How are Rings Resized?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Adjusting ring sizes is not an uncommon phenomenon. Referred to as sizing, this process is most often used to increase ring size rather than decrease the size and create a snug fit. The process of having a ring resized is best left to a professional who is familiar with jewelry and the composition of metals that are commonly used to create the settings and bodies for various types of rings.

Jewelers use torches to resize rings.
Jewelers use torches to resize rings.

The process for having a ring resized is actually very straightforward. A jeweler will first cut the shank or bottom of the ring, creating a break in the circle of the ring. Next, the body of the ring is heated. Heating the body of the ring requires exact precision, as to much heat will result in permanent damage to the metal, while the application of too little heat will make working with the ring or rings extremely difficult. Once the ring is heated to the right temperature, the jeweler will be able to open the ring to the desired size.

After the welding is done, the gemstones in the ring are tightened and the entire ring is polished.
After the welding is done, the gemstones in the ring are tightened and the entire ring is polished.

Following the opening of the existing ring, the next step in having a ring resized is to cut and shape what is known as the sizing stock. Essentially, the stock is a matching section of metal that will be grafted into the gap that now exists in the body of the ring. It is important that the stock exactly match the dimensions of the original band, especially the thickness and height of the band. Once the sizing stock is a perfect match, the jeweler will move on to securing the stock in place.

The resized stock is moved into position and then welded to the shank created in the original band of the ring. An experienced jeweler will be able to accomplish this with an extremely small bead on the weld that is almost invisible and can be slightly buffed in order to minimize the visibility of the weld. Once the welding is complete, all stones in the ring are tightened and the entire ring is polished. In some cases, the band may also be refinished as a final step.

While most metals that are used for the bodies of rings will allow at least some amount of adjustment to the size of rings, there are a few examples of metallic compounds that prevent rings from being resized. A jeweler will be able to determine if a particular ring can be resized and what steps are necessary to make the resized ring maintain an attractive appearance.

The process of having a ring resized is best left to a professional.
The process of having a ring resized is best left to a professional.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@Anon81863: I am not sure where you obtained your information on how a ring is sized, but what you describe is not how professional jewelers are trained to perform this task.

When increasing the size, they are trained to obtain a piece of like material, for example if the ring tests 14k yellow, they secure a piece of 14k yellow gold of the same diameter and insert it and weld it as described in original the above post. "Belting" the material down to a larger size not only weakens the shank but also makes it considerably smaller in diameter than the original.

Anyone getting a resize, talk to the person who will actually do the work, and make sure this is the process s/he will use. Otherwise you are very likely to be dissatisfied with your results. Good luck.


My daughter recently became engaged. The engagement ring is beautiful, however it is too large. She has a very small finger and took the ring back to the place of purchase for the re-sizing. They gave it back to her "re-sized" to a 4.75, but it fit exactly the same. She took it to another jeweler to determine size, and it was a 5.0. She then returned to the place of purchase and told them that she needed it to be a .5 size smaller. The jeweler broke the ring and had to send it to the manufacturer to get it fixed and re-sized. The jeweler is telling her that she is responsible for the cost of $150 to repair the ring.

Is this true? It seems to me that the responsibility of any cost would be to the jeweler that broke the ring. I should also mention that the jewelry store measured her finger and determined that the 5.0 was the sized needed.


For example: If I have a ring and I have it resized to a larger size, does that mean that the total ring will change too (e.g., from 2.4 grams to 2.29 grams)? I would appreciate feedback regarding this.


Usually, it's better to avoid buying a wrong ring size. I wanted to share a free ring size converter anyone should use before buying jewelry online.


I just bought a old filigree diamond ring that's a big seven and I'm a five.I am hoping to resize it down. Should I just return it? It's so beautiful.


I bought an invisible style diamond ring and within a week it started to look very shabby around the stones and the ring looked worn. I took it back to the jeweler, who accused me of sabotaging the ring myself. I only wore this ring on five occasions and it cost €2000, and was never damaged. Can you help please and let me know if these cut rings can be made badly and cause the stones to be damaged?


I was wondering, is there any limit to how much you can resize a ring?

I found this amazing old ring at a yard sale last week, but it is so tiny! I mean, I don't have huge hands to begin with, but this thing barely even fits on my pinky.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of material its made of either, which makes it a little more difficult for me to decide if I should even try to get it resized or not.

It looks like gold, but it's really soft, almost like really pure gold, so that makes me worried about resizing it as well. It also has some marks on it that make me think it might have been resized before too, so that makes me wonder if it could take any more.

I guess I'm just afraid that it would get too stretched out and weak, or that the metal would warp if it was resized too dramatically.

Do you have any advice, or know if there's a limit for how much a ring can be resized?


@earlyforest -- That does sound horrible -- I really don't think that that's a common experience, unless your friend insisted on getting the ring resized even after the jeweler told her it was unsuitable.

Of course, from reading your post, it seems like it was the jeweler's fault, and the jeweler should have taken the responsibility for messing up the ring since it was his mistake, but I do think that your friend just had a particularly bad experience.

The advice still stands though -- make sure you consult with your jeweler before you get any kind of repair done on jewelry, especially if it's really important to you.

I would also add that its important to go to a reputable jeweler and not just any repair guy in the mall -- that can often make a big difference in the quality of service and repairs that you get.


It's really important to always speak with the jeweler before you get a ring resized though -- my friend went to a jeweler a few weeks ago to get an old ring resized, and she had a really terrible experience.

Apparently the jeweler made a mistake in determining what kind of metal the ring was made of (it was an antique), and ended up completely destroying it.

My friend was, understandably, devastated, and the jeweler refused to take any responsibility because he said that it wasn't his fault that she had brought a ring of an unsuitable material to be resized.

So, lesson learned, be really careful before you go to get anything resized, especially if its old!


Resizing to enlarge a ring is usually done by placing it on a conical rod and belting it down until it expands to the correct size. Then the dents are smoothed out and the resizing is done - takes a few minutes.

Post your comments
Forgot password?