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.