Ring Resizing Explained: Bigger, Smaller, Sizing, Costs, Time

ring resizing

There are several reasons why you would need to resize a ring. Either your fiance bought an engagement ring that was too small or too large. Or you lost/gained weight as a result of which it no longer fits you right. Or you just want to wear the ring on a different finger rather than the one it was originally sized for.

Before you dash off to your local jewelry store, there are some important things you should know about ring resizing.

What it Means to Ring Resize a Ring.

To put it simply, ring resizing is the process of widening or narrowing a ring’s band. When jewelers talk about sizing your ring, they usually refer to this procedure and nothing else.

A ring can be resized by as little as a millimeter (a fraction of an inch) or as much as several sizes. All types of rings can be resized including gold, platinum, titanium, and even stainless steel.

Ring resizing can be done by hand or through a machine. Hand resizing is more expensive, but it results in a more precise fit. Machine resize is cheaper, but the sizing will be less accurate.

If done properly and with an honest and upfront jeweler, ring resizing can be a safe and non-invasive procedure.

In order to best determine how much your ring needs resizing, your jeweler will take a number of measurements as well as ask you about its fit and comfort. Then they will decide whether you want your ring to be sized up or down.

Resizing your Ring to make it Larger

If your finger ring size is 6 but the dream ring you just purchased online is a size 5, then you need to have the ring resized up. There are two ways to resizing a ring to be larger.

1. Adding Extra Metal to the Band

A jeweler will add extra metal to enlarge its band. They will need to cut the ring’s shank and add a bridge of gold to make up the larger size.

They will pull apart the two sides of the ring, adding a bridge by soldering the extra metal.

2. Stretching the Ring

A jeweler will stretch the existing ring shank. This method to resize a ring consists of stretching its shank by pulling it apart and elongating it.

With this method, the slightest mistake can damage your precious ring. Most jewelers try to avoid this method since it renders the ring weaker. It can also change the look of the ring.

The upside of this method is that it can be cheaper than adding extra metal to the ring, so it will save some money.

Resizing your Ring to Make it Smaller

There is only one method for resizing a ring to make it smaller. The jeweler has to cut off a part of the ring’s shank and then join the two ends by soldering them.

Resizing a ring to be smaller can be tricky. Especially if it is an eternity ring or a ring with inset stones or delicate gems. An expert jeweler can help you resize your ring and make it smaller without causing any damage to its structure.

Alternatively, if the ring is only a couple of sizes bigger than your actual ring size, you can try to use ring overlays to prevent it from slipping off. Ring overlays are especially good solutions in case of a delicate ring that could get damaged during the resizing process.

Here’s a video to show how it’s done.

You need an Expert Jeweler to Resize your Ring

Resizing a ring is a delicate procedure. Not just any jeweler is up for the task. It’s best to hire the expertise of a seasoned jeweler in jewelry repair. Here are some situations where ring resizing can become complicated.

Resizing your Ring
source: http://www.jwiesner.com/
  1. In the case of a channel set or a pave set ring, the gemstones and diamonds can get misaligned during the resizing process.
  2. The prongs of the ring can flare out or get compressed during the resizing process.
  3. Delicate gems like opals, pearls, and emeralds, or inlaid stones can all get damaged during the soldering process. These stones may even need to be removed during resizing and then reset correctly afterward.
  4. Engravings on the ring can be damaged during resizing. You may need to have the engravings done again after the resizing process.
  5. Very thick or very thin rings can be difficult to size up or size down.
  6. In some cases, a ring can need to change more than 4 sizes smaller or larger. It is difficult and expensive to resize rings this dramatically.
  7. Rings with shared prongs are also difficult to resize.

If any of these situations apply to you, then you should take the time to seek out an experienced resizing jeweler. Don’t just walk into any jewelry store for the procedure.

Selecting a Ring Resizing Jeweler

Ring Resizing Jeweler
source: atthebench.com

There are many factors to assure you that a ring resizing “expert” is actually good at what they do. Here are some tips to help you choose one.

  1. Get word of mouth referrals
    Ask your friends and/or colleagues if they have had their ring resized. If yes, ask them about their experience and whether they were satisfied with the work done by their selected professional.
  2. Go to the locally-owned jewelry stores
    Most local jewelry stores have knowledgeable staff or owner-operators to advise you about jewelry resizing.  Locally-owned, boutique jewelry stores with expert jewelers or owned by expert jewelers are usually the best at ring resizing projects. Their reputations and future sales rely on their being good at what they do. So you’ll get the care and attention your ring deserves. Be wary of mall-based jewelry stores. Generally, these types of stores are sales outposts, so they don’t have a professional jeweler on site. They will send your ring back to their headquarters for the procedure.
  3. Online Ring Resizing Services
    Several online jewelry stores offer sales and servicing online. However, you should read through their entire website. Read their testimonials. Google for reviews about the company. Is there a number you can reach them at? If you plan on using an online service, then you will have to mail them your ring. When sending your ring, be sure to pay extra for insurance and a confirmation receipt/signature.
  4. A traveling personal jeweler
    Many reputed jewelers can visit you at your home. They do not have an office, so they travel from job to job. They can give you personalized service and make custom repairs to your jewelry in the comfort of your home.
  5. Don’t be cheap
    A resized ring should look beautiful when complete. There should be no misalignment in its stones, prongs or the color of the shank. The engravings, if any, should not appear blurred and there should be no compromise to the overall ring quality. Select a ring jeweler who will do a marvelous job, no matter if it costs you a little more. Do not compromise on this aspect just to save a few bucks. You will regret your decision later if it comes back with problems.
  6. Make sure they care
    Despite the jeweler you choose, make sure you get a sense that they care about your jewelry. Make sure they have the willingness and skill to deal with any challenges that come with resizing your ring. Don’t just let the first guy willing to take your money do the job. Make sure it’s the right guy or girl.
  7. Ask for your Cutout
    Do not hesitate to ask them for your ring cutout when you are reducing the ring’s size. The Cutout is the piece of extra metal which is “cut out” when down-sizing your ring. Why would you want it? Someday you may want to up-size your ring, so having the original matching piece of metal will make it easier and cheaper to do. A reputed jeweler will not hesitate giving it back to you.

Checking the Quality of your Resized Ring

To resize your ring up, your jeweler will cut the ring, add a bridge and then solder its ends. To resize the ring down, the jeweler will cut a strip off from your ring’s shank and solder the ends together. Many complications may arise during these procedures.Checking the Quality of your Resized Ring

  • When you get your ring back, make sure you test all the stones. Use a sharp needle or a toothpick to poke at the stone. If the stones move, the job was not done right and you need to send the ring back to have your stones set more securely.
  • Resizing can leave a week spot in the ring’s shank. Try to press the ring in the shank. If it bends or gets distorted, your jeweler has not done a good job.
  • Improper resizing can lead to thin or narrow sections on the ring which do not conform to the rest of the shank.
  • The ring shank should not have 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 indicates a weaker ring due to the use of a cheaper or a different colored alloy than the original. Note that resizing a platinum ring is usually a complicated process and WILL leave a marked difference in its color at the place of soldering no matter what. This is due to the inherent properties of platinum.

Alternatives to Resizing your Ring

Now that you know all the pros and cons of ring resizing, the question remains: should you do it? Let’s help you decide whether or not to resize your ring…

Ring Snuggies ~ Ring SizerRings tend to change size based on the season. Maybe your ring fits you well in summers, but it is loose in winter. You can use plastic re-sizers that will prevent seasonal ring size changes.

RinGuard Ring Size AdjusterTemporary ring guards are also available in case you have a very delicate ring that cannot be resized. Ring Guards are available in white and rose gold. They can be easily worn with your ring without being too obvious.

In some cases, wearing a tight-fitting ring with a loose-fitting ring can help. The tighter ring can prevent the large ring from slipping off your finger.


People Also Ask

How much does ring resizing cost?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pricing a ring resize. When you use a reputed jeweler for resizing your ring, they will take a look at the entire ring and service it completely.

So, much does it cost? You might be expecting to get the work done in, say, $50, but might end up being slapped with a bill of $100 because its prongs were loose.

Don’t worry though. You might feel cheated, but the jeweler will actually be doing you do you a huge favor. Think about how much you would have to pay if one of your precious stones were to fall off.

Remember, do not be cheap. Do not compromise on the ring resizing price. Going cheap will usually yield shoddy work. You don’t want to be left with a weaker, dented ring, misaligned stones or other irreversible damage.

How long does ring resizing take?

This depends on the jeweler you choose. You might want the resizing to be done in a day, but a reputed jeweler may not commit to this time-frame considering their current workload.

When you do the resizing with a reputed jeweler, be prepared to wait for a few days, even weeks, to get your ring back.

Select a jeweler who won’t be rough on the ring and will take all the time needed to do the job impeccably. A lazy jeweler might do a rush job by adding beads to the inside shank in order to make the ring sit tighter on your finger. Ring resizing is a complicated and delicate process that takes much more than that.

Factors that affect the ring resizing time-frame:

  1. The thickness of your existing ring
  2. Does it need sizing up or down?
  3. The placement of the stones
  4. Any engravings

Can a ring be resized to be bigger?

Yes, rings can be resized to be a couple of ring sizes bigger. But, it is not as straightforward as you’d think.

For example, 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.

Another factor in resizing a ring up is the placement of its stones. Channel set or pave set diamonds tend to become loose or could even fall off when resized. Consult at least 3-4 different jewelers if you are planning to resize an expensive and precious ring.

Can a ring be resized to be smaller?

Yes, rings can also be made smaller depending on the ring metal, thickness, and placement of stones. If you have a nice, thick and solid band, it can be resized down several ring sizes.

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

The best thing to do is to consult an expert jeweler who has experience in this sort of service. Talk to at least 2-3 different jewelers before hiring one.

Will there be a seam or cut visible on the ring due to the resizing process?

It depends if your jeweler has done a good job. There usually won’t be any significant color differences. The ring will definitely be a little weaker at the joint. Improper soldering can even cause the joint/seam to break in the future.

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.

After your ring has been resized, make sure you examine it thoroughly. There should be no dents or visible depressions in the seams. If your jeweler used a different metal alloy, there could be a fine visible line at the joint.

The surface and joint/seam should be even and smooth. If you feel the joint is nicked, you could ask your jeweler to strengthen and smooth it further. They may need to add more metal and polish the shank so it appears evener.

Where should I get my ring resized?

Any local jeweler will resize your ring for a price. You can also send it back to the company you purchased the ring from.

If you bought your ring online, you will need to pay a shipping and handling fee apart from the cost of resizing.

So, a local reputed jeweler is your best bet.

If your ring comes with a warranty, it is best you resize it at the place where you purchased it. Many online stores also tend to have brick and mortar stores, so you need to find one in your area.

Can you resize your ring to fit a larger stone?

Yes, many times people get an heirloom stone that they want to fit into their existing band. There are a few ways this can be done. You might need a new setting for the stone, or you might need to change the band.

For a larger stone, you might need a bezel setting which is a lot safer than a prong setting. If your bezel setting is leaving less of your stone exposed, then the jeweler might suggest a prong setting.

A ring might even need to be upgraded with a more durable metal or even a completely different design to accommodate the stone. In most cases, it is best to get a new band with a durable metal if you wish to fit a larger stone in it.

Resizing a ring is very much do-able though it comes with its share of risks. If your ring holds a special meaning to you it is best to choose a reputed jeweler who will care for your ring as much as you do while resizing it. A ring is a halo on your finger. May it always fit right!

Other types of Diamond Rings Fixes, Repairs, and Modifications:

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

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