How Are Rings Sized: How to Measure Your Own Size

Suppose you've just begun your engagement ring browsing and shopping. In that case, you may be surprised that ring sizes are not true to any mundane measuring systems. Rings are sized like any other clothes, with arbitrary and ever-changing sizing systems and guides. Just like clothing sizes, measuring and understanding your own and others’ ring sizes can help the shopping and browsing experience. 

Below we'll discuss rings' sizes and how to measure your or your beloved's finger properly.

How do we size rings?

There are many ring sizing systems for the many countries and continents that love rings. Before you begin measuring your ring size, make sure you're using your own country's size chart. Otherwise, you might just make a very expensive mistake!

Below you’ll learn about the most common ring sizes, and just like clothing store, the most popular sizes are stocked and sold first. If you’re below or above the average size this might affect how easy or difficult it may be to find the perfect ring in your perfect size. 

How to size rings according to US/Canadian standards

Ring sizes are based on millimetre (mm) measurements, and then that value is converted to the US size guide's value. Women's rings in retail jewelry stores usually run from sizes 3 and 9, and men's rings are from sizes 8 to 14. 

The most common ring size for women is a 6 or 7. This is equal to 16.5mm or 17.3mm

The most common ring size for men is a 10 or 11. This is equal to 19.7mm or 20.5mm

How to size rings according to EU standards

Below, we've used the De Beers ring size guide that many European companies follow, but there are a couple other size guides in Europe. Ring sizes are based on millimetre measurements and then converted to the European size guide's value. 

The most common ring size for women is between 49 and 54. This is equal to 15.61mm and 17.2mm

The most common ring size for men is between 57 and 62. This is equal to 18.47mm and 19.75mm.

How can you measure your ring size at home?

The internet has made many of us lazy. Why leave pyjamas, cable, and your home when you can learn anything and everything online? We can make sure you have all the information you need before you brave the jewellers and storefronts. Just measure your approximate ring size with our tricks and hacks at home! 

Measure your finger at the end of the day 

When you wake up in the morning, you're the least bloated you will be for the whole day, but after eating, exercising and participating in different activities, bloating and swelling begin, affecting your body's natural sizing - that includes your hands and fingers! Therefore it's best to measure your fingers at the end of the day when there's some bloating or swelling present, unlike at the beginning of the day. 

Warm your hands

Cold weather and temperatures shrink everything, including our fingers! So rub your hands together, run them under warm water or heat them near a fire 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. Otherwise, just like point no.1, you won't be taking a fair or true measurement.  

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 fits you. Then you can use the measurement in millimetres and compare it to a relevant sizing rings guide (remember, the US and European sizes differ slightly).

Don't forget your knuckle!

Once you have the measurement for the base of your finger, don't forget your ring has to slide over your knuckle first! And if you know your knuckle is on the larger side, you might want to have your ring be a half size bigger than your actual finger, so it can fit over the knuckle easily. 

Take multiple measurements

Earlier, we mentioned how temperature, time of day and eating habits affect the size of our hands and fingers. It's always helpful to have more information and data, so take a few measurements, and you can either

- use the biggest value as your true ring size. 

- use the average across all the values as your true ring size 

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). This measurement can be used to convert into the right ring size. 

Use a ring sizer

This one requires you have a ring sizer on hand, but these are easily acquired and

perfect to use by yourself at home. In fact, many jewellers will offer a free ring sizer to their customers (because they want to ensure you get the best fit too!)

Where can I get my ring size measured?

Any jeweller or diamond expert should be happy to assist and measure your ring size. Whether you're browsing for the perfect engagement/wedding rings or you'd just like to know your size. 

How can I guess my partners ring size?

Obviously, the above tips and tricks are handy, but what if the finger you're trying to size is not your own? How can you measure it secretly then? If you've kept every detail about the proposal as a surprise, then don't let the task of figuring out your partners ring size stop you. Many people have come before you and pulled off this part of the process with ease, and we're here to help!

There are a few incognito ways to measure her finger or ring size without blurting out, "Hey, babe, what's your ring size? I'm thinking of proposing."

  1. You could use the average ring size of women (6 or 7), but this could end up being inaccurate later on.
  2. Work while she sleeps: you could use the above tricks to measure her finger or use the jewelry and rings she regularly wears, for example, trace the circumference of her ring to figure out her size.
  3. Ask those closest to her who might know her size - her mom, best friend, sister, etc. 
  4. Get her a costume (inexpensive, every day), ring in an estimated size and test whether it fits.

Why do different fingers have different rings and purposes?

The left-hand ring finger has been unanimously claimed as the finger to indicate marital status, but there are many signals and purposes for wearing rings on every finger - not just the fourth finger. 

Below are some historical reasons to wear a ring on each finger:

  1. Pinky or Fifth Finger Rings - Rings on the pinky finger have signalled a few messages to others over the centuries. Some wore rings on this finger to show their profession. The Iron Ring was given to engineering students in Canada during a graduation ceremony. Fifth finger rings in the Victorian era also helped indicate whether a single person was uninterested in marriage. If you didn't want someone to approach you and try to court you, a simple pinky ring could keep unwanted admirers away. In the US, pinky finger rings developed an associated with criminal activity and gangs, as many grifters and gangsters would wear pinky rings to connect themselves with their communities. 
  2. Middle Finger Rings - Being in the middle of the hand, a ring on this finger can symbolize balance and order. Wearing a large statement ring on this finger can be an imposing declaration of masculinity to some. Other than that, there aren't many common and historical causes for middle finger rings. They just look great there.
  3. Index Finger Rings - In some cultures, the right index finger ring indicates marriage. For example, it's a tradition in the Jewish community to place a plain gold band on the right index finger during a traditional wedding ceremony. Otherwise, this finger is often used to signal or point to things. Wearing a ring on this finger draws attention to whatever ring sits on it. For this reason, flashy and ornate signet rings, class rings or family rings were often worn on this finger. It was and is a great way to show off an impressive ring, so it's easily noticed. 
  4. Thumb Rings - In the past, Widows wore rings on their thumbs to show they were still mourning and remembering their late husbands. In many cultures, the thumb ring placement is known as a symbol of self-assertion, freedom and profession. One other practical use for a thumb ring was for archers - a ring on the thumb was a great way to protect the fragile skin from the sharp and biting bowstring. Archer thumb rings were made from wood and leather, which is an unusual material for a ring in today's fashion.

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