Perhaps you’ve been shopping for an anniversary ring and fallen in love with one that’s a size too small, or maybe your boyfriend made the typical mistake of buying you a ring that’s just a little too large. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to have your ring resized—rings need to fit well to minimize the risk of loss and to be comfortable.
Resizing a ring is generally a straightforward process, but in some instances it can be complicated or even nearly impossible. Experienced jewelers should be able to perform most resizing jobs, but a little knowledge about the process can help you manage your expectations and perhaps keep you from falling in love with a ring that will simply never fit.
The Basics of Ring Resizing
Making a ring smaller is generally done by simply cutting out a portion of the ring and joining the pieces back together again. For simple rings with uniform bands and plain shanks, the process is relatively easy. Once the unneeded material is removed, the ring is soldered back together, cleaned of oxidation that can occur during soldering, and polished smooth, leaving no visual evidence of a repair.
To make a ring larger, there are two possibilities: stretching, and adding more material. While stretching is possible for small changes in some rings, it is generally not advisable for cast rings or rings with a variable cross section, and stretching will make the band slightly thinner and weaker. Adding more material to a ring involves cutting the ring at the bottom of the shank, pulling the two sides apart, and adding metal to reach the desired size.
Apart from the simplest wedding bands, most rings are not made with plain shanks and uniform bands, and the process of resizing can be complicated by many factors.
Resizing Rings of Different Metals
The metal a ring is made of will certainly dictate how difficult it is to resize. Gold is a fairly easy metal to work with, both soft and malleable, and cutting and resoldering is quite common. For a simple band, after sizing, all it needs is to be polished, and it is ready to wear. But gold is expensive, so if you’re looking to have a ring increased by two sizes, and it’s a ring with a wide, thick shank, be prepared to spend a bit more.
White gold is an alloy of copper and gold, and is plated with rhodium to give it a white, shiny finish. When a white gold ring is heated during resizing, the rhodium melts at a lower temperature than the gold and the plating melts away. The resized ring will need to be replated, adding to the cost and complexity of the job.
Platinum rings are more difficult to work with than gold. Not only does platinum melt at a higher temperature, but it demands significantly more skill to work with than gold. In addition, working with platinum requires a separate set of tools to avoid discoloration of the white metal. Most jewelers will provide an estimate before resizing platinum rings.
Silver rings can generally be resized, though the silver is sometimes coated with rhodium and will need to be replated after sizing.
Resizing Rings with Gemstones
The type of gemstone is another factor to consider when resizing a ring. Sapphires, rubies, and diamonds are not as sensitive to heat as some gemstones, and resizing can often proceed without having to remove the stone from its setting. Emeralds, opals, and pearls, on the other hand, are extremely heat sensitive, and have to be removed before any heat is applied. If your ring features enamel, heating it to change its shape can melt or crack the enamel, resulting in the need to re-enamel your ring.
Settings and Resizing Rings
When resized, the diameter of a ring shank is slightly changed, and that can easily affect the setting. Prongs can be compressed or spread out, and channel settings can be easily moved out of alignment. Eternity bands, with gems around the entire shank, are probably not resizeable without a complete reworking of the entire ring.
Resizing a Ring with Unique Finishes
Any hand finished work on the lower shank will have to be carefully matched where the ring is cut and soldered back together. Brushed, satin, or hammered finishes will need to be duplicated to correspond with the original finish, and other details (like beading or milgrain) work will need to be carefully replicated and matched where the ring was cut.
If it turns out that your ring cannot be resized or will cost an amount that you do not wish to pay, you can sell your ring to help fund the purchase of another one. While you won’t receive the retail price back, you could receive thousands of dollars towards your next ring purchase (depending on the type of ring you are selling).
Contact Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers today for an absolutely free appraisal and cash offer for your diamond or precious gemstone ring.