Jewellery Services: Ring Sizing and Jewellery Alteration


Contact us with all your ring sizing, ring repairs and general ring maintenance.

Don’t believe or assume it cannot be done! Ask a Goldsmith’s opinion whose job and life it is to work with jewellery!

Resizing your ring to a smaller size

Sizing most rings smaller is a fairly easy process compared to sizing a ring bigger.

When a ring is sized smaller, the jeweller usually cuts out a small piece of the bottom of the shank/band. The open area is then bend closed and joined together again by soldering it shut. The soldered area is sanded down and polished to hide the worked-on area as best as possible. If the item had rhodium-, silver- or gold plating on, the item will be plated again if the Customer so desire.

Industry Standard Sizes

Various countries use different sizing standards. South Africa, UK and Australia uses the A-Z+ measurement system. US, Germany, Japan and other countries have various number systems.

Most retail-bought rings have a standard/average “M” “N” “O” size. If your ring finger is below or above this size, you will in all likelihood have to have your store-bought ring sized.

How many sizes can your ring be sized down/up?

Rule of thumb: 2 sizes

But, as with most rules, there are exceptions. The best advice is to ask your Metalsmith/Jeweller to have a look and make the judgement call. Anything more than 2 sizes can be considered a drastic change and can create complications depending on that specific ring. Don’t lend your ears out to advise from friends – go speak to your local (QUALIFIED) Jeweller about what can and what cannot be done. And this goes for all alterations and settings on jewellery items. You do not take medical advice from the local petshop owner for your heart problems, do you? Then why lend out your ears to “the-person-who-does-jewellery-as-a-hobby”. Go speak to a professional.

Many variables are involved in making judgement calls when it comes to alterations and sizings: The thickness of the shank. Is the ring plain or set with stones? Condition and quality of the ring and settings. Are there stones set in the shank and how will the altering of the sizing potentially affect settings ect ect. Instead of wondering, seek advice from people that does this for a living.

How much does it cost to make a ring smaller/bigger?

Once again, it is best to ask your Metalsmith/Jeweller to have a look and make the judgement call.

[Solders/Alloys + Labour + Additionals = Cost]

Depending on the ring alloy (925 silver, 9ct, 14ct, 18ct white-, rose- or yellow gold), the thickness of the shank and a couple of other variables that will affect the labour time and potential additional expenses such as heatpaste and plating and re-setting, a simple plain band in silver can cost as little as R100.00 or 18ct sizing down (depending on variables) can cost as much as R1200.00+. Best to ask, and not by phoning. Take your item to be sized to the person that is sizing it to inspect it.

Warrantee/Guarantee on alterations

Many complications can arise from sizing a ring smaller (or bigger…or adjusting any jewellery item). Settings may get damaged. Existing soldered areas on the item may cause problems. Stones may unset itself. Impurities in the alloy may react negatively during the heating process causing the areas with impurities in to collapse. Existing plating on the item will be affected and may also affect the stones in the item once the item is heated up. Stones may change colour and many more dreadful things can potentially go wrong. That is why it is important to discuss any issues that you are aware of with your Jeweller. Eg: Diamonds with sugar treated inclusions may react badly to heat. Natural stone may react differently than synthetics ect.  The unfortunate thing is, is that many problems that may arise during the sizing process will only arise once the alteration process has begun and some issues cannot be foreseen even by the most experienced goldsmith. And for that reason, the risk will always be the Customer’s. It is very important that you deal with qualified jewellers to minimize risk and have only someone that know what they are doing work on your jewellery. Do not be shy to ask for Trade certificates or Gold Licences ect if it is not clearly displayed in the workshop area.

How do I measure my finger size?

There are many, many, many methods online you can try, but the answer is very simple:  You don’t. Go to any manufacturing- or retail Jeweller and have it measured. After doing this for a very long time, I’m still waiting for someone to come into the shop that got it right with any of the numerous methods and techniques outside of the workshop.

Come chat to us regarding all your jewellery alteration and sizing needs. Hope to see you soon!

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