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When getting a ring sized down...

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
Is it customary for the jeweler to give you the scrap gold that was taken out?

When my engagement ring was sized down 1 size in the US and they didn't do it... which surprised my mom. At least in her experience of mom & pop jewelers in Europe, they will give you the scrap as part of sizing - it's standard procedure. This would be the same kind of jewelers where you would later bring those scraps & other broken gold to weigh against your next project.

I'm asking because I have one of my grandparents' wedding bands - it's a simple band but in gorgeous 18k rose gold and I'm itching to get it sized down so I can wear it. The sizing would be from a ~8.5 to a 4.5 so a lot of gold would be removed... Which makes me hesitate. Somehow it would feel more "right" if at least I was able to keep the removed section.
 

Lottie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
701
I would just ask for it when you take the ring in - if for some reason they don't return gold when they resize you will have advance warning and can take your business elsewhere.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
When I had several rings sized down they did not give me the scraps. I honestly didn't even think about it but with gold prices today it would be worth asking for!
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,247
+1
 

february2003bride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
3,546
I have asked for it before, a few times in fact! It's usually just worth a few dollars but it does offset the cost of the sizing a little bit.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,763
I've never even heard of that...but thats a good idea I bet.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
5,384
No.. but they freaking should. Or take it off of the price to size the ring.

I wanted to size a very very thin shank up a half of a size and they wanted $50. Their reasoning is that they had to "add gold" Psh. It was the same price to take it down a half size too, but they don't give that gold back.
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
I haven't asked before, but I would now given metal prices. Especially if you are paying them to do it!
 

Lady_Disdain

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
3,988
Often, when sizing down a ring, the ring will be compressed with a special tool (Like this: http://www.riogrande.com/MemberArea/ProductPage.aspx?assetname=116081&page=GRID&free_text=ring+stretcher), which doesn't require cutting out material.

But let's look at the cases where the ring is cut. There are two problems with handing the gold back.

The first is the amount of gold. To resize a ring from a size 6 to a 5, there is a 2.4mm difference in circumference. Considering 18kt gold and a 2mm round shank (just to make my numbers easier), that bit of gold weighs around 0.1grams, which, at today's prices represents around $4 (which is why the price for a gold band is usually the same for a size range of, say, 5-9). If you consider that some of that gold becomes metal dust, it is even less.

Now, let's consider how a bench jeweler works. Jobs are done in batches - resizing ten rings, for example. All 10 rings are cut, then all are reshaped, then soldered, etc. To be able to return the gold, the person doing the resizing would have to put down the saw, hunt for a small bit of gold somewhere on the bench drawer, pick it up, put it in a baggie, staple the baggie to the work order and then pick the saw back up to move to the next ring. That is a lot of work and it throws the rhythm of the work off, slowing everything down.
 

Lady_Disdain

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
3,988
bean|1314387921|3000622 said:
No.. but they freaking should. Or take it off of the price to size the ring.

I wanted to size a very very thin shank up a half of a size and they wanted $50. Their reasoning is that they had to "add gold" Psh. It was the same price to take it down a half size too, but they don't give that gold back.

Bean - I doubt that the $50 they asked was for the gold added, but rather for the labour of adding. Sizing up a ring is a pretty straight forward process of stretching the metal. If the shank was too thin to stretch then the process is much more labor intensive: cut the band, solder the new piece and then shape it to match the old shank perfectly. This is similar work to sizing it down by hand (except that, then, you don't have to shape the new bit of gold, just reround the ring). Also, in reducing half a size, there won't even be gold to hand back - the saw cut itself will probably be enough to take it down to the right size.
 

MissStepcut

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
1,720
Lady_Disdain|1314410061|3001074 said:
Often, when sizing down a ring, the ring will be compressed with a special tool (Like this: http://www.riogrande.com/MemberArea/ProductPage.aspx?assetname=116081&page=GRID&free_text=ring+stretcher), which doesn't require cutting out material.

But let's look at the cases where the ring is cut. There are two problems with handing the gold back.

The first is the amount of gold. To resize a ring from a size 6 to a 5, there is a 2.4mm difference in circumference. Considering 18kt gold and a 2mm round shank (just to make my numbers easier), that bit of gold weighs around 0.1grams, which, at today's prices represents around $4 (which is why the price for a gold band is usually the same for a size range of, say, 5-9). If you consider that some of that gold becomes metal dust, it is even less.

Now, let's consider how a bench jeweler works. Jobs are done in batches - resizing ten rings, for example. All 10 rings are cut, then all are reshaped, then soldered, etc. To be able to return the gold, the person doing the resizing would have to put down the saw, hunt for a small bit of gold somewhere on the bench drawer, pick it up, put it in a baggie, staple the baggie to the work order and then pick the saw back up to move to the next ring. That is a lot of work and it throws the rhythm of the work off, slowing everything down.
This comports with my experience: when I have had rings sized down, they came back thicker.
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
MissStepcut said:
This comports with my experience: when I have had rings sized down, they came back thicker.
That's pretty cool. I wonder how many sizes they can compress it down by? Is this a common equipment for jewelers to have? I would LOVE to be able to size down that plain wedding band and make it thicker, as it is a little bit on the thin size right now.
 
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