Full on arthritis is nothing to sneeze at. Helen had seen her friend Sue’s Finger Mate ring hinge and lamented that she was unable to wear her wedding set. Sue loves her wedding ring with the Finger Mate hinge.
“Who did your ring?” Helen asked Sue.
“Calla Gold,” Sue replied. And after a shuffle in her purse, a business card was produced.
Figuring Out the Right Big Knuckle Solution Out of Many Possibilities
When Helen and I first met I could see that arthritis was expanding her knuckles enough to make it hard for her to close her hand.
Arthritis is different for different people. Some have enlarged knuckles and little pain and some have enlarged knuckles and pain.
Would Finger Mate Work?
When I showed her the Finger Mate sizer set to establish her knuckle-to-finger differential the firmness of the hinge when I pulled to open, seemed to hurt her a little.
Helen had a four size knuckle to finger differential, which explained why when she’d previously sized her wedding set larger to fit, it spun unmercifully, making it near impossible to wear.
Arthritis and Nerve Sensitivity
Some arthritis sufferers have nerve sensitivity that might make a hinge uncomfortable to use. It is something to consider when choosing your big knuckle ring solution.
When measuring using hinged sizing rings from Finger Mate, which are more firm in hinge feel than the finished ring, I can tell if sensitivity will be a factor in choosing the right big knuckle ring solution.
For Helen I figured with her sensitivity, Finger Mate was out of the question.
What About CLIQ?
Then I thought a Superfit/CLIQ hinge might be better. But the need to use a pin-like device to open it when her hands were Arthritic looked like it’d be too difficult.
I was intrigued by the various challenges presented by her hand and her rings.
Making Two Rings Into One Made Too Wide a Ring
Her two ring wedding setting was a combination of a soldered together straight diamond band, a lovely gift from her husband, and a more curvaceous wedding ring design.
They had been soldered together in the past, but on one side the wedding ring belled way out. This made a way too wide gap for a hinging shank to cover.
Whenever a hinging shank is added to a ring or rings, it must be a single shank. Helen had three!
I knew that with thought and time we could work out how to close that gap so a hinging shank could be put on. But sitting there looking at it was not the time to solve that puzzle.
What Helen’s Arthritis Type Meant for Her Ring and Finger
Helen wanted to be able to put on her ring easily to get it over her enlarged knuckle and have it live on her finger without spinning.
That was my goal. Her wedding set needed to be very easy to get on and remove. Her rings needed a solution that did not involve pulling hard on her finger to open a hinge. Her sensitive nerve endings would cause her pain when removing it if I chose the wrong solution.
I needed to make sure it was easy on and easy off. I wanted to avoid a manual dexterity challenge.
Easy on and off, ForeverFit Saves the Day
I chose for Helen the hinging choice, ForeverFit. It is so smooth on and off, with its built in spring.
ForeverFit’s spring retracts beautifully going over the knuckle and springs back once past the large knuckle. ForeverFit would solve Helen’s need for arresting the spin of her ring set.
This solution would allow her to put her wedding set on and take it off comfortably as many times as she wanted to. But I get ahead of myself. Before we did the work we still had a big challenge.
The need to address that too big gap between her two rings. That need to narrow the gap, yet keep the prettiness of the design alive. The gap needed to be narrowed because the 6mm wide inner hinge shank was as wide as we could go for the narrow side of her ring.
Closing the Gap, From Three Ring Shanks to One With ForeverFit
I modified the joining area of her two rings which were very uneven, to make a join area to connect her 6mm ForeverFit ring shank to.
It all worked! Happiness. It slides off and on easily. And it looks great on Helen. She looks like a married woman again.
Do You Have Arthritic Knuckles?
Don’t let arthritis rob you of wearing your most important piece of jewelry. No matter the challenges, know that many inventive jewelers have worked hard to help you have pretty rings on your hand.
Have a question about your situation? Call me. 805-963-4157.
Your Personal Jeweler,