Resizing a ring is very common in the jewelry world, and in most cases, it is a fairly straight forward process. As always, there are exceptions when it comes to resizing, which I will cover later.
If you are wondering whether or not you should get your ring resized, or have questions/concerns regarding the process, I strongly advise reading this article before making your decision. While the overall process is straightforward, you only want your ring to be resized once. Having a ring altered multiple times can compromise the durability of the ring and also effect its appearance. Follow these steps to get it right first time.
Whether you are looking to re-size your ring larger or smaller, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you start the process.
“I’ve lost/gained weight, and now my ring doesn’t fit”
If your weight loss or weight gain is sudden (due to illness, a crash diet or other variables) it is worth consider whether this is a permanent change. As the years progress, it is very common for people to need their rings resized, however if there is a possibility of your finger-size reverting back, patience may be the best course of action.
This is particularly significant for pregnant women. This swelling caused by pregnancy can take up to six months to go down after birth. Although it is tough being parted from your jewelry for this long, it will be worth the wait!
If the change in your finger size is permanent, follow the steps below to assess whether a resize is necessary.
“My ring feels too tight.”
If you are unaccustomed to wearing a ring every day, adjusting to an engagement ring or wedding band can take some time. In my experience, it is men in particular who feel the ring is too tight or uncomfortable.
If your ring is not causing any pain, bulging the skin, can be placed onto your finger with relative ease, and can be removed then it is worth persevering. Visit a few local jewelers and get their views. It is important for your ring to fit properly, as a ring that is too big will cause other issues.
“My ring feels too loose.”
On the other end of the spectrum are those who are understandably conscious of losing their precious ring and fall into the trap of re-sizing too small.
A ring that is too big is more likely to get lost. Rings that are too large and worn for long periods of time (five years or more) will also develop a warped shape, as they do not sit properly on the hand. Avoid the temptation of sizing too big for comfort, as this will lead to damage. The right size ring will be comfortable but secure.
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In order to make a ring smaller, the jeweler usually cuts a small section out of the band and will then join the band back together again. The ring is then soldered and polished until it has regained a smooth, circular appearance. When this process is carried out by a skilled jeweler, there will be no indication that the ring has been resized.
Rings with a plain band (a traditional style, no gemstones etc) can be re-sized using this method.
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The method used by the jeweler to make your ring bigger will depend on how many sizes it needs to be increased by. If it is a small modification, stretching is usually the best option, with minimal compromise and risk. Depending upon the material and style of the ring, stretching usually work when the ring is going up by half a size or less.
If your ring is going up by more than half a size, a different technique is used. The jeweler cuts into the band, opening it up in order to solder additional metal into the gap.
Unfortunately, there are instances where a resize is not possible. Eternity bands, or any ring which features a continues row of gemstones will be almost impossible to resize. Rings with intricate metal work like this Bella Vaughn Lace ring for Blue Nile (pictured above) also cannot be resized. These rings are all about beauty and balance; attempts to resize can result in damage to the gemstones and an overall distortion of the appearance of the ring. You will also run into issues when attempting to resize:
If you want the impact of a diamond band but the possibility to resize in the future (after all, you will wear this ring for the rest of your life), I would suggest considering a three-quarter eternity band, or better still, a half eternity band. These options will still look like a full diamond band when viewed from above, with a plain band on the underside of the hand. This ornate vintage bezel-set ring by James Allen would be impossible to resize in a full eternity, however show here as a half eternity it has all of the beauty, but with options for resize.
If you find yourself with a full eternity ring that does not fit (and will never fit again) a better option would be to visit your jeweler and consider having the stones reset in a brand new ring. This is can be a costly process, but may be the only option if you want to make the most out of your diamonds. No one wants their jewelry gathering dust in a drawer.
The cost of a resize is completely dependant upon the style and the job. For a straightforward sizing down, I would estimate around $60 – $80 depending on the jeweler. Any jobs which require resetting gemstones, or other intricate work would be a price on application basis.
A trusted jeweler should give you complete clarity when buying your rings, which should cover resizing and details regarding modifications to the ring. Having this information early on should limit the chances of running into problems with resizing in the future. Ask yourself: Do I need it? Is it possible? Is it worth it?
Should you find yourself needing to resize your ring, get yourself quotes from a few jewelers before making your decision and thoroughly research to ensure you are getting a skilled bench worker to complete the job.