Ring size measuring device

Narrow Band Ring Sizer

“Calla, a store in Lake Tahoe said Mark was a size 7.5. The company we ordered his Titanium band from said it’s a legit size 7.5. Mike can’t get it over his knuckle. We’re getting married in two weeks! I’m freaking out here. What do I do?”

How did this happen? In this post I’ll tell you how to figure out your finger size reliably.

Four Reasons Why You May Get a Wrong Finger Size

  1. If you’re not used to wearing a ring your sense of what is a correct size may be flawed.
  2. If you’re getting your finger sized and using a standard narrow ring sizer set and you will be getting a wider band, your wide band will end up being too small for you.
  3. If you use internet bright ideas to establish your finger size, like use string, etc, you will probably not get your correct size.   
  4. If you buy a wedding band that’s wide that is flat inside, instead of comfort fit, it may be too small because of the suction effect that can happen with flat inside bands.              

Two Strikes for my Couple

Strike one: Titanium can’t be sized. This will make getting Mark a new wedding band in time for the ceremony a necessity.

Strike two: Mark was given a wrong finger size and has to get properly sized to solve their problem. Until Mark has a correct size he can’t order a ring with confidence.

No Offence, But Guys Often Get Finger Size Wrong

Guys are especially prone to ordering a ring size that is too loose. As a Jewelry Blogger, I just wrote a post about it. “Guys, And Lost Wedding Rings, Stop the Madness.” Check it out guys.

And next time you’re out and about, see how many married guys are walking around without wedding rings on. Lots! That’s not good.

So what’s the deal here? Why is it so difficult to properly measure your finger? I’m going to tell you.

How to Figure Out Your Finger Size, Who Has the Right Tools

adjustable ring sizer

This style can give wrong ring sizes too easily

First off, get your finger sized by a jeweler who knows their business. Trying to do it yourself with a string, or a strip of paper is risky, at best. Those plastic sizers that are adjustable that you get in the mail aren’t as accurate as I’d like either.

ring sizer for fingers narrow size

This is a Narrow Ring Sizer for a Narrow Ring

Jewelers measure fingers with metal ring gauges— called ring sizers. These are sets of metal rings ranging in sequential sizes from small to big sizes. If you’re needing your own ring sizer, go to Amazon.

Wide Band Ring Sizers vs. Narrow Band Ring Sizers They Make the Difference

Ring Sizer Gauge for Wide Band Rings, how to figure out your finger size

Wide Band Ring Sizers

Most people have no idea that there are wide ring sizers for finding the correct size for wider rings. They’ve seen the narrow ring sizers and think that is all there is to sizers and sizing. 

Small ring sizers are about 3mm in width; wide ring sizers about twice that. Wider wedding bands usually require a slightly larger ring size. You’ll want to use a wide band sizer to ensure a good measurement. For example if with a narrow band sizer you are a size 8, a narrow ring should fit fine on your finger. But if you are buying a wider band, you will probably need more like a size 8 ½.

There is no cut and dried rule that says. “If your narrow ring size is an 8 then your wide ring size is a ½ a size larger.” My life would be easier if there were rules like that; that’s why measuring your finger by a competent jeweler is so important.

A good jeweler will figure out the difference between the thickness of your ring shank or band and the width of the ring sizer being used and hopefully guess your size correctly. Do know that if the width of your ring and the sizer is different, it’s a guessing game to get the correct size.

Not All Fingers Are Created Equal

Wide Wedding Band with Enamel in the Lettering

This Band was Wider Than the Wide Band Sizer, so We Successfully Guessed the Size

Remember too, that all your fingers are different sizes. If you’re right handed, chances are, the ring finger on that hand will be larger than its opposite on the left. Your dominant hand will generally have larger finger sizes than your non-dominant hand. If you know your right hand ring finger size, you can guess that your left hand, or wedding finger, size will be smaller.

Your rings won’t be interchangeable between fingers. You wedding ring most likely won’t fit properly on any of your other fingers.

Fingers and Finger Sizes Expand and Contract

Our fingers expand and contract due to different environmental factors such as heat, cold, humidity, and our level of activity. Often, our fingers are smaller when we wake up and get bigger as the day goes on. For this reason, getting sized for a ring is usually better done later in the day than earlier.

Four Things Not to Do Before You Get Your Finger Measured for Size

Chop sticks and salty cheetos

Salty Cheetos Change Your Finger Size

      1. Work out. It makes your finger bigger.
      2. Eat salty chips or a lot of salt. It makes you fingers bigger.
      3. Eat a bunch of apples. They make you lose water weight, making fingers smaller.
      4. Do strenuous or even repetitive work with your hands. It makes your fingers bigger.

Five Reasons Why You Still Might Get a Wrong Size

arctic diver, Lewis Pugh

If You do This Before I Measure Your Finger, It’ll be a Smaller Size Than You Need

      1. Humidity enlarges your fingers
      2. Heat enlarges your fingers
      3. Cold shrinks your fingers
      4. Your fingers go up and down in size during the day and during the month
      5. If you take medication, it can affect your finger size

 

Fit Feel, What’s Too Tight and What’s too Loose?

Knuckle to Finger differential diagram. How to figure it out

It’s Not Weird if Your Knuckle is Bigger Than the Rest of Your Finger

You may have a particular tightness or looseness that you’re most comfortable with in the fit of your rings. It’s an important thing to know about yourself, because your Jeweler will measure your ring to the tightness they like.

It may not be the feel you like. For best results, communicate your fit feel to your Jeweler whenever resizing your rings and when having custom-made rings created.

To figure it out, note your comfortable fit, your snug fit and your loose fit. Discuss with your jeweler the shape of your fingers, whether you experience a lot of swelling that could trap you in your ring, or if you have sensitivity in your fingers that could effect your comfort lever when wearing a ring.  Discuss how the design of the ring might effect your size. With top heavy rings, it is often advised to go with a snugger fit so it’s not hopelessly flopping from side to side when you wear it. If you’re choosing a straight band which is low to the finger, the size needed not be super snug.

Guys Resist the Urge to go Loose in Your Ring Size

If you guys have never worn a ring before, you’ll gravitate toward a loose fit. Just know that’s too loose for a ring you’ll wear every day.

Wedding Finger

Get a Snug Enough Fit That it Can’t Just Slip Off When it’s Cold

Try on the half size smaller than your comfortable size and see if it’s constricting, or merely more snug. Pick a fit that requires a bit of a tug to get over your knuckle, but isn’t tight once past the knuckle.

Sizing Can be Quite Tricky

Make your ring too loose and it ends up buried in the sand at the beach. Or lying at the bottom of your favorite body of water.

Make it too tight and you’ve got a major fight on your hands to get it back off. And that awful claustrophobic feeling.

Take the time to properly size your finger for the ring you are getting through a good jeweler and you’ll have smooth sailing ahead.

Caveat About Titanium and Tungsten Rings

One more comment about Mark’s situation. Titanium and tungsten rings are next to impossible to size. This means if you just have to have one, make absolutely sure that you size your finger perfectly. Five years later, though, when you’ve gained or lost weight and that ring no longer fits…sorry, Charlie. Read my blog: Don’t Buy a Tungsten or Titanium Wedding Band.

What’s the Takeaway Message Here?

finger measuring

Your Wedding Ring is All About Love, Keep it Near, Keep it Sized Just Right!

There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing your ring for the first time, whether it’s shipped to you from an online source or from your neighborhood jeweler who just custom made it for you…and not being able to wear it because it doesn’t fit.

When it comes to how to figure out your finger size, get your fingered measured correctly the first time by a professional jeweler. That would be one who has different widths of ring sizers and is familiar with finger sizing. It will save you lots of time and aggravation.

In case you wonder what happened to Mark, I measured his finger properly and rush-made a white gold wide wedding band and he made it to the church on time!

Finger Measuring Expert,
Calla Gold

 

 

 

 

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Jackie Ruka
8 years ago

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing the good bad and ugly behind ring size and proper measurement. Can’t tell you how many rings I have lost over the years, too many apples, I guess. Nice save on Mark’s wedding band. Cheers!

Melodee Meyer
8 years ago

Never thought I’d get a dieting tip when learning about sizing rings! Fantastic! : )

Lisa Darsonval
8 years ago

This is such useful information for me as a matchmaker. Now I know what to tell all my matched clients what to do and not to do when sizing for their wedding rings! I wouldn’t even think to do it myself. Thanks Calla Gold. Do you have any other helpful advice on picking or dealing with engagement and wedding ring choices?

Renee Manseau
Renee Manseau
8 years ago

Great tips! It’s nice to know how the finger sizing should go. When I’ve handed my hand over in the past it reminded me of going to the Doctor, they know it all and you’re in the dark. Calla Gold, thanks for shedding the light on finger sizing.

Scott Anderson
Scott Anderson
6 years ago

Great article! I had to replace a lost ring I’d had for years and discovered more than I ever thought I’d learn when I entered “jewelers and ring sizing” when searching online for information. I went to your online article – “wide bands v narrow bands”, and discovered how heat and weather effect the size and on and on… But I never found an article as clear as this one. Wish I’d found it before my baptism in finger fitting had begun in earnest!

Ivet
Ivet
6 years ago

Can a jeweler size a ring up 1/8 size? My ring was a size 5 but was too big so it got sized down to a 4.75 but now it’s too tight–I have to wet my hands and put soap on them to pull the ring off over my knuckle. I don’t know what to do.

eva duzs
eva duzs
5 years ago

That information on how guys are about the size of their rings and how to get their size correctly helped me a lot. Thank you so much.

Julie and Pauls
Julie and Pauls
5 years ago

But if i want it as a surprize and have never had a ring what do i do

Anna
Anna
5 years ago

Dear Calla, Thank you for this helpful explanation about wide vs. small ring band sizers. I wish I knew this earlier! Here is my unhappy story: When I went to People’s Jeweller’s (I’m in Canada) to have my ring finger sized, the rep there told me I was size 4 (she used ring band sizers to determine that). Both my engagement and wedding rings are made to a size 4 and both fit me perfectly so in my mind, I was a size 4 and that was the end of it. Recently, my loving husband told me to choose a… Read more »

Jeffry Madsen
Jeffry Madsen
4 years ago

I have a question. What is considered a professional jeweler? What are some examples?
Thank you so much for your help. I made the mistake you had said not to in the blog. I was gonna fix it, but it was from past. I really don’t need that ring anymore. I should just sell it or pawn it.