Re-sizing Rings – How It’s Done
The most common repair service requested at Federal Way Custom Jewelers is the resizing of clients’ rings; whether too big or too small, gold or platinum or silver, plain band or 2 carat diamond ring, resizing is a service that is often necessary. While resizing may be common, it happens to be a complex service with many misconceptions. The most common is that many people think every ring resizing is the same and every ring resizing should cost the same. The reality is that every ring is different and there is a wide variety of things that can affect the price of the resizing process. The simplest ring resizing can be as low as $49 while more complicated ring resizing can easily add up to more than $300.
This post will answer any questions that may come up from individuals hoping to get their ring(s) resized. In addition, we will discuss how we price our resizing work.
Ring resizing is done in phases. Here we break down each step:
Cutting and Spreading
When a ring is sized properly, a cut is made in the base (or shank) of a ring. If a ring is being enlarged, the next step is for the goldsmith to very carefully take the ring and spread it to the appropriate size. Next a fresh piece of metal, known as “sizing stock”, is inserted in the gap and soldered to each side of the cut. This will expand the ring to a diameter which corresponds to the correct ring size.
If a ring is being reduced in size, two cuts are made in the shank, a piece of metal is removed, and the two ends are now brought together and soldered closed.
Whether a ring is resized up or resized down, our job is rarely done at this point.
Tightening and Resetting
One variable that can complicate resizing is the presence of gemstones in a ring (diamonds, colored stones, etc.). If a ring has many stones set it can often present issues. As the shape and structure of the ring changes, it can apply stress to the individual prongs or channels holding the stones in place. Consequently, stones can be knocked loose or even pop out completely, depending on the setting style and condition.
As such, after every resizing where stones are present, the goldsmith must go back and meticulously examine every stone set in the ring, making sure nothing is loose. If there are stones that are loose or even have fallen out, they must tighten or reset them. Depending on the ring, this can sometimes add hours of labor time to a resizing just in tightening alone.
Polishing and Refinishing
The last step in a resizing (or pretty much any repair) is to thoroughly polish the ring. Almost any jewelry repair is going to leave marks on the piece. As such, polishing is a very important step. Additionally, if you are working on a white gold ring, a layer of rhodium is applied to the ring as the last step. Our goal is to return the ring in “as-new” condition. We want you to be wowed when you see the ring after any resizing or other repair.
There are a variety of variables that can complicate a resizing. As a result, each of these can and will affect the final price.
- Amount and positions of stones set in a ring
- Width of the ring at the shank
- Difference in size (eg. changing from 6 to 7 vs 6 to 10)
- Presence of elaborate carving or engraving on the inside or outside of the ring
- Two tone metals
- Soldered wedding sets
- Delicate rings or those with fragile stones
- General condition
- In addition, unfortunately rings made of most alternative materials/metals (such as tungsten, ceramic carbide, etc.) cannot be sized
If any “unknowns” or “loose stones” or similar are encountered, rest assured that we will contact you and discuss any problems before any work is commenced.
May we invite you to make an inquiry to us about any work you are considering. We will be happy to give you a price range, lead times, and any other info you require.