Changing your ring size
If you’ve ever tried to find a ring that fits well on your finger, you may have wondered: Can you change your ring size later if something goes wrong? But are such changes always possible, and what risks does this entail?
Cutting the ring to resize it
Typically, in order to change your ring size, jewelers cut the rim and then enlarge or shrink it before connecting it again. To enlarge the ring, the jeweler will stretch it as much as necessary after cutting, and then add a new piece of metal to fill the gap. Shrinking works in a similar way: the jeweler will cut a strip out of the ring and narrow the rim by joining the two ends together. The jeweler then solders the rim at the cut.
Resizing a ring leaves a weak spot
After changing the parameters of the ring, the place where it was cut and then soldered becomes weaker. In addition, these cuts are made at the bottom of the rim, which is most stressed when you wear the ring (if the ring has a top and bottom). And if you put pressure on the place where the ring is welded, the rim can break. However, if the jeweler has done the resizing properly, then the risk should be minimized.
What could go wrong when changing the ring size?
Sometimes the jeweler may not solder the rim properly. As a result, there is a possibility that it will break in the future. How do you know if the resizing job has made your ring weaker than before? Look at the place where the jewellery was soldered. If it has been soldered correctly, there should be no indentation in the surface, and the surface itself should be flat and polished. If the rim is thinner at this point and you see a dented line, then the weld is likely to break. (If the soldered alloy has a different color, you can see the line, but as long as the surface is smooth, there should be no toughness problems.)
So if you see a line where the ring joins, ask the jeweler to reinforce the joint. This usually boils down to adding more metal to the soldering and polishing the joint to make it indistinguishable from the rest of the ring. However, keep in mind that if your ring is made of platinum, due to the specific properties of this metal, you will most likely see a line in the joint even when the work has been done properly.
When the ring size cannot be changed?
There is a limit to how much the ring size can be changed. If the desired increase or decrease is more than one or two sizes, then it is unlikely that change will be possible without the risk of damaging the ring. Some metals are difficult to change. For example, most jewelers cannot modify titanium rings as conventional cutting and soldering does not work with this metal.
Other methods such as broaching, cutting or adding additional material can be used, but their effectiveness has its limits. If your jewelry contains gems, they must be removed before resizing the ring. However, if the stones are not set using traditional ways, it may not be possible to remove them without damaging the ring.
In such cases, unless the stone is a diamond or other heat-absorbing gemstone, resizing may not be possible because the heat required to solder will damage the stone. This is the case with rings made of platinum, pure silver and palladium. So make sure your ring fits you as best as possible before you buy it, because fixing it up later can be a lot of hassle and might not even be possible.