The ins and outs of ring alterations
Picture this: a family member, best friend or loved one buys you a beautiful ring as a present. You try it on to find it doesn’t fit. Instead of being honest, you fake a smile and later put it back in its box never to be seen again.
Think again. You don’t have to put the ring away to gather dust because, although not many people know, it’s actually really easy to get a ring resized to fit.
Megan Evans, jewellery retail expert at boutique jewellers The Evans Partnership in Saltaire, talks us through the ins and outs.
Simply a person’s finger might change size or they might want to swap the ring to another finger. Another reason is the piece might be inherited and belonged to someone who had different sizing. Even something like injury can cause the need to resize.
“We had one customer who fell down the stairs in a bar. She banged her hand on the ground as she fell and her ring finger was never the same size again!” Megan explained.
It’s generally easier to make a ring smaller. The jeweller will cut out a small portion and join the ring back together in a circular shape by soldering. After the ring has been finished and polished you shouldn’t be able to tell.
To enlarge a ring the jeweller will cut the ring and add in some extra metal. This process may be more noticeable on the ring, but your jeweller should make it as discreet as possible.
“We’d never stretch because that’s not the right way to do it” Megan said. “At the end of the day the ring is important to the customer, that’s why they’re having it resized, so it’s not worth doing something that might ruin it.”
Can all rings be resized?
Almost. Yes, if they’re gold, silver or platinum, but stones or metal blends can make it more difficult. Cheaper rings that are unknown metal blends we probably wouldn’t try resize because we don’t know exactly what it’s made of or what its boiling point is, so it could either not melt down or blow up! There can also be an issue if gold is bought abroad, again just because we don’t know exactly what the blend is.
“Stones can make it a bit tricky – but not impossible”. If your ring is really intricate and set with lots of stones then most jewellers probably wouldn’t try. It’s best to treat each ring as a separate case and take it to your local jeweller for their expert opinion.
How long does it take?
About two weeks probably. It depends on how many jobs your jeweller already has on the go, but it isn’t usually a complicated job.
How much does it cost?
No less than £20.
Other things to consider
If your ring proves not possible to be resized by a jeweller, or if you’re after a quick or temporary solution, then there are other options. You can buy small pieces of plastic which can sit inside your ring and adjust the size – try looking on eBay.