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How does resizing work?

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ms.codex

Rough_Rock
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Mar 30, 2006
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This may be sort of a naive question, but how does a jeweler size a ring up? Does it involve stretching the shank (in which case the shank would become thinner)? Does he/she have to add more gold or platinum, and sculpt it to fit the existing shape and design of the shank so that the outside of the ring looks continuous? Does the jeweler have to bend the crown of the ring (which could seriously deform certain kinds of rings)? What''s the maximum number of sizes a ring can jump one way or another? Does it cost more to size up than it does to size down? (When I had my engagement ring resized from 5.75 to 5 a few months ago, I paid $35, just to slice out a little piece of the shank-- in retrospect that seems like a bit too much, compared to what I''ve heard elsewhere).

I ask because I''m interested in antique rings and would often consider buying ones if I could resize them without changing their appearance.

Anyway, thanks! I''m a long-time lurker and will probably be creating more posts soon.
 

belle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
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10,285
all great questions but none can really be answered with anything other than: it depends on the ring. obviously a plain gold band can be manipulated much easier and in different ways than a channel set diamond band.
 

curiopotter

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 27, 2006
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Like belle said, it really depends on the ring and it''s construction.

There is a ring sizer that is commonly used to stretch out rings, but usually never engagement rings because the setting will be compromised with the stretching. It''s usually only for plain bands.

Depending on the ring, the jeweler will either cut a slice into the band (where he/she cuts depends on the ring''s design itself, but it''s usually the southern part of the shank) and solder more metal to the band. Or, he can remove a sliver of metal, depending on the size they need to go down to, with a ring sizer shear, and resolder. I''ve seen jewlers charge between 30-50 dollars to have it done. Resizing costs really depend on the ring and how intricate it is. The more intricate, the more time it takes to get the job done. I''ve spent hours resizing intricate rings in college. Jewlers have to saw through the ring, file the inside of the cut perfectly, and resolder. Then you have to sand away any overflown solder, and polish it with three or four different compounds. And that''s just for an easy ring.

Sorry it''s not more help.
 

ILikeBond

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
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312
If its a small upward resizing, can''t they "shave" the inside of the ring just to make it a little bigger?

I guess same answer, eh? - depends on the ring...
 

tanalasta

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
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323
Having searched the PS threads and asked my local jeweller.

Resizing down = cutting off a small part of the gold band (usually at the bottom) and soldering the ends together. Usually <$50US as there''s no gold added other than the solder. Ask to keep the leftover ''cutaway''!

Resizing upwards = more costly as they need to add material. They cut it, add some gold in between and then solder and polish everything back together as best as they can.

It is better to buy 1/2 size up than down as it is cheaper to size down. Also better have a ring that''s slightly loose (and also as people go up 1/2 size in Summer) one that still fits rather than one that doesn''t.

Definitely get an opinion and ''size'' a finger properly before purchasing a ring or setting. It saves a lot of angst later on.
 

ms.codex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
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10
But what if the band is patterned in some way? Then when the jeweler adds more gold/platinum, doesn''t he also have to sculpt or shape it very precisely?

I know resizing-up is done by making a cut in a shank and pulling the two sides apart. But wouldn''t even a little bit of this affect the arrangement of the crown/mount?

I''m hoping to hear from some professional jewelers on how this works.
 

curiopotter

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
658
Some rings simply can''t be resized and look exactly the same. Resizing can create weak points in the ring, as well as damage the integrity of the pattern on the ring. A master jeweler can be creative enough to solve these problems without compromising the beauty and strength.

I''m not a professional jeweler, but I''ve resized numerous rings, and like everyone has said before, it depends on the ring.

Do you have a picture of this ring? There are so many possibilities with resizing/restoring jewlery that I don''t think any professional jeweler can give you advice without actually looking at it. It depends on the size change, the ring''s pattern, the location of the diamond, the type of head, the shape of the shank, if it was cast all at once or if the head was added later... there are endless possibilities that only a master jeweler will be able to tell you until he/she has the ring in hand.

As to your question about affecting the crown, it also depends. It depends on what kind of setting it is. Whether it''s a peg head, or a crown, or something more custom. Sometimes peg-heads can be removed by heating up the solder that holds it in place.. if that''s the case, they may be able to work around the ring without compromising anything. I''m sorry to not be more help, but it just depends on the ring.

Post a few pictures of the ring you''re referring to, and I''m sure you''ll get better answers. Your other option is to take it into a jeweler who specializes in custom made fine jewelry.
 

curiopotter

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
658
ILikeBond,

To answer your question: "If its a small upward resizing, can''t they "shave" the inside of the ring just to make it a little bigger?
I guess same answer, eh? - depends on the ring..."


Yes, you could technically ''shave'' the inside of the ring out with sandpaper on a bench grinder, but some antique rings have hallmarks that make them more valuable, and doing so will damage the value. If there are no hallmarks or stamps, then go for it.
 
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