How To Resize an Engagement Ring. It happens: you get that special ring from that special someone, only to find that it doesn’t quite fit. If you go in for a fitting, there’s no surprise. It can be awkward or disconcerting. And what about the reverse, buying a ring that doesn’t fit?
One thing to keep in mind is that this happens a lot more commonly than you might think. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about or to worry about. Resizing rings of any kind isn’t particularly difficult, except maybe for stainless steel rings. Ring resizing costs aren’t very bad and are sometimes as low as $20.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How an Engagement Ring Should Fit
Image by Matheus Ferrero via Unsplash
If you’re going to buy an engagement ring, and you’re not looking to have to do any resizing, you’ll need to know how a ring is supposed to fit. One path to the need for resizing is not knowing what you’re looking for. Never fear, we’re here for you. Here’s the guide.
In general, if an engagement ring is the right size, it will slip over your knuckle easily enough. It shouldn’t leave a little indentation on your finger. It shouldn’t spin or move on a regular basis. That is not how an engagement ring should fit.
How To Get Your Partner’s Approximate Ring Size
If you really want to get it right the first time, and don’t want to have to resize up or down, you’ll want to get an actual ring size. It could be a fun adventure!
You Want to Resize an Engagement Ring, But It’s a Secret
Image by Svetlana Beleacov via Shutterstock
So, the two of you have been together for some time, and both of you are getting the sense you may pop the big question. But you want the awesomeness of surprise.
Well, the first way is to go through a close friend. Now, it has to be someone you can trust with this delicate secret. However, to be safe you can claim to be buying a different kind of ring than an engagement ring.
Another great way is to build a lab and create a perfect clone of your partner. However, we have some other ideas too, so don’t worry!
One alternative is to take a ring of your darling lover and trace it on a sheet of paper. A lot of great jewelers can calculate the size from that.
You also can steal one of your lover’s rings, you sneaky wildcat, you!
If It’s Not a Secret
Image by Pavel Kostenko via Shutterstock
While resizing an engagement ring is neither difficult nor expensive, some rings can’t be resized, and some people think it ruins the whole mood. So, if you’re not going the super-sleuth route, just have the lucky gal (or guy) go in for a sizing.
Or you can do it at home. The easiest way to do that is:
- Take a string and wrap it around the finger
- Use a marker or pen to mark where it meets
- Measure (probably in mm) from the end of the string to the mark you’ve made
- Then use a sizing chart you’ve bought or one online and convert the length to a ring size
Image by Jameson Murphy via Shutterstock
To have a sense of whether or not you’re on the right engagement ring track, keep in mind that for a woman, common sizes are 5-7, with 3-9 usually available. For dudes, it’s 8-11.
How To Resize An Engagement Ring
Resizing a ring means cutting into that bad boy and either adding more metal or soldering it with some of the metal removed.
How To Resize An Engagement Ring: Upsizing A Ring
Image by Lakeview Images via Shutterstock
So if the ring is too darn small, you have to upsizing. Now, between upsizing and downsizing a ring, upsizing is a bit more delicate, and a slightly bigger undertaking.
The first thing the skilled jeweler will do is cut the ring needing the resizing. He or she will then take the right length of metal and add it by soldering—or, with certain metals and certain stones—using a laser. Then the ring is the right size and just needs to be cleaned and polished and it’s ready to go.
There will be some metals, like stainless steel, that can’t be re-sized, and some stones may get discolored by the heat involved in re-sizing. Any jeweler will be able to explain this to you.
Upsizing generally takes a couple of business days, but possibly a bit longer.
How To Resize An Engagement Ring: Downsizing A Ring
Image by Lakeview Images via Shutterstock
This process, as you might guess, is simpler and quicker than upsizing. It can take only a matter of minutes. This is all about simply cutting the extra material off and then re-joining the ring in its circular shape. It’s just a quick solder. Since no new metal is being added it is a simple process.
Which Engagement Rings Can And Can’t Be Resized?
Most engagement rings can be resized. This is because they are often of a metal that can be resized such as gold or silver. Also, engagement rings often have a plain band, which makes them easy enough to resize.
A plain gold or plain silver band are the top candidates for ring resizing—they are the easiest, and may be good for same day resizing, particularly if you’re downsizing. However, those are just the easiest to resize, not the only ones that can be done.
Stainless-steel rings can absolutely be resized. Here’s the thing though: it may be hard to get it resized at your local jeweler’s. Because stainless steel has such a high melting point (how hot it has to be before it will melt), it requires a machine called a TIG welder that many small jewelers probably don’t have. Therefore, you may have to work hard to find the right jeweler or send it to the ring’s manufacturer. So, that inconvenience may be something to keep in mind when choosing a stainless steel ring, but it’s not impossible.
The following engagement rings can’t be resized, so keep that in mind when picking a ring.
Rings With Stones All Over The Band
Image via Cartier
There’s just not enough plain metal (linking to post “jewelry metal”) exposed for the cutting and replacing.
These rings have a stone in the center held in place by the pressure of both ends of the ring. This delicate balance won’t be held in place with any re-sizing.
Rings Made from Very Hard or Brittle Material
Image via David Yurman
Such as rose gold or titanium, may not be completely impossible to resize, but very hard. It may be hard to find a jeweler to do it, and they may break the ring in the process.
Rings With Colored Stones
Image via Tiffany
The rings are dangerous to resize because the heat used will probably damage the stone.
How Much Does Resizing a Ring Cost?
Resizing a lot of engagement rings cost in the neighborhood of $55-$80, though you can sometimes pay as little as $20, and sometimes much more than $80. Here are the main factors in the price:
How Many Sizes
Most jewelers will charge by the size. If you’re upsizing, the jeweler naturally will need more metal material for the bridge. Whether going up or down, you’ll have to pay more.
Once you get into the need for special equipment as mentioned above, you’ll be paying a bit more. Harder and more brittle materials like platinum or rose gold will be more pricey than white gold or sterling silver, etc.
A fancier stone or a fancier design will send the price up moderately.
How To Resize an Engagement Ring Faqs
Q. How Do You Make a Ring Smaller Without Resizing?
A. Resizing, as you’ve read, means making a permanent change in the metal, making a cut and either crunching the ring down or putting in a bridge. However, you can cause a large ring to fit better without an actual downsize—an actual cut.
This might be a good idea, because a finger can actually swell and then unswell and making such a permanent change may not always be the best idea. If you don’t have a persistent need to resize, you might go with one of these easier messages.
Image by Christine Alaniz
Sizing beads- A jeweler can put small beads on the inside of a band. These will press against the finger and make the large ring fit better—with no cutting.
Spring insert- This is a little insert that goes around the inside of the band but not quite all the way around. It’s another cushion between finger and band to keep a band from slipping or spinning.
Q. Does Resizing a Ring Damage It?
A. Not exactly. Resizing one time doesn’t exactly damage a ring. But it does weaken and stretch the metal. That puts you on the road to damage. If you can avoid it, don’t resize the same ring twice.
Q. Can You Get a Ring Resized in One Day?
A. It is possible to get same-day resizing for an engagement ring (linking to “what is a promise ring”). If that is offered by a jeweler and you’re getting downsizing, it is possible. Generally, upsizing won’t be available the same day, and can sometimes run as long as 4 or 5 days.
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