Ring size cannot be measured just by eyeballing a finger. It is the job of a professional to measure the finger accurately.
Incorrect sizing is a common problem, which is why measurement is so important to ensure a precise fit. When we take your measurements, only you can feel how tight the ring fits. How snugly it fits is a matter of personal preference; some like a loose fit and others like it to fit as tight as possible.
We recommend a tighter fit that will keep your ring more secure and eliminate the risk of it sliding off your finger on its own. We use an antique set of measuring rings made by Maestro's great-grandfather that has all sizes in 1/8 increments.
The measuring set is useful for rings up to 2.5 mm in width. Wider rings - usually men's wedding bands - do not require small sizing steps as engagement rings. 1/4 size increments are suitable for bands up to 4 mm in width. Wider bands can be fitted to the nearest half-size.
Ring style can affect the size - a hollowed-out ring feels bigger than a solid one. A wide "comfort-fit" ring is much easier to slide on a finger than a similar ring with a flat inner surface.
A ring that is too large can slip off unexpectedly. It will be prone to bending. Besides, the ring will spin around the finger, making it difficult to wear and enjoy.
On the other hand, a ring that is too tight will restrict blood flow to the finger. The too-tight ring will cause the skin to puff up around it, making the finger appear "fat" and blocking the side view of your beautiful engagement ring.
The knuckle is the fullest part of a finger. A ring should slide over the knuckle snugly but without tearing into the skin. The difference in circumference of a knuckle and proximal phalanx varies from person to person.
Unless your engagement ring is elastic, you have to live with the ring-spinning freely on your finger. It is a typical problem without a perfect solution.
Adding traction inserts, such as balls, bars, bullets, shots, or liners inside the shank, will reduce spinning and make it feel closer to the skin. An innerspring can also be added to hug the finger once the ring has cleared the knuckle.
There are also prosthetic shanks that open and close, such as FingerMate or SureFit. They have limited use because of the high cost and short life span. Prosthetic shanks have a concealed movement making them bulky and incomparable with high-end, delicate jewelry.
When we measure your finger, we account for seasonal or even daily changes, because the size varies with weather, diet, or medical conditions. Air temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, seasonal changes (up in summer, down in winter), hours (up in the morning, down at night), childbirth, and feminine cycle all have some effect on the size, sometimes very severe.
Each measurement is a snapshot of the size on this day, at this time, etc. We need to know how your personal size fluctuates to ensure a proper fit.
Having your finger measured at a jewelry store is not a guarantee of getting the size right. There are several reasons for that. A salesperson might be inexperienced or simply bad at taking measurements.
Even an experienced salesperson can be sloppy, especially when they feel that you waste their time without any hope for commission. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Tiffany's is a good place to get your finger measured. Finger size measured at Tiffany, more often than not, makes the engagement ring fit well.
When you visit other jewelry stores you might hear these slang terms salespeople use sometimes:
4-plus equals 4 1/8
5-slant(variations: "scant", "tight", "just under") equals 4 7/8
7-minus equals 6 7/8
When you don't have a jeweler around to measure your finger, you can wrap a paper strip around the knuckle. It's going to give you a pretty good idea of what your size is.
Sometimes a plastic cable tie is used to get the measurement done. The ring size of an existing ring can be measured with a ring gauge, aka a ring stick.
Sizing a ring is like a small surgery. You are advised not to do it unless it's necessary. We recommend going through a few seasons in your home climate before sizing a ring.
The most difficult rings to size are channel set rings, closely followed by rings with lots of pave. Plain solitaires and three-stone rings are simple to size. In general, sizing rings up (increasing the size) is less problematic than sizing down.
There are several ways to change a ring size:
Typical sizing requires cutting through the shank and adding or removing a section. There are several concerns. Platinum comes in only one color because it is 95% pure, so the color match is not an issue.
Gold, on the other hand, has a multitude of alloys, all slightly different in color. Matching gold can be a daunting task, especially when sizing antique rings. A modest increase or decrease in size is simple. But a significant change in size is a challenge because restoring the ring's roundness can cause its head to stretch or even rip apart.
Filing metal inside the ring is the least invasive method of freeing some room for your finger. By rimming out the shank, we can increase ring size by about a quarter of full size on average. The exact range depends on the shank width, ring construction, and extra thickness of metal available for removal.
Plain wedding bands can also be stretched.
To measure the size of a ring: Download PDF (923Kb). Make sure to set scaling to "None" when you print.