How to Resize an Engagement Ring

Here's how to get the perfect fit.

hands with manicured nails holding yellow gold solitaire engagement ring

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Your significant other put a lot of time and effort into picking out the perfect engagement ring, and while they probably did their best to figure out your ring size, there's always a chance they might have miscalculated. If your gorgeous new ring is a little off in size, don't worry: Engagement ring resizing is quite common. If the ring doesn't fit, it's time to head back to the jeweler to have it resized.

While the process is fairly simple, it's not something most people are familiar with—unless, of course, they've already gone through it. We spoke with expert Jennifer Gandia to find out everything there is to know about getting the perfect engagement ring fit. "Resizing a ring usually takes one to two weeks," says Gandia. This means you'll have it back on your finger in no time.

Meet the Expert

Jennifer Gandia is the owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City.

Cost of Resizing a Ring

The price will depend largely on what the ring's made of and how complicated and time-consuming the process will be. The cost can be as low as $20 for a simple resizing or all the way up to hundreds of dollars for a difficult job.

How a Ring Should Fit

Your engagement ring—and your wedding band, too—should fit snugly but comfortably. It should slide on easily, but you should have to pull a little to get it off. If your ring is uncomfortably tight, you should look into getting the ring made larger. "It should also be sized if it slips off with no resistance at all, which means it is too big," Gandia says.

If your ring is just slightly too big, or you notice the stone moves from one side of your finger to another, jewelers can typically place a sizing assistant in the ring to keep it in place. A sizing assistant is a bar or two small beads that are added to the interior of the ring. "Sizing assistants will decrease the ring by approximately a quarter of a size, but they're more often used to address issues like the swinging of a top-heavy and large diamond ring. The beads will anchor the ring against your finger so the diamond will stay put," explains Gandia.

Typically, rings can be increased or decreased up to two sizes. Beyond that, it can put too much stress on the ring. If you can't have your ring resized until a future date, your jeweler may add a ring guard to make it a little more snug. It's a bar that clips across the bottom of your ring, but it should be used for only a short amount of time. "Over time, a ring guard can damage the band," explains Gandia.

How to Resize a Ring

Going back to your original jeweler is always a good option. You can also ask for referrals from friends or family. The bottom line: It's important to find a reputable jeweler you can trust with your engagement ring. Ask to see some of their previous work, and check their reviews online, as well.

To make a ring smaller, the jeweler will cut out a piece of the band, form it back into a perfect circle, and then solder it back together. Then the jeweler will clean it off and polish it. Don't worry: Once the process is finished, there will be no evidence that the ring was ever cut. It will look exactly the same, but it will fit more snugly. The simpler the band, the easier this process will be.

Make sure to ask the jeweler if you can have the leftover metal they cut from your ring. It's called the "cutout" and it's good to hold on to in case you need to have your ring made larger in the future.

Making a ring larger is a more complicated process than making it smaller. It entails the jeweler stretching the metal, and this can only be done up to half a size larger. If you need it to be larger than that, the jeweler will cut the band and add in an extra piece of metal, which they will then solder, clean, and polish. As with making a ring smaller, simple bands are easier to make larger. For example, if your ring has channel settings, it might be necessary to rearrange the stones during the process of resizing the ring.

Type of Rings That Can Be Resized

"For a ring to be resized, it needs to be made of a metal that a jeweler can work with, such as silver, gold, or platinum," says Gandia. "There also needs to be enough room on the ring for the actual work to be done."

If your sparkler is set in a full eternity band, it can't really be resized. Because the stones are set all the way around the band, there's no bare metal to work with. "Depending on the design, resizing may not be possible," says Gandia.

In terms of metals that can't be resized:

  • Tungsten cannot be resized because it is too hard.
  • Some jewelers will avoid resizing titanium, as well, because it is very difficult to resize.

If your ring is unable to be resized, wearing another tighter ring can help a ring that is too loose to stay in place. Other than that, there's one last resort if you're in love with your engagement ring but it can't be resized. You can talk to a jeweler about remaking the ring in the correct size, and then you'll have your dream ring and the perfect fit!

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