Have Jewelry That Doesn't Fit? Here's How to Fix It
This blog was updated in November of 2022
It's a tale as old as time. Or, at least, a tale as old as engagement rings: your partner takes a knee; you see the ring; you say yes; the ring slips on your finger and...doesn't fit. Before you can snap that perfect pic to insta the news to the world, you need to resize your ring.
Ring resizing is just one of the reasons a reputable jeweler who offers an in-house jewelry repair service is a must-have for anyone serious about investing in jewelry. When you're waiting to show off the perfect ring or need your heirloom necklace fixed before a big event, you don't have time for a franchise store to send your jewelry across the country while you nervously wait, hoping it won't need any further adjustments when it finally comes back.
There are plenty of reasons why you might need your ring or another piece of jewelry resized. If you're looking to have the size of your old or new jewelry adjusted, keep reading to learn about the options and how to find a jeweler you can trust with your most treasured pieces.
Planning to repair your broken jewelry? Get all the information you need in our Essential Guide to Smart Jewelry Repair .
Why You Might Need to Resize Your Jewelry
It's not just new jewelry that you might need to have resized. Jewelry requires resizing for many reasons. You may have experienced weight loss or weight gain and need to resize your ring for a better fit, or you may wish to wear a ring on a different finger than you have in the past. You may also have inherited jewelry that needs to be adjusted for size to fit you or wish to resize your jewelry before passing it along to a family member so it will fit them. For strung jewelry, such as pearls, restringing is necessary over time both to restore the piece to its original size and to maintain the beauty and security of the article.
Other times you may have inherited a new-to-you piece that is not exactly new. Getting jewelry that someone loved before you is more common than ever. Those pieces, while they do tell a story through their beauty, are not always going to fit perfectly. Then there is also the dilemma of buying a piece of jewelry unseen, such as from an online auction. Those pieces often need adjusting to ensure they fit properly. Simple lifestyle changes that lead to weight fluctuations are not the only reason that people have their jewelry resized daily. No matter why you may need it done, it is important you get it done right.
Jewelry Resizing After Damage
If there were structural issues that led to damage in your jewelry, such as a ring shank that was too thin, you might consider including resizing in the overall jewelry repair. A too-large ring with a thin shank is prone to bending and may repeat the damage once repaired if the size is not corrected. If you are bringing a ring in for repair that did not fit well, let your jeweler know so they can repair and resize the ring at the same time.
Need to have your jewelry repaired? Read about the Most Common Jewelry Repairs here
For short-term resizing, such as too-tight rings due to pregnancy, many people choose to wear their rings on a chain around their neck or to go without their rings until the bloated fingers common in pregnancy return to their previous size. For temporary sizing down of rings, for example after illness or injury that resulted in impermanent weight loss, removable resizers may be suitable for the interim. No matter the reason for your ring resizing, the only option for those who want permanent, reliable results is with the help of a professional.
Ring Resizing - Increase Your Ring Size
For a ring that is too tight, your jeweler can increase your ring's size for a more comfortable and safe fit. If your finger feels tingly or numb, or if your ring indents the skin on your finger making it balloon on one or both sides of the ring, it is too tight and should be resized before you wear it again. It's not uncommon for rings to fit differently throughout the day as your body takes in more liquids and reacts to your environment. If you find that your ring cannot be turned or moved at any point in the day, however, this is also a sign that you need to increase its size. A too-tight ring can cut off circulation to your finger and lead to an emergency room visit, so it's not an issue you can safely ignore.
To increase the size of your ring, your jeweler will either cut it and add metal to increase the size or, in specific instances, stretch the band. Only a professional can determine the best approach for your ring. If your ring has been cut for resizing in the past, for instance, it may not be a candidate for stretching. Similarly, if your ring is already quite thin, cutting and soldering a bridge to match your current materials may be the better option.
Ring Resizing - Decrease Your Ring Size
If your ring needs to go down in size, your jeweler can cut and remove a section of the metal before soldering the ring back together at its new size. You may want to ask about saving the removed metal in case there's a need to size the ring back up in the future or it's needed for repairs.
Depending on the metal in your ring, additional refinishing and re-plating may be needed. Additionally, certain metals and designs come with their own set of limitations. Tungsten, for example, is among the hardest metals used in jewelry and cannot be resized. Rose gold, on the other hand, is more prone to cracking when resized and can present challenges in matching the color of the original.
The style of your ring may also influence your options for resizing. Eternity bands, where stones encircle the entire finger, are not resized as easily as rings with a metal shank. Stones may need to be added or removed to resize an eternity band correctly. Any engravings in rings may also be impacted by resizing, and you should ask your jeweler about any concerns you have about engraved items when you visit them for a consultation. If the decrease in size is minimal or there are obstacles to resizing due to your style or metal, your jeweler may suggest sizing beads, spring inserts, or foldover devices as alternative options to size down your ring without cutting and soldering.
Ring Resizing – When an Online Purchase Does Not Fit
Today, you can buy literally anything online. Nearly everything you can buy in a store can be shipped to your home in a matter of about 48 hours. However, not everything shows up at your door as it appeared in the pictures.
If you have ever bought clothing online, then you know that it can show up saying it is one size, but one look at it and you can tell it is definitely not the size you expected. Buying jewelry online is very similar. If you happen to buy a beautiful estate ring from an online auction site like eBay or you see a ring you simply can’t pass up somewhere else, it may not be exactly what you pictured upon delivery.
If you happened to buy a necklace, bracelet, or ring online that you love, but it needs some adjusting, that is a great reason to get it resized. Let professional jewelry repairers take a look at the piece and see what can be done. In nearly all instances, a few simple changes can make that piece of jewelry your newest go-to piece to wear everywhere.
Resizing is Available for More Than Just Rings
When you receive a new watch or bracelet as a gift, you may find that the size isn't ideal for your wrist. If you can return to the jeweler who sold the piece, they may offer to resize it at no charge within a specified period after purchase or, in some instances, for life. For estate pieces or those whose origins you don't know, your family jeweler should be able to resize watches, bracelets, and even necklaces for a small fee. The style and intricacy of each piece as well as the metal used will all influence the time and cost for these types of repairs. Removing links from a bracelet, for example, would be less labor- intensive and require fewer materials than adding length to it.
Restringing pearls and other beaded jewelry can also impact the fit. Since pearls are strung on silk, over time the stretching of the silk leads to an increase in size. If you inherited a strung pearl necklace that fits well but needs restringing for security, you might need to add pearls for the restrung piece maintains the length.
You Always Want a Professional Jeweler to Resize Your Jewelry
Jewelry size is an important consideration for all jewelry wearers. While you can measure your ring size with a ruler or tape measure, that does not guarantee you a good fit. You should also consider the fit of your rings and necklaces. The fit of your jewelry can make a big difference in how they look on your body and how comfortable they feel. Getting a proper fitting from a jeweler is the best way to ensure your jewelry fits perfectly now, and in the future.
Even if your jewelry fits perfectly, it may not be the right fit for your lifestyle. When choosing a professional jeweler to resize your jewelry, you want to make sure that they are experienced and knowledgeable about resizing different types of jewelry. Explain to them that your life requires a change and what you hope to achieve. They will likely offer suggestions on what options you have. You should also ask questions about their service fees, reliability, and turnaround time before you book an appointment.
Another reason why you might want to have a professional jeweler resize your jewelry is if you need repairs to your jewelry as well. Sometimes, stones will fall out or get damaged during wear and tear. This can happen even with high-quality jewelry that has been carefully cared for over time. If you’re looking for a professional jeweler to fix your pieces, it’s best to have them professionally sized first so that you get the best possible results. Remember, jewelry is an investment. The more you care for it properly now, the longer it will last.
Finally, when choosing a professional jeweler to resize your jewelry, it’s important to remember that resizing jewelry is not a DIY project. While there are guides to fixing jewelry online, unless you have the experience, tools, and skills to do it right, you risk damaging that piece of jewelry beyond repair.
Choosing the Right Jeweler for Jewelry Repair and Resizing
Before you consider resizing your jewelry, make sure you find a trustworthy jeweler whose experience and expertise gives you confidence in their work. Most local jewelers will offer a free consultation and should be happy to share their catalog of past work and discuss their training and certifications. You should also seek out reviews from their previous customers and look for a trend of positive experiences and reviews touting quality work and excellent customer service.
Looking for San Francisco jewelry repair or resizing? At Carats & Stones, we handle the job in-house from start to finish. Our friendly staff is here to make jewelry repair and resizing easy for you by listening to your needs and concerns, educating you about your options, and doing first class work that we’re proud to stand behind and that you’ll be proud to wear. Stop by our Union Street showroom for a cup of tea and a free consultation—we'd love to show you how we can help.
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