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Do I size up or down? Ring Sizing

It is extremely important to measure your ring size to determine the perfect size and a good fit from the get-go. If you can get an accurate measurement the first time around, then most of the time you can avoid resizing issues. However, getting the wrong ring size is not uncommon. It happens, and when it does, you will either need a resized ring or have to replace it entirely.

Both options can be costly, depending on the ring and whether you’re resizing it up or down, especially with an engagement ring or a wedding band. But what about if you’re really just not sure about your exact ring size? Maybe you try one ring that’s a size 10 and find it fits well, but then another ring, the same size 10 feels a little loose. How do you decide if it is better to go up or down in your ring size?

Ring Size Up or Down: That Is the Question

Once you have found the perfect ring, you want to make sure it is a good fit, but if you aren’t sure about your correct ring size, this can be difficult. Truthfully, if you’re ever unsure of your ring size, it’s always wiser to size up. It’s much easier to resize a ring that’s too big than it is to resize a ring that’s too small, provided the ring can be resized at all.

Resizing a ring might not always be an option, especially for rings that are custom made or that have a lot of intricate detailing on them. It’s also a problem if you find you have to resize a ring more than once because it degrades the strength of the ring. That’s why it’s so important to try and measure your finger and determine the correct ring size from the start.

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What Happens If You Size Too Small?

When you pick a size that’s too small, you’ll have to have the ring resized to a larger size. It can tricky to resize rings that are too small because the jeweler will have to add extra material to increase the size. That means it’s more costly as well. To add more material and make a ring larger, jewelers will add extra material to the bottom of the ring. If it’s a simple band, it’s not as difficult, but some rings have more intricate styles and designs that make doing this harder. Other rings, like eternity rings, are impossible to make larger. Sometimes you can stretch a ring that’s too small to make it larger.

This method is ideal if you only need it a half or a quarter size larger. Any more than that and you degrade the integrity of the ring. The metal will become weak and will be more apt to break later. Style also plays a role because the more intricate the style and detailing, the more difficult it is to resize. This is why for an engagement ring or wedding ring, it is vital to have the correct ring size from the beginning. 

What Happens if You Size Too Big?

A ring that’s too large is easier to correct, at least in most cases. If you need to go down a whole size, the jeweler may do this by removing a piece of the ring and then reconnecting the ends. This is a harder task if your ring has stones or detailing all around the band and in some cases might not be possible at all. If you need a significant resizing, it may or may not be doable.

Your local jeweler will be able to help you decide. Sometimes, you may not need to resize the ring at all but can get away with adding sizing beads to the ring to keep it snug. Usually sizing beads are used for rings that are top-heavy, so they twist and turn, or for rings that have to be a half size larger to slide over big knuckles, but then fit loosely at the base of the finger. Sizing beads may also be a good option for eternity rings or rings made from hard metals like tungsten or titanium, provided it’s not more than a half size too big. Much larger than a half size too big, and the sizing beads may not be effective. 

How Should a Ring Fit, Anyway?

Other Ring Size Considerations

Some people have hands with large knuckles that make accurately sizing your ring a challenge. This is common in elderly people that suffer from arthritis and is also common in men. In cases like this, it may be wise to buy a ring with an expandable ring shank, if possible, to achieve a comfortable fit. They are designed with a hinge in the shank that opens and closes so that you can slide it over large knuckles without discomfort, but then it still sits snug and in place at the base of the finger. Ask a reputable jeweler if something like that is an option with the ring style you choose, it could save you a lot of grief later.

Remember, it’s definitely better to size a ring up if you’re unsure. A ring that’s too large is easier to adjust than a ring that’s too small. No ring will be perfect but strive for the best fitting ring that you can. The closer you can get to your accurate size, the better off you’ll be.