How do jewelers make engagement rings in a smaller size?

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How do jewelers make engagement rings in a smaller size?
An engagement ring typically needs to be sized (engagement ring image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

More often than not, your engagement ring will need to be sized. The standard ring size that is sold in retailers is typically in a size seven. If a jewellery has to size your engagement ring smaller, several steps must be taken to ensure a perfect fit and a nice polish to the metal once completed.

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Find the Best Fit

If your engagement ring was purchased directly from a jewellery retailer, chances are the ring is a standard size seven. If you need to go smaller, be sure to have the jeweller or store associate use their ring sizers to get an accurate finger size. You may want to account for fluctuation in fit such as when your fingers swell due to hot climates.

Sizing Process

Sizing a ring smaller is much easier than going larger. When a ring is to be sized smaller, the jeweller will make a cut in the shank of the ring and remove the necessary amount of metal for an accurate fit. Be sure you check with a jewellery store salesperson or jeweller himself to ensure you're sizing your finger correctly. Once the metal is removed, the ring must be reshaped for it's circular figure and soldered back together with a high-temperature acetylene torch. Until the ring is polished and smoothed out, there will still be a weld mark from the sizing procedure.

Polishing the Finished Product

Once the engagement ring is sized down to the correct finger size, the jeweller must polish and refinish the metal to make the cut invisible. A rubber wheel that spins at 21,000 rotations per minute is used to create a smooth finish. Other smaller brushes may also be used to clean inside the ring and hard-to-reach areas. A buffer is then used to finish off the polishing process. The ring is then dipped in an ultrasonic cleaner machine to make the ring sparkle and shine. A jeweller may also use a steamer for extra shine.

Difficulties Sizing Rings

If an engagement ring has a design in the metal all the way around the ring, the jeweller may not be able to match up the pattern when resized or may have to recreate the pattern. Also, if a ring has stones running down the side of the band, depending on the size and length of stone placement, the jeweller may need to remove them before sizing to avoid stones from popping up or being damaged. In addition, there may be metal discolouration on the shank of the engagement ring where the ring was cut and sized if the ring is an antique.

When Not to Resize

A ring that has stones set all the way around the band should not be sized. Typically the jeweller can order the same or similar ring in the correct size needed.

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