How to avoid incorect ring size and unconfortable fit – Precious tips – art. 1

How to avoid incorect ring size and unconfortable fit – Precious tips – art. 1

Article by Vasco Kirov

Often deceived by excitement, when purchasing fine jewelry, the customer tend to overlook important issues concerning value, aesthetic merit, comfortable fit and style compatibility. The “Precious Tips” series of articles are aimed to provide practical inside information on such topics, thus arming the jewelry enthusiasts with essential knowledge before they reach for their credit cards. The advice given in these articles is not sale orientated and 100% customer supportive.

Different issues concerning size and comfortable wear of rings

Take your time to get the ring size right. Keep in mind that your finger size changes depending on whether your hands are cold or hot. Different fingers change differently but it is an average of half size (UK standard). There is little difference between two neighboring sizes, so when your jeweler gives you the size set make sure you try few sizes up and down from the first one that fits. Do this until you are really sure which one feels best. Don’t ask the jeweler to take your finger size – do it yourself. No one else can feel the ring on your finger for you. If you are in doubt, consider the weather. In hot weather your finger swells, so choose the tighter fit and vice versa. Bear in mind that it is easier and safer to most designs to be resized up rather than down. Resized piece however, is never the same, especially when it contents pave or channel set small stones. Reducing such a ring even one size is likely to loosen the setting and cause problems. Delicate rings, wedding bands and bangles are usually work hardened after the last hot operation, especially items in palladium white gold.This very important for the strength of the piece procedure is annulled, if the piece is heated again in the process of resizing. If the piece contents an important, expensive stone then the resizing becomes really problematic. There are number of designs (Niessing’s tension set solitaire comes first in mind) which are impossible to resize. In short: avoid resizing your jewelry, unnecessary. Take your time and choose the right size first time.Another issue concerning the right fit is the finger shape. There are two types that require special attention. The conical finger and the one with excessively big knuckles.

The conical finger is very much one size fits all scenario. Because of almost non pronounced knuckle up to 4 consecutive ring sizes feel comfortable.The problem is: this type of finger is not safe for heavy designs, which can easy slip off or fly away with sudden move of the hand. I will recommend lighter designs or use of full or half spring. (see below)

The big knuckles require fairly large size ring to pass trough and end up on the following thinner part of the finger where it is hopelessly loose. The full spring is the best solution of this problem.

The full spring is a strip of special gold alloy fitted inside the shank of the ring which is expanding while passing the knuckle an then contracts back,” hugging” the thinner part of the finger and keeping the ring in place. While full spring takes about ¾ of the inner circumference of the shank, half spring goes halfway.

Full springs are surprisingly comfortable and effective and yet seldom used. Unfortunately they can’t be implemented on any design especially the very delicate ones. Another draw back is that fitting a spring requires some time and skill and the jeweler will be happy if he can skip it. Large number of inexperienced goldsmiths and designers does not even know about it. In my opinion full spring is a must for heavy rings with high standing large stones. If fitting full or half spring is not a viable option, soldering two small (about 1.5 mm gold beads inside the ring at 4 and 8 o’clock position will significantly reduce the swivel and self position the ring. The initial discomfort one might feel because of the two little beads inside the ring usually disappears after 2-3 days of wearing.

One common problem is the right positioning of half or ¾ studded diamond wedding rings. They tend to always turn and expose the unstudded side up. If the wedding ring is worn next to a engagement ring it is a simple and reversible procedure to tack solder them together at the back. That will perfectly position the diamond band and it will make it more difficult to loose. In fact I will recommend this procedure for any wedding-engagement ring set. If the two rings are needed apart for some ceremony the joining can be done later and as I mentioned is completely reversible if properly done.

About the Author

Vasco Kirov is an experienced designer and master goldsmith with vast knowledge in every aspect concerning fine jewelry. He have been awarded a number of prestigious design awards for excellence in diamond jewelry design. Currently he is still designing and manufacturing high end jewelry in his studio in Cape Town, South Africa. To access many useful articles on the jewelry topic visit

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