Is it better to size a ring up or down if you fall in between a whole and half size?
Please don't assume the size difference is so small it doesn't matter either way.
I've messed this up in the past, so let's look at how you can get it right.
Is It Better To Size A Ring Up Or Down?
It's always better to size a ring up as opposed to down. This is because it's much easier to cut down the ring during resizing versus adding metal to the ring band. When you size a ring up you can also use a ring size adjuster or ring sizing beads.
Once you buy a ring that doesn't fit perfectly you'll probably try to have the ring resized straight away.
Let's look at the work required to resize the ring up and down. You'll understand why it's better, in the long run, to always size up when buying.
How To Resize A Ring Larger
If you size down the jeweler will need to make your ring band larger.
Professionals are going to increase the band circumference of the ring by adding a piece of metal to it, which will keep the band strong and beautiful.
Once the ring band's been snipped the extra piece of metal will be soldered to each end as carefully as possible.
By the time the jeweler has finished smoothing and polishing your ring, it will be next to impossible to tell anything was ever wrong.
Can I Stretch Out A Ring?
Some jewelers might be okay with stretching a ring to increase its size, but jewelry professionals will steer you away from that option.
It's especially dangerous when you're working with more expensive rings. And rings with stones and elaborate designs.
Even stretching a simple wedding band will still leave the ring:
Resizing a ring will devalue it when it's done in such a crude way. If you want your ring to be worth something in the future stay away from stretching.
How To Resize A Ring Smaller
If you size up the jeweler will need to make your ring band smaller.
Resizing a ring smaller is almost identical to the way they make it larger. Two snips will be made to cut a small piece out of the band.
The jeweler will solder the pieces together before smoothing and polishing the band.
When you don't need to attach an extra piece of precious metal to your ring it's going to cost less money to have resized too.
Ring Sizing Beads
Ring sizing beads are another permanent way to make your ring smaller, although they can be removed by a jeweler in the future.
Sizing beads are small metal balls that attach to the bottom of your ring band, which press against your finger to stop the ring from moving.
They can reduce your ring by a quarter of a ring size to guarantee almost any ring will fit you once the sizing beads have been fitted.
If you have the choice between traditional resizing vs sizing beads the latter is less likely to damage or devalue your ring.
Does A Ring Size Adjuster Work?
One of the other huge reasons why it's better to size up is because you don't even need to have the ring resized. If your ring is too small it stays in your drawer.
When it's a little too big you'll be able to use a ring size adjuster. It's basically a little piece of plastic that sits on your ring band.
It can make your ring band circumference small enough that it fits your finger perfectly, plus they're clear so nobody will ever see it.
A ring size adjuster is a great option in two scenarios:
- You can't afford professional ring resizing
- The ring has already been resized a few times
If you want to avoid damaging your ring while resizing it an adjuster is a great choice. Just remember it's not a permanent solution.
Issues With Larger And Smaller Ring Sizes
If your ring doesn't fit your finger correctly you're going to run into one or two little problems.
I know I prefer the problems associated with a ring that's slightly too big. I'm sure you'll feel the same after we touch on each problem.
Large Ring Issues
- Spins + wears down
- Easier to lose
If your ring is too big it's going to spin on your finger. The ease in which it spins is going to come down to how big the gap is.
Unless it's really loose, the ring isn't going to spin much. This also means it's easier to lose because it can slip off.
Fortunately, you can solve those problems instantly by getting your ring resized or using a ring size adjuster.
Small Ring Issues
- Circulation problems
- Finger swelling
You don't want to feel like your finger is being squeezed so hard it's cutting off your circulation. It's not good for your ring finger.
I've had problems with a small ring when gaining and losing weight. When I put weight on it was too tight to wear.
Things like seasonal changes will affect the size of your ring finger too. In summer our fingers swell up due to the heat.
Can All Rings Be Resized?
Be careful. Not all rings can be resized.
If you choose one of those rings you'll be in trouble. Let's discuss some of the most important reasons why some rings can't be resized before you buy one:
- Eternity bands
- Wooden rings
- Titanium rings
- Rings with thin bands
- Rose gold
- Rings with certain stones
- Tungsten rings
Some rings are impossible to resize due to the material used, so take extra care to size up should you choose one of these rings.
Wood is an obvious example because you can't weld two pieces of wood together. Tungsten is a non-starter because it's too hard. Most jewelers probably won't bother resizing titanium rings too.
Resizing rose gold rings up or down is possible, but it can crack more easily than other gold rings and it's risky.
The finished article will also lack quality if you size down your ring. The colors won't always match up when you add a piece of rose gold to a ring band.
Rings with a thin band are hard to resize due to the fact they're so skinny. Trying to resize a ring up or down could ruin the band.
At the very least it's going to weaken the structural integrity of the ring, so it will break easier in the future.
Eternity bands can't be resized because they won't have any bare metal. Jewelers won't be able to cut out a section with gems in it.
Some bands with complex designs and delicate stones will be tough to resize. Gemstones would need to be replaced and reset.
At least when you size up you'll still be able to wear these kinds of rings. If you size down the ring you won't be able to wear it.
How Do You Pick The Right Ring Size?
You can save yourself a lot of problems by choosing the right ring size in the first place. If you're like me you have plenty of rings at home.
Do you have any you wear every day? Maybe an engagement or wedding ring.
Just find out the size of your favorite ring before ordering one. You can also ask a jeweler to measure the size of your finger.
Or these are tools available you can use at home.
What Is A Typical Ring Size?
In the US, ring sizes range from around 3 to 13.5 if you're an adult. That is 14 to 22.6 millimeters.
Most rings will come in half sizes too, so you're probably going to find the right ring size if you look hard enough.
Women wearing a ring on their ring finger will usually fall between 6 and 7. Men will usually fall between 10 and 11.
Is It Better To Size A Ring Up Or Down?
It's better to size a ring up versus down for a few good reasons:
- It's easier to make a ring smaller
- It's cheaper to make a ring smaller
- The resized ring will look better
- Ring size adjusters can be used
- Ring sizing beads can be used
- Homemade ways to make rings smaller
If you're in the unfortunate position of needing to size a ring up or down because even half sizes don't fit right, always size up when possible.
When you finally get your ring band professionally resized it will be better in every way. Plus it's going to cost you less money.
If you don't want to get it resized straight away there are still options that will allow you to wear the ring as normal.