It's not always possible to try a ring on before purchasing it. If you buy a ring online or as a surprise for your loved one, then you won't know if it's the right size until it's placed upon the intended finger. If the ring is too big or too small, then it will need to be resized. There are a number of techniques used to resize rings. We'll examine the best techniques in this article.

Ring Sizes

In the United States, ring sizes are indicated by numbers. In the United Kingdom, however, jewelers prefer to use letters. The table below shows common US ring measurements alongside their UK equivalents.

Size United States United Kingdom
15.6 mm 5 J
16.6 mm 6 L
17.2 mm 7 N
18.1 mm 8 P
19.1 mm 9 R
19.7 mm 10 T
21.6 mm 12 X
23.2 mm 14 Z + 3
23.6 mm 14.5 Z + 4

In the United States, most women have a ring size of between 5 and 7. This would be between J and N in the United Kingdom. Men have an average ring size of between 9 and 11 or R and V.

Professional Resizing

Professional intervention virtually eliminates the risk of a ring being damaged in the resizing process. Most jewelers complete basic resizings in less than 20 minutes.

Sizing Down

To decrease the diameter of a ring, a jeweler removes its excess material. This is done by cutting out a portion of the ring, leaving two loose ends. These ends are then soldered together to match the size of the customer's finger.

Sizing down usually won't cost you a lot of money. It can cost as little as $20 to have a ring sized down. If a significant quantity of material must be removed or you want your order prioritized, then you could pay as much as $50.

Sizing Up

To increase the size of a ring, a jeweler must first break it at one end. This creates room for the addition of new material. Once this material has been molded to match the shape and color of the ring, it's then used to fill the gap in the circle. All loose ends are then soldered together. Remember, the larger a ring is made, the weaker it becomes. For this reason, we recommend that you don't enlarge your ring by more than two sizes.

Sizing up can be fairly expensive. You have to pay for the creation of additional material along with the resizing itself. Depending on the complexity of the resize, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150.

DIY Resizing

It's possible to resize a ring at home. There are a number of DIY methods used to do so. But it's important to remember that these methods can damage your ring if performed incorrectly. We suggest taking your ring to a professional unless you are absolutely certain you know what you're doing.

Sizing Down

You can reduce the size of a ring at home using a few everyday tools. For the process outlined below, you'll need wire cutters and a pair of pliers.

  1. Begin by marking the bottom center of the ring with a pen or marker. Do this while the ring is on your finger to ensure accuracy.
  2. Using wire cutters, cut through the portion of the ring that you marked. Try to use enough force to separate the ends of the ring in one cut. Fewer cuts mean a cleaner break. If you don't manage a clean break then use a file to smooth the ends of the ring.
  3. Place the ring on your finger. Fold one end over the other until it gets to the appropriate level of tightness. Next remove the excess material from the outer end. This will leave a small gap in the bottom center of the ring, but the gap won't be noticeable when you're wearing it.

Sizing Up

Increasing the size of a ring is a challenge without the assistance of a professional. However, an effective DIY method of sizing up is outlined below.

  1. Purchase a ring mandrel if you don't already own one. A ring mandrel is a long cylinder which decreases in width as it increases in length. Jewelers and hobbyists both rely on mandrels to size rings.
  2. Lubricate your ring with dishwashing soap. You can also use shower gel or shampoo, but dishwashing soap will be most effective. Next slide your ring onto the mandrel.
  3. Push the ring as far down the mandrel as you can with your bare hands. Next use a hammer to gently force the ring down the wider portion of the mandrel. Hit the ring from all angles to ensure it stretches evenly. Remember not to hit the ring too hard or else it could get damaged.
  4. Remove the ring from the mandrel and try it on. If it's still too tight then you need to repeat the steps outlined above until the optimal size is reached.

Ring Resizing Products

Ring Magic Safety Bands

There are a number of ring resizing products intended to help you resize a ring without professional intervention. Ring Magic is one of the most popular brands for sale and many people swear by it. Even professional jewelers advise using the Ring Magic bands over more traditional DIY resizing techniques.

Ring Magic's safety bands allow you to match a ring to the size of your finger without physical alterations. These bands are available in multiple sizes. They are placed inside large rings to create a tighter fit. They cannot be used to increase the size of a ring.

Conclusion

Purchasing a ring only to find it too small or too big is disheartening. It's especially painful if the ring is an engagement or wedding ring. Thankfully, it's not a big issue. As shown in this article, a ring can be resized in a timely manner with relative ease. Although we encourage professional resizing when possible, the home resizing methods outlined above have also proven to be effective when done correctly.