November 4, 2009

Ring Sizing 101-Part 1

Posted in birthstones, bride, diamonds, engagement, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, pearls, rings, rose diamonds, silver, Uncategorized, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:57 pm by rosediamonds

ring mandrel

One of the most common repairs people have is getting their ring adjusted to fit.  Most rings are manufactured in a “stock size.”  The stock size for ladies is usually a size 6 and a 10 for men.  Most people do not wear a “stock size.”

I equate it to buying jeans. Short, regular, tall size options can really make a difference.  The fit of the jeans also comes into play.

Factors to Consider

Ring shank width. (A shank is the bottom half of the ring)  A narrow ring shank will fit differently (smaller ring size) on your finger than a wide shank (substantially larger size).  For example, I wear a size 3.5 on my ring finger for a thin shank, and a 6 on a wide band.  This means that while your wife wears a size five for her engagement ring, it doesn’t mean she will wear the same size if you add a wide band to it.  Take a moment to look at your fingers, palm side up, and you will see that the finger gets thicker towards the knuckle.

Design of the ring. A ring with a flat top, invisible set stones, or tiny side stones may not be able to stretch/shrink to fit you.  A jeweler will be able tell you the limitations of the ring.  An example:  A size 9 channel set anniversary band cannot be sized down to a size 5.  The angles of the metal that hold the diamonds is would change too much, causing the stones to fall out.

Two sizes is usually the max range of adjustment for rings with stones.  Rings with squared off shanks are more difficult to size and will cost a bit more labor wise because the jeweler has to make two adjustments.  (like taking a dress up in the sides instead of the back seam) A quality jeweler should be able to copy the milgrain (tiny beaded edge) or ridges/designs after the sizing is done.

Engraving. Remember to ask to have the ring re-engraved before you leave it with the jeweler.  The re-engraving is usually additional.

Ring Material.  Some rings cannot be sized.  Tungsten, stainless, and titanium rings come to mind.  When people purchase these rings, they simply have to buy new ones if they gain/lose weight.  Some tension set rings also should not be sized.

Plated rings (made more popular by Macys, Kmart, and soaring gold prices) can be sized, but most jewelers will refuse them because the plating comes off with the heat of the jeweler’s torch.  If you fall in love with a costume ring, don’t despair…  Buy it as close to your size as possible.  A simple ring guard can be worn to make it more “wearable.”  Ring guards work for costume rings also.

“Temperamental” stones–expect to be charge more for the sizing.  Shell cameos, pearls, opals, malachite, tourquise, tanzanite, and emeralds HAVE to be removed before any sizing with heat can happen.  They have to be re-set after that, so this explains why it takes longer and costs a little more.

Look for Part 2 the Nov. 6th 🙂

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