If you have ever tried to wear a ring that was way too tight, or one so loose that it spun around your finger, you know how uncomfortable it can be; too tight...you feel claustrophobic, too loose...you run the risk of losing the ring!
It is also potentially dangerous to wear an incorrect size. Wearing a ring too tight will cause the muscle of the finger, under the ring, to atrophy, eventually cutting a "groove" into your finger. Wearing a ring too loose can harm the ring. Depending on the softness of the metal, the ring will bend easier with no support from the snugness on the finger, and when the stone falls to the palm side of your hand, it leaves it exposed to much more wear causing abrasions and breaks. The prongs that hold the stones will also wear out and snag faster than normal!
Rings are sized by cutting the ring at the back of the shank, opening up the ring to the desired size, and then "patching in" a piece of sizing stock of the appropriate metal. The appropriate gold, platinum or silver solder is used to weld the joint(s) back together, and then the ring is polished to its original luster. Sizing a ring, when done correctly, will not hurt the ring. A good jeweler knows what stones are able to be heated and which stones need to be removed to protect them while sizing. Also, certain types of settings can only be sized one to two sizes up or down, because changing the diameter of the ring may cause the stones to loosen or potentially break from too much pressure.
Plain bands can be stretched or shrunk using a special machine. Depending on the amount the ring is being changed, the jeweler may also need to anneal it (to heat and then slowly cool in order to make it stronger) to keep it from cracking during the sizing process. This process will usually cost less, as it is less labor intensive and does not cost the jeweler any gold.
Keep the following tips in mind:
Width matters. Wide rings fit snugger than narrow rings. Make sure you use a sizer that closely matches the width of your ring.
Domed or flat? If your ring has a domed top it will cause your ring to feel loose. Conversely, the flatter the ring fits to your finger the more snug it will feel.
Rings can be sized to 1/4 sizes. Most ring sizers only come in half and whole sizes, but a good bench jeweler can size in between. Choose a size that can fit over the largest part of your finger without getting stuck. Everybody has their own preference on how they like to wear their ring; one person might like to wear a ring very tight, while another might like to have a little space to accommodate for swelling. Don't just try on one size. Try on multiple sizes before making your final choice.
Everybody swells, at least a little. Your finger size can change as much as a full size during a 24 hour period. Pay attention to the way your fingers feel. There is no way for a jeweler to accommodate this change in finger size, rings can't be made stretchy, like clothes! Our best advise is to know your own hand. If your fingers swell frequently, choose a slightly larger size. If you work in cold conditions, which can cause your fingers to shrink, choose a more snug size while your fingers are warm. Pick a size that will fit you MOST of the time.
It is ultimately your decision! As you are being assisted to determine your best size, we may offer suggestions and tips for achieving the best fit, butdo not let anyone TELL you what size you wear because, changing your mind may cost YOU more money in re-sizing charges.
We are able to help you remove a stuck ring, and we are also able to safely cut the ring off your finger if none of the above tips work. There are times when cutting the ring off is absolutely necessary, and when we have to resort to cutting it, we want you to understand that torquing it to remove it can damage the ring and cause it to need more repairs than just sizing. The majority of rings can be repaired to like-new condition, though.
PLEASE, NOTE: We cannot remove rings if your hand is in need of medical assistance. We will not cut rings off if your finger or hand is stoved or broken. We will not cut rings away from open wounds. We are not medical personnel, and so we reserve the right to refuse to remove a ring if we feel you need medical assistance.
If your finger has ever had a "muffin-top" from wearing your ring too tight, if you can't get it off, and you if fear you might have to have it cut off...try these tips first:
Relax! Do not try to force the ring off your finger. Pulling on it, and panicking will only cause your finger to swell more. As long as your finger still has circulation, let your hand rest for a day before trying again.
Soak your hand in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Cold reduces swelling.
Anti-inflammatory medicine for arthritic knuckles (if arthritis is the reason your ring is stuck) can help reduce your knuckles long enough for you to remove your rings. Warning! We do not recommend taking medicine not prescribed to you!
Windex works! I know, I know...you've tried butter, soap, oil etc. and they didn't work, but every one of those products take up space, where window cleaner just makes things slippery. The bonus is that window cleaner won't gunk up the ring, nor will it hurt your stones or metals. Spray liberally, and try to wiggle and spin the ring over the chunky part of your finger.
Don't use side snips! Your well meaning handyman may suggest he can snip it off for you...don't do it! Side snips will cause an uneven joint and metal damage, which will cost you more in repairs! Remember, we don't charge to cut your rings off, and our repair prices are reasonable and more than competitive!
Do you have any good solutions for removing stuck rings? We'd love to hear from you!