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Ring Resizing Guide

May 19th, 2012 in Wedding Rings

Now that you have had your wedding band for a few years, you notice that it doesn’t quite fit as well as it used to. The usual culprits for finger size changes are weight gain or loss, age, injury or even pregnancy. If a ring is too tight, it will cut off circulation and be uncomfortable to wear. If a ring is too loose, it can get damaged or lost easily due to it constantly falling off. The best thing to do is to have the ring resized so, it fits as comfortably as the day you bought it. Before you rush off to your local jeweler to get the ring resized, you should understand some important facts about ring resizing.

Plain bands, meaning rings made of metal only with no stone settings are usually the best candidates for resizing. If they are made of softer precious metals, like gold, platinum, palladium and silver, that makes it even easier to resize. Resizing just means the ring is either stretched to increase its size or compressed to reduce its size. It is usually not recommended to resize a ring up or down more than 2 whole sizes, preferably up or down one whole size is the most ideal change. If your jeweler recommends cutting the band and re-soldering it back together, this probably means they lack the skill or equipment to do the resizing. Cutting a band will most likely mean there will be a sign or mark that the ring was cut afterwards. There should be no need to cut the band unless there is a substantial size change. A skilled jeweler should be able to resize a plain ring by 1 or 2 sizes without any visible signs of alteration.

Not all wedding rings without stones are the same. Plain bands without any pattern or design, like a plain domed or round style ring, are the easiest to resize. If a ring has milgrains, braided designs or carved patterns, it becomes more difficult to resize, as it may distort the pattern or finish. Many jewelers will tell you your ring cannot be resized at all if there is any kind of pattern or design. Again, this is not true. Very skilled jewelers can usually resize it up to 1 whole size with no visible sign of alteration to the ring’s pattern.

Rings with stone settings require even more skill and are much harder to resize. A half size change is usually fine. Any more than a half size change is dependent on the quality of the settings, quantity of stones, etc… Once a ring has more visible stones than actually metal, as in the case of eternity bands, it would not be worth it to resize because this would involve resetting all the stones as well as possibly changing stones to accommodate the new size, which is very labor intensive and the result is usually uneven stone settings, making the band look worse off.

Rings made of durable alternative metals such as tungsten carbide, titanium, cobalt chrome and stainless steel are extremely difficult to resize, due to the hardness of the metals. Tungsten wedding bands are the hardest of these metals and cannot be resized at all. For these types of metals, it is always best to check that the jeweler or manufacturer offers a lifetime sizing policy that allows you to trade in your ring for a different size if your finger size ever changes. This is the only feasible method to address the issue of finger size changes throughout your lifetime. Many shoppers overlook this fact and do not take into account the importance of a lifetime warranty when purchasing their wedding bands. Of course, the best warranties are the ones that do not charge a fee for size exchanges. Do not assume a lifetime warranty to be free, many charge hidden fees, unless they explicitly say there is no fee for using the warranty.

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