All posts tagged ring

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!

Always be touching your loved one with a fingerprint ring

A wedding band is a constant reminder of the connection and commitment to your spouse. What better way to  symbolize that than with a fingerprint on the inside of your wedding band! One of our amazing couples had us build this custom wedding band with the bride’s fingerprint on the inside of the ring so she’d always be touching her soon to be husband. This is the sort of thing that really demonstrates the magic of custom jewelry! If we didn’t do all of our own design and manufacturing work in the store, we wouldn’t be able to pull of a design like this. Amazing!

Tell us your crazy jewelry ideas, they may not be as crazy as you think!


Jewelry gets us all hot and bothered over here. Whether it’s amazing custom jewelry that we’re designing or crazy old jewelry that we’re getting to see and experience. The ring below was found buried with a viking woman and has Arabic writing on it, suggesting that vikings and the Islamic world had contact far before modern scholars realized. All from a ring! Jewelry is so much more than just a shiny thing on your finger, the story it tells can span hundreds or even thousands of years. I’ll try to cover a bit more about ancient jewelry and ancient jewelry customs here in the future, until then, take a look at this amazing ring and the story behind it!

Another interesting thing to note about the ring, although it was thought to be an amethyst for some time, it turns out the ring was actually colored glass, which today is looked down upon as cheap, but at the time of the ring’s creation, was quite the fancy thing to be wearing. If we polished it up a little bit would you still wear it? The design is timeless!


before and after square

It is an unfortunate inevitability, someday, somehow, bad things will happen to good jewelry. In this case, it was the garbage disposal that attacked this wedding set. Fortunately, the jewelers here at Philip’s Diamond Shop laugh in the face of garbage disposals! We brought this mangled ring back and made it look as good as new!



Do you want to tell the world how much you love photography without having to keep a big camera hanging around your neck 24 hours a day? Now you can! Take a look at these camera lens-inspired rings by Ben High. Each ring takes the defining characteristics of various lens and integrates them into a ring!

The original idea came about when looking at an old Polaroid SX-70 and realizing how perfectly the distance scale wrapped around the lens would wrap perfectly around a ring. It wasn’t long until there were prototypes built and there was a white gold SX-70 focus ring on the finger of renowned Polaroid/Impossible Project photographer Patrick Tobin. (Really, you should go look at the work he’s done on instant film, it’s exceptional – Patrick Tobin on Flickr)


After that the store manager here at Philip’s Diamond Shop thought, “I should make one of those for my son’s birthday!” (You can see his work here – Aaron Lurth Photography) It only took a little awkward questioning to find out that his favorite lens was a particular 24mm tilt-shift lens from Canon and the next focus ring was born!

tiltshift ring


We got a big boost from the photo website Petapixel when they wrote about the focus rings as well. As more and more people found out about the rings we got to make even more of them!

This one was for a well-known aviation photographer who still couldn’t stop thinking about the first lens he really fell in love with, the Pentax 50mm/1.7.

pentx 5017

Another photographer on the East Coast wanted a ring that would go along with his Canon 70-200 lens, so we built a minimal representation of the fabled Canon lens and it turned out remarkably!


Do you have a lens that is special to you? Would you like to immortalize it in silver or gold and wear it around every day? We can make that happen! Drop us a line – – and let us make your ring!

There’s one more exciting ring design we haven’t talked about yet though. The MOVING Focus Ring. That’s right, it’s a ring that really focuses, or at least it moves like a real camera lens does. It’s very very cool.



Unfortunately, this prototype costs a jillion dollars because of all the time, effort and metal that goes into building it and making it work correctly. We’re currently working on a production model that is getting close to finished! If you want to know when the moving focus ring is ready for production and want more information, you can sign up using the form below to be the first to know when it comes out.

Heartbeat Diamond Pendant

In our 2014 Valentine’s Day ad, take a look at the Heartbeat Diamond Pendant as well as some Philip’s Collection pieces designed and built here at Philip’s Diamond Shop.

“Philip’s Diamond Shop’s Heartbeat Diamond Pendants shake and shimmer with every heartbeat. They need to be seen to be believed, and starting at $99 they’re the easiest way to make her heart skip this Valentine’s Day. Also, come see what we can design for you, our custom designers are always up to something exciting!

Philip’s Diamond Shop, serving the Marion and Cedar Rapids area since 1976.”


We’re always on the lookout for jewelry that we bring you that both packs a big shiny punch but doesn’t pack a big price-tag. That’s why we were so excited when we found Athra Luxe! The pieces in the Athra Luxe collection are comprised of sterling silver, 14k gold over sterling silver, and brass and set with black diamond crystals, cubic zirconia, freshwater pearls and black onyx. Featuring rings, necklaces and earrings, there is something for everyone here. With pieces starting as low as $40, how can you go wrong?!