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Sometimes rings need to be resized, regardless of how much time you took to measure your ring size properly. In this article, you will learn how to resize a ring.

Some reasons for a ring resizing include:

  • You received a ring that was too small or too large.
  • You have lost/gained weight as a result of which it no longer fits you right.
  • You want to wear the ring on different finger rather than the one it was originally sized for.
trying on rings

How to Resize a Ring

Ring resizing is a service that many jewelry shops offer, but before you go trying to get your ring resized, there are some important things you need to know. 

Typically, rings can be increased or decreased up to two sizes. Beyond that, it can put too much stress on the ring.

How Should a Ring Properly fit?

  • Your ring should fit snugly but comfortably.
  • It should slide on easily, but you should have to pull a little to get it off.
  • If your ring is every uncomfortably tight, you should get the ring made larger.
  • If your ring slips off with no resistance at all, it means it is too big and should be made smaller.

Making a Ring Larger

A ring can be successfully resized 4 sizes up if it has a thick shank of 3mm or more. Rings smaller than 3 mm could be weaker if they are resized up. There are two ways to have a ring sized up to a larger size.

1. Adding Extra Metal to the Band

When adding extra metal to the band, the jeweler cuts the ring's shank, pulls the shank apart and adds a bridge of metal to make up the larger size. This metal is then soldered in. 

2. Stretching the Ring

With this method, the jeweler stretches the existing ring shank, the shank is pulled apart and elongated. Most jewelers avoid this method because the slightest mistake can damage the ring, it makes the ring weaker, and it changes the look of the ring. 

The only upside to this method is that it is slightly cheaper, because you don't have to pay for extra metal to be added to the shank. 

Making a Ring Smaller

To make a ring smaller, a jeweler cuts a piece of metal out of the shank of the ring and solders it back together. If you have a nice, thick and solid band, it can be resized down several sizes.

Making a ring smaller can be tricky, especially if it is an eternity ring, or a ring with inset stones or delicate gems. An expert jeweler will be able to tell you if a ring can be made smaller without causing damage to its structure. 

In case of an eternity band, your stones can be knocked loose and many ring designs might end up misaligned.

Before you Have a Ring Resized

  • If you find that suddenly your ring doesn't fit, it may only be temporary. Sometimes cold weather can make your fingers shrink. 
  • Consider the circumstances under which your ring was fitted. Pregnancy could cause a ring to fit more snugly, or even eating a high-salt meal just before sizing. 
  • You may be sensitive to temperature fluctuations and your fingers change size with the weather, for you a temporary ring adjuster is the best option.
  • Weight loss or gain can affect your ring size. Depending on your weight goals, you may only need to temporarily adjust your ring size. 
how to ring resizing - professional jeweler

Why You Need an Expert to Resize a Ring

A delicate procedure such as ring resizing needs a skilled hand and know-how. There are many situations in which ring resizing becomes complicated, including:

  • Channel or pave settings can get misaligned during the resizing process. 
  • Prongs holding in your gemstone can get compressed or flare out during resizing. 
  • Delicate stones such as pearls, opals, or emeralds can get damaged during soldering. These stones may need to be removed first and reset correctly afterwards. 
  • Engravings may be damaged during resizing. They may need to be redone. 
  • Very thick or very thin rings can be difficult to resize. 
  • If a ring needs to be resized significantly, such as 4 sizes up or down, it can be very difficult. 
  • Rings with shared prongs can be difficult to resize. 

Selecting a Jeweler to Resize Your Ring

  • Word of Mouth - Ask friends and family who have had rings resized where they had them done and what their experiences were. 
  • Where You Purchased it - You may be able to send the ring back to where you purchased it and have it resized. 
  • Locally Owned Jewelry Stores - These often offer professional resizing, or can point you in the direction of someone who can. 
  • Online Ring Resizing Services - If you are going to do the online route, make sure to read the companies customer testimonials. Do a Google search for reviews about the company. Make sure they have a phone number you can call. You are going to have to mail them your ring, so be sure to pay extra for insurance and a confirmation receipt/signature.
  • A Traveling Personal Jeweler - See if this is an option, you can have a professional jeweler come straight to your home. 
  • Make Sure they Care - You should have a sense that they care about your jewelry. Make sure they have the willingness, skill, and experience needed to do a good job. 
  • Ask for your Cutout - The Cutout is the piece of extra metal which is “cut out” when down-sizing your ring. A reputable jeweler will not hesitate to give it to you. If you ever need to size up your ring in the future, you will already have the metal to do it. 

Consult at least 3-4 different jewelers if you are planning to resize an expensive and precious ring.

You Get What you Pay For

When having a ring resized, don't be cheap. You want your ring to look beautiful and retain it's durability after it is resized. Do not compromise on quality to save a few bucks, you will regret it down the road when you have problems with your ring. A well-resized ring will have:

  • No stone or prong misalignment
  • A consistent shank color and thickness
  • Crisp and clear engravings
  • No compromise to the overall ring quality
polishing a ring

How to Check the Quality of Your Resized Ring

  • Test your gemstones when you get your ring back. Use a sharp needle or toothpick to poke at the stone. If your stones move, the job was not done correctly.
  • Check for weak spots in the ring's shank.  Try to press the ring in the shank, if it bends or gets distorted, the job is not well done. 
  • Improper resizing can cause thin or narrow sections on the ring that are not consistent with the rest of the shank. 
  • There should not be any visible depressions in the place where the shank was soldered. The shank should be uniform in thickness, flat, and well-polished. 
  • A dented line along the shank points to the use of a cheaper or different colored alloy than the original being used. 
  • The surface and joint/seam should be even and smooth. If you feel the joint is nicked, ask your jeweler to strengthen and smooth it further. They may need to add more metal and polish the shank so it appears more even.

Platinum rings will always show a fine line at the joint where they have been soldered, the is unavoidable due to the properties of this metal.

Alternatives to Ring Resizing

Ring Overlays

Ring overlays will prevent your ring from slipping off your finger and are especially good solutions in case of a delicate ring that could get damaged during the resizing process. Plastic re-sizers are great because they can be taken on and off, this is especially useful if your fingers change sizes with the seasons. 

Plastic ring adjusters are a cheap and widely available. They are a quick option to solve your ring size issue right away. They're basically little silicone wedges or sleeves that sit between your ring and your finger. They work well but can make your ring sit up awkwardly off your finger. They are also less reliable than something a jeweler solders on.

Ring Guards

Ring Guards are available in white and rose gold metal. They can be easily worn with your ring without being too obvious. They can however, damage the band over time. 

Wear a Tight Fitting Ring Above

The tighter ring can prevent the large ring from slipping off your finger.

Ring Sizers to Avoid

There are some DIY methods you may be tempted to try when you want a near-instant, cheap method to make your ring smaller. However it is not recommended that you use tape, liquid guard or food-grade silicone to make a ring smaller without resizing. Alloys present in your ring metal may react with these substances, or your skin may react to them.

Jeweler-Applied Ring Re-sizers 

Sizing Beads

Sizing beads are an easy and economical way to reduce a ring by one half-size. The beads will anchor the ring against your finger and keep it from slipping around. 

Some people find sizing beads to be uncomfortable to wear, ask your jeweler if they have an example ring you can try on. 

Spring Insert 

A spring insert is shaped like a horseshoe. It is a strip of metal that lines the bottom 3/4 of the inside of your band. It springs open slightly to allow the ring past your knuckle and then springs back to fit snugly at the base of your finger.

This method is a little more complicated than sizing beads, but still affordable. People generally find a spring insert more comfortable than sizing beads. 

Fold-Over Device/Sizing Bar

A fold over device is a great option if you don't like the idea of squeezing anything to get your ring past your knuckle.

A jeweler will solder a U-shaped bar across the bottom of your ring, with a hinge on one side and a latch on the other. You then open the latch to put the ring on and close it to hold it in place. 

This method can resize a ring several full sizes smaller. Most people find them comfortable to wear. 

flame polish

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Resize a Ring


How Much Does Ring Resizing Cost?

There is no set price for a ring resizing, though you can usually get it done for $50 - $100. A reputed jeweler will take a look at the entire ring and service it completely. You may end up paying a bit more than you originally thought, because the jeweler found and fixed loose prongs for example. They key is to not be cheap, as this will only get you shoddy work and possibly irreversible damage. 

How Long does Ring Resizing Take?

This depends on your jeweler, their current workload, and what needs to be done to your ring. You want to find a jeweler who is going to take the time they need to do the job right, you don't want it rushed. It can take a few days to a few weeks to have a ring resized. 

Factors that effect the time it will take:

  • How thick your ring is
  • Whether it needs to be resized up or down
  • The placement of stones
  • Any engravings

Can you resize your Ring to Fit a Larger Stone?

There are a few ways to fit a larger stone into an existing band. You might need a new setting for the stone, or you might need to change the band.

For a larger stone, you may need a bezel setting. A bezel setting is much safer than a prong setting, though it covers more of the stone. 

A ring may need to be upgraded with a more durable metal or a completely different design to accommodate the stone. It is often best to get a new band with durable metal if you wish to fit a larger stone in it. 

What Kind of Rings can be Resized?

 Rings must be made of silver, gold, or platinum, and there needs to be enough room on the band for the work to be done. 

What Kinds of Rings Cannot be Resized?

  • Tungsten is too hard to be resized.
  • Rose gold can crack if it is resized.
  • Some jewelers will avoid resizing titanium, as well, because it is very difficult to resize.
  • A full eternity band can't really be resized. 

What can I do if the ring mostly fits, but slips from side to side?

If your ring is slightly too big, a jeweler will typically place a sizing assistant in the ring. A sizing assistant is a bar or two small beads of metal that are added to the inside of your ring. They are often used on top-heavy rings with large stones to prevent them from swinging around on your finger. 

Sizing beads are a good example of a sizing assistant. 


ring size

A Last Resort for a Ring that Can't be Resized

You can talk to your jeweler about remaking your ring in the correct size, then you will have your dream ring in the perfect size. 

Conclusion

If you have a ring that doesn't quite fit, remove it, place it in a fabric pouch and take it to your jeweler. They will be able to help you better understand your options. There expert opinion will be able to tell you if your ring can be resized, whether it should be permanently resized, or whether a temporary option is a better fit. 

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