Partners and lovers deeply consider the style, shape, diamond and
appearance of an engagement ring before purchasing it. But the ring size of their partner is sometimes forgotten or mistaken. If you’ve ever bought or had an incorrectly sized ring - you’ve probably had the thought, ‘how do they resize rings?’.
But don’t panic if your ring doesn’t fit. We’re here to answer every ring sizing question that may have occurred to you and possibly some that haven’t.
How should a ring fit?
Your engagement and wedding rings should slide onto your finger but need a little pull or tug to get off. The ring shouldn’t be too tight or loose. Just like Goldilocks’ law, it should be just right.
If your ring fits correctly but frequently slants to the side or moves around on the finger, you can use a ‘sizing assistant.’ This is an aid that’s used for rings with larger diamonds and top-heavy details.
A sizing assistant is a bar or two little beads that sit on the ring's interior to stabilize it. The bar or beads can decrease the ring’s size by a quarter of the size, but they’re not typically used to decrease ring size. You should use the sizing assistant to stabilize and position the ring on the finger more than anything else.
How are rings resized?
Firstly, if you need to resize a ring, you should return it to the original jeweller or a very reputable jeweller you trust. This is because the jeweller will have to cut a part of the band to resize it, and you don’t want someone to damage or destroy your beloved ring.
Resizing rings smaller: to do this, the jeweller cuts a piece of the ring band, forms and shapes it into a smaller ring size and then solders it together. Afterwards, the ring is cleaned and polished, and there should be no evidence that the ring was ever cut or changed. The simpler the ring band is, the easier the process becomes.
Resizing rings bigger: this requires a more complicated process. The
jeweller has to stretch and reform the ring with heat, but rings can only increase by half a ring size with this process. If you need a larger increase, the ring will need to be cut, and a new piece of metal will be added. Then the jeweller can solder, clean and polish the ring. Again, the simpler the ring band, the simpler this process becomes. If you have channel settings on the band, it may become necessary for the jeweller to remove and rearrange the stones when increasing the band’s size.
This is why you need to trust your jeweller. While resizing rings is not an overly complicated process, it takes a bit of time and skill. On average, resizing jobs takes a week or two to complete.
Jewellers can resize any ring that has silver, gold or platinum metal bands. Rings that cannot at all be resized are:
If you cannot resize the ring immediately, a jeweller can provide a ‘ring guard’ as a temporary fix. The ring guard is a small bar that clips to the bottom of the ring, but this can damage the ring band over time and shouldn’t be used as a permanent solution to a loose-fitting ring. Another resizing option may be to wear a tighter ring in tandem with the loose-fitting ring, as the tighter one can secure both rings to your finger.
Can you make rings bigger?
Rings can be increased or decreased up to 2 sizes. When a ring is made bigger, the ring band is cut, and a new piece of metal is soldered to increase the ring's overall circumference. Then the ring is cleaned and polished.
Resizing a ring only takes 10 minutes to 6 hours to do, but local jewellers will be busy with other tasks, so it takes two weeks to complete.
How much does it cost to resize a ring?
Resizing a ring can cost from $40 to hundreds of dollars. The price of resizing depends on:
Does resizing a ring devalue it?
Yes and no.
If you take your ring to a jeweller and they do a poor job of resizing the ring - to the point that it is clear it has been cut and new metals have been added.
Moreover, untrained and incompetent hands could damage or weaken the
ring. Poor craftsmanship can devalue your ring. But if you take it to a reputable jeweller, there should be no worry or harm in resizing it to fit you.
In some cases, the value can increase, especially if the new size is more common. Much like common shoe size or paint colour on a car can be a great resale quality. If the new size on a resized ring is more common, it means more customers are likely to desire and buy it. The most common ring size among women in the US is 6 and 7. The most common ring size for men in the US is a 10 and 11.
So if your original size was a 4 or 5, increasing it to a 6 makes it more valuable to more women. Many retailers mark up their rings in sizes 6 or 7 because of their demand and popularity in the market.
Increasing a ring size often means extra gold or valuable metals are added to the ring, so it has increased in value and not decreased.
However, resizing a designer or antique ring can devalue it massively. If your ring was designed by a renowned artist who made only 100 pieces of jewellery, there would be a great value attached to the ring. But if you resize it, the ring will lose part of that name value the famous artist gave an original ring.
A proper jeweller should assure you of the following before you resize your ring:
Engagement and wedding rings typically have very little resale value anyway. Resellers only receive 20-60% of the original price of their rings, as retailers mark up the value of their rings by 200% or more. So if you’re worried about your ring’s value - keep in mind that most are only worth hundreds of dollars (not thousands) anyway.
Now that you know everything that goes into resizing rings and the challenges some rings may encounter if they don’t fit, here’s how to properly measure your ring size!
How to measure your ring size (at home)
- Measure your finger at the end of the day
When you wake up in the morning, you’re the least bloated, but eating, exercising and different activities bloat and affect your body - that includes your hands and fingers! Therefore it’s best to measure your fingers at the end of the day when they’re more swollen or closest to your true size.
- Warm your hands
Cold weather and temperatures shrink everything, including our fingers! So rub your hands together and get the circulation pumping back into each finger.
- Don’t measure after cocktails
Alcohol and salt are great for the end-of-day woes and even better at swelling the body. Make sure you haven’t had any salty snacks or alcohol before you begin measuring.
- Use your favourite ring
Measure the interior diameter (mm) of your favourite and best-fitting ring at home. This ring can be a great guide for which size ring currently best suits you. Then use the measurement in millimetres and compare it to a relevant sizing guide (the US and European sizes differ slightly).
- Use a piece of paper
Cut a long strip of paper, wrap it snugly around the finger and then mark the spot where the paper meets the other end. Unwrap your finger and then measure the length of the paper strip to the mark (in mm).