engagement rings

How rings are sized: Change is inevitable.

Our fingers change sizes over the years. While sometimes it is related to weight, it is more often related to aging and the physical changes our bodies go through over the years. Pregnancy for instance can permanently change the size of our joints. And even if you don’t suffer from the pain of arthritis, most people’s knuckles exhibit some of the growth associated with it. As we age with also start to swell and hold water differently. So don’t be hard on yourself if you need to get your ring size. This shit just happens as we get older.

Rings are typically sized by cutting the bottom of the ring, the area that sits on the palm side of your hand. When sizing down, a section of the ring is removed and the two sides are brought together and soldered or welded. When sizing up, the ring is opened up after it is cut and a new piece of metal is put in the open space. After being soldered or welded the seams and the new piece of metal are blended so that you cannot see that any work was done. The process should not remove a lot of metal. If a ring is significantly thinner after sizing, the sizing was not well done, but you do lose a little thickness each time which is one of the reasons you don’t want to size your ring too many times. Each solder seam leaves a weak spot in the ring which is the other reason you want to keep your ring sizings to a minimum. If you have an older ring that has been sized many times, the best option might be to replace a large portion of the ring to get rid of multiple sizing seams. This is often referred to as half shanking or quarter shanking a ring. It can strengthen the ring if it has become overly thin over time.

Some rings can be stretched up or crushed down without being cut. Wedding bands are usually made without a seam, so they can be stretched up multiple sizes. Using a series of metal funnels that they are slowly pressed into they can be “crushed” down without being cut. Rings that have a lot of metal at the base that only need to go up a quarter or half size can be stretched up by hammering. Avoiding cutting the ring avoids having a weak spot.

Whenever possible it is best to start with a ring that is the correct size or as close to the correct size as possible. Going from a size 5 to a size 10 means there will have to be a large amount of metal added to the ring. Whenever possible know the ring size of the wearer and get a ring close to that size. Part of the reason I make so many rings to order is that I want to offer size 4s and size 13s that were made to be that size, without seams. I want all of my rings to be as sturdy as possible and not having seams helps maintain their integrity. You can order a ring sizer for $1 or go to a local jeweler to check your size. Be aware that the wider a ring is the smaller it typically feels. A 1mm size 5 will feel very different than a 20mm wide size 5. If a ring is very wide, you might consider going up ¼ to ½ a size.


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