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When you decide to propose, you may find the engagement ring doesn’t quite fit your fiancée’s finger. Whether you selected the ring or it’s been in the family for generations, it may prove to be too loose or tight. In either scenario, resizing yields a better fit. However, the process is not as straightforward as it seems; you could encounter limitations based on the ring style and metal used. Before a resize, think about the following factors.

Resizing Up or Down

As with any new ring, it’s a good idea to wait a few days for your finger to get accustomed to the piece. If it still feels too tight or loose at that point, you’ll need to find a jeweler to have it resized.

Resizing Down

The easiest and more straightforward of the two options, resizing down usually involves cutting out a portion toward the bottom of the band and fusing the remaining pieces together into a new circular shape. Soldering, cleaning off any oxidizing and polishing help reduce any visible evidence the ring has been resized. This strategy typically takes less time and, subsequently, costs less.

Resizing Up

If the ring feels a little too tight, a jeweler will place a small piece of metal at the base and slightly stretch the band. However, this process has a few limitations:

  • Resizing does not exceed beyond two sizes. With lighter, weaker metals, two sizes is too much and only a half a size may be recommended.
  • Stretching and thinning out the metal makes the ring structurally weaker. As such, certain materials like rose gold, known to crack easily, are not strong candidates for resizing up.
  • Some bands are better for resizing than others. Particularly, anything thin or with a design around the entire circumference poses a challenge. Uniform bands or those with plain shanks are stronger candidates.
  • Due to the amount of work and time needed, expect to pay more to resize a ring up. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to buy a larger ring if you’re unsure of the recipient’s size.

Ring Resizing Limitations

Perhaps the biggest factor, certain metals are harder to work with than others, including:

  • Platinum: It’s possible but requires more time and a different set of tools. For these reasons, you’ll have to pay significantly more to resize any platinum rings.
  • White Gold: While more malleable than platinum, white gold’s rhodium plating poses its own set of challenges – particularly, the coating usually melts off during resizing. In either direction, the process will further involve re-plating the jewelry.
  • Rose Gold: Many jewelers simply refuse to resize rose gold for a few reasons: One, the material is especially delicate compared to other gold alloys, resulting in more cracks and fissures. Two, it’s not always that simple to find an insert in the ring’s exact shade because of the wider range of color variations out there.
  • Yellow Gold: Of all jewelry metals, yellow gold tends to be the most malleable and frequently just needs to be soldered and polished.
  • Sterling Silver: Like yellow gold, this alloy is relatively soft and typically only needs soldering and polishing.
  • Titanium, Stainless Steel & Tungsten: The hardness of these metals could exceeds a jeweler’s limits. As they’re more common for men’s wedding bands, it’s best to know your exact size and try the ring on before you buy.
  • Non-Metals: Although rare, you can still find rings made of quartz, wood or even glass. Due to the materials used and the stretching process, these rings cannot be resized.

Beyond the metal, additional factors can complicate the resizing process:

  • Pave or Channel Sets: These rings feature gemstones all the way around the band. Although resizing is not impossible, the ring may become misaligned in the process.
  • Gemstones Types: As certain gemstones are more sensitive to heat than others, a jeweler likely needs to remove them ahead of time and will need to reset them once resizing is complete. If this is the case, prepare for a higher fee.
  • Thicker Rings: The thicker the ring, the more material it involves and the harder it is to resize.
  • Eternity Bands: Due to their custom, often intricate nature, eternity bands often cannot be resized. Materials aside, doing so can interrupt the flow of the stones.
  • Tension Rings: Rather than traditional prongs, pressure or tension holds the stone in place. As such, resizing upsets the structural balance, resulting in weaker construction, misalignment and resetting complications.

What if a Ring Can’t Be Resized?

Especially if the ring is on the loose side, consider:

  • A temporary plastic ring guard, resizer or spacer.
  • Adding ring beads, which decrease the space between the ring and your finger
  • Doubling up on rings, with a tighter style placed above to keep the looser ring in place

Whether you’re in the market for an engagement ring or a wedding band, work with Hannoush to find the right style and the proper size. Bring your search to one of our convenient Connecticut stores.