How do jewelers make engagement rings smaller?

Resizing of engagement rings is a fairly easy process. The most common question we receive is, “do you need to remove my center stone” and the answer in most cases is no.

Making a ring smaller

Most engagement rings can be made smaller by heating the metal and cutting a small piece from the bottom of the shank. Once cut, the bench jeweler will again heat the metal and reshape it back to its original shape. It is then soldered and re-polished. When done correctly you will never notice where the ring was cut. If not done correctly, you will see a small blackish line or the metal will not be smooth.

Making a ring larger

There are two ways of making a ring larger. If you are going up a very small amount the bench jeweler can heat the metal and stretch it to the desired size. If you need to go up a larger amount the bench jeweler will cut the bottom of the shank, add a piece of metal, heat, soldered, re-shape, and re-polish. Once again, if done correctly you will not notice a piece was added.

Some things to consider – if you look at rings that have scroll work or intricate detail you will notice on many the bottom portion of the shank is left plain for sizing. In most cases, the jeweler can add or take away from this piece and the scrollwork/detail will remain in tact. There are times however, when the jeweler may need to cut into the scrollwork/detail and this is something to consider. Also, certain settings such as pave or channel set diamond settings can be sized if the side stones go approximately half way around the band, but when sizing they may not be able to be brought back to the original circular shape. Often times, the ring may need to be made more oblong to prevent the diamonds from falling out. The shape should not bother your finger nor should it be visible, but if done this way you’ll want to have your wedding band re-shaped as well so they sit flush together on your finger.

The most common reason for re-sizing rings is either weight gain or weight loss. If you are in the process of loosing weight, until you reach your goal, I would suggest adding stabilizer balls to the inside of the ring as you go along and then re-size it one time when you hit your goal weight. Stabilizer balls are small gold balls soldered inside the ring on the bottom of the shank. They may be somewhat uncomfortable at first, but after a day or two you will no longer notice them.

If you have any further questions, please call 1-800-979-1910 or email to talk to a certified graduate gemologist.

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