stretching”? Can’t you just stretch the ring?

Sometimes people will talk about “stretching” a ring. In general, rings shouldn’t be, and aren’t, stretched. Stretching a ring can lead to it cracking. In very few cases, like a plain band that only needs a half size adjustment, would stretching (or compressing) be an acceptable option. In most cases, stretching is a bad idea.

Hopefully you’ve got a better idea of how ring sizing works! Let us know if we missed anything or if there are other jewelry questions you’d like answered!