Do you wear rings? Silly question, what woman reading this doesn’t. Chances are you’ve had a little ring sizing experience. Unlike shoes and tires, rings in jewelry stores typically don’t come in assorted sizes—at least not rings in Santa Barbara.
If the one-of-a-kind ring in the display case you’ve always wanted is a size 5 and you’re a size 7, you’re going to have to size that ring. No two ways about it.
The Two Methods for Sizing Your Ring Larger
2. Adding a bridge of gold
How we Size Your Ring Larger
Let’s start with the size 5, dream ring you just bought. You’re a size 7 and the ring will have to be sized up two sizes.
Let's talk about #1, Stretching. This is going to be a short talk. I don’t recommend this technique! It makes the shank thinner and weakens the overall integrity of your ring. You know how a rubber band looks when you pull it apart? Now imagine that being done to your ring.
Let's talk about #2, adding a bridge of gold. This is done by cutting the bottom of the shank. We do this when your ring is slowly brought up to the proper temperature. Then we gently pull the two sides apart. We then custom build a bridge of new gold. We use as our guide, the width and depth of your ring, making the new piece in the size needed to enlarge it. We solder or laser weld the newly made piece into the opening we've created in your ring to make it larger. The key is to preserve the thickness at the base of the ring where it is so needed.
The gradient way we bring your ring up to the proper heat level to work the gold, platinum or silver is key in keeping the molecular bonds strong in your ring.
How we Size Your Ring Smaller
Sizing a ring down is similar. The proper length of gold is cut from the bottom of the shank and the two sides are joined together and soldered closed.
I'm often asked what we do with the little piece of gold that is left over when we make a ring smaller. To preserve the beauty and integrity of your ring, we are careful of the ring. The little piece that we remove, we're not so careful of. It ends up when sizing a ring smaller a little misshapen bit of gold or whatever metal we're working on. We do a quick weighing and credit you for the gold. We recycle the gold. If we remove a piece three sizes or more from a wide ring we return the piece to you.
Ten Reasons Ring Sizing May Cost More
1. Channel set gems may become unaligned when the ring is bent into a new shape
2. Prongs may get compressed or too spread out during sizing
3. Your ring has inlaid stones, which will likely break due to heat or pressure.
4. Your pearls have to be removed before any heat can be applied to your ring
5. You have opals, emeralds or other temperature sensitive gems
7. You have a very thick ring, which takes more metal and more work
8. Your ring needs to be sized more than two sizes either way
9. Your ring is so thin that it bends easily
10. You have a ring with shared prongs
Pick a Jeweler Who Really Cares About Your Ring
If you have an older or worn ring and the jeweler says, "Just get a new one, this one's just finished," you may want to look for another jeweler.
If your ring has special meaning that you want to honor, you should have a jeweler who respects that and has the skill to add to the long life of your cherished ring.
Pick a Jeweler Who Has the Skills to Deal with Challenges
Each of the above challenges comes with ways to work around them, like low heat laser ring sizing, gemstone setting skills and hand engraving skills.
There's no shame in a jeweler not having all those skills, just don't give your ring over to a jeweler who doesn't have the know how to re-size your ring and return it in great condition.
How You Can Make Sure That Your Gems Are Safe After Re-Sizing
Whether the ring is being sized up and the shank is pulled apart or the ring is being sized down and the two sides of the shank are joined together, the gemstone settings at the top and on the sides of the ring can become compromised.
This is especially true for channel set and inlay set gems. The internal angles of the channel can change and shift slightly when the shank is modified, thus upsetting its ability to hold its gems securely in place. This means that you should always examine all the gems and settings of a ring that’s been sized.
Try moving the stones with your fingernail or a toothpick. Obviously, they shouldn’t move. If any of them do, send the ring back for adjustments right away.
Check the Thickness of Your Ring at the Bottom After Sizing
Make sure the bottom part of your ring is nice and thick, too, so it conforms to the rest of the shank. Too often, I’ve seen thin and narrow sections of shanks due to improper sizing technique.
Where's the Master Price List for Ring Sizing?
I get called regularly with the question, "How much to size my wedding ring?" Personally I want to see it first.
Your ring's condition is a part of the cost of sizing. Just like when you take your car in because it's pulling left. In the general check your mechanic may find out your brake pads are just about worn out. They didn't break because you brought it in, but you might be peeved that his bid just got bigger because of your brake pads. A jeweler can see things that may need to be dealt with, once a close up inspection is done. So a quick, "That might cost around $75.00," could prove to be more when other repairs besides the sizing show up on close inspection.
You may be hoping for a simple $70.00 sizing and discover one of your prongs has broken off and now your repair bill is going to be $110.00. Happily you didn't lose your diamond.
There is no master price list for ring sizing. I actually tried to make one for internal use. It ended up being pretty useless so I just bid each ring as it comes.
Excellent Ring Sizing is the Best Value Regardless of the Cost
Get a good jeweler who loves and cares for your rings, because sizing is a fact of life. Did you know that your knuckles never stop growing? I know, weird huh?
June 16 2014 - Update
Don't Pay Twice Because You Don't Get the Right Size the First Time
I've edited this in later, because I know many people who have paid twice to have their rings re-sized. Read my post on measuring for your finger size properly. It talks about what your comfortable fit feel is and if that is safe or just too loose.
I also talk about the tools of sizing, because having the wrong ring sizing tool for the job can lead to a incorrect size. Read my blog about figuring out your finger size.
May your rings always be the right size!
Ring Sizing Jeweler
If you'd like to see some examples of rings I've sized, and what the cost was, check out my other ring sizing posts:
The Cost of Sizing a Ring Smaller
The Cost of Sizing a Ring Larger
Why Sizing Your Pearl Ring Costs More
How Much Does it Cost to Size My Ring Platinum and White Gold
How Much Does it Cost to Size my Ring - Gold and Silver
Ring Sizing – What Do You Pay More For and Why?
How Much Does it Cost to Size my Eternity Band Ring?
Ring Sizing, Weight Gain and Weight Loss
Ring Sizing Cost with Milgrain Edging and Carved in Designs
How Much to Have My Enamel Ring Sized?
How Much to Size My Ring – With Scratched and Dull Gems
How Much to Size My Ring – With Matte Finish and Oxidation