There is More to Ring Sizing Than Meets the Eye

In our jewelry shop we do many different kinds of jewelry repairs. Ring sizing has to be at the top of the list.

Sizing a ring properly is a true art and takes a jeweler that has experience to be done right. Ring sizing is probably the most common repair done in our shop. Whether a ring is silver, gold, or platinum, the ring sizing process is the same.

Sizing a Ring

Sizing a Ring

When a ring needs to be sized down, we remove metal from the back of the ring, cutting it out with a saw. After the ring is cut, a good surface is made to weld the ring back together. We either use the laser welder or solder, depending on the type of ring shank and which process works the best for each ring. After the ring is welded back together it needs to be polished to bring it back to its original luster.

To increase a ring’s size, we measure the ring to see what size it is to start. If the ring needs to be larger by two sizes, we cut out a piece of the metal from sizing stock that is purchased from our vendor. The piece of sizing stock needs to be milled to the proper thickness and cut to the proper width so it can be soldered or welded into the existing ring shank. If there is a design in the ring, we try to match the design as close as possible, sometimes using engraving or applying miligrain so there is no evidence of the sizing. After the piece is installed, the ring will be rounded out, filed, sanded and polished.

Some rings, such as solid continuous die struck wedding bands with no stones are candidates to be stretched when a size increase is needed. We have a sophisticated ring structure that stretches a ring very slowly. Sometimes the rings need to be annealed or heated before stretching to give the metal more elasticity. Most of the time when stretching a ring, you can only increase 1/2 to 3/4 of a size. If you cannot stretch the band, we revert to cutting the metal and adding a piece to the ring as we discussed above.

There are many scenarios that complicate ring sizing such as rings with color stones such as emeralds and aquamarines or opals. These stones will need to be removed before sizing, as the heat of sizing will burn the stones. When you have to remove and reset a gemstone, this increases the cost of sizing, because you now also have to reset a gemstone. Resetting a gemstone also increases the risk of the work. When a ring is two-tone, made of two metals, it is a difficult sizing because you have to match both metals when increasing the size and add pieces of two metals. Many times, rings with very delicate designs or gemstones are sized at the customers risk. Another circumstance that can complicate ring sizing is a very thin or very wide shank. A think shank increases the chance of cracking the metal and it might be more prudent to add a new shank to the ring entirely.

Additionally, if a ring needs to go up four or five sizes, the work can be very expensive and complicated. There are certain rings that are extremely difficult or impossible to size such as eternity bands (stones going all the way around the finger). Sometimes using the laser welder we can add a stone when increasing the size or remove a stone to go down a size, but this depends on the style of the eternity band.

Many people contact me asking for the general cost to size a ring. There are many factors that contribute to the cost of resizing a ring. First the type of metal, how many sizes the ring needs to go up or down, if the ring is thick or thin and are there complications to consider such as gemstones or intricate designs. In order to give a price to size your ring, we usually need to see the ring to determine the best approach and the amount of labor that will be involved in the sizing.

Stop in to Richard Dolgin Private Jeweler in Overland Park, Kansas, where all repairs are done in house by a Master Jeweler with years of experience.