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How to find your correct ring size when shopping online

How to determine your ring size when shopping online

Have you ever tried to measure your own ring size, only to find out the ring you ordered doesn't fit well when you get it?  Or have you ordered a ring that you are pretty sure it's your size but the same thing happens?

Why is it so hard to order a ring online that fits?!  Well, finding the correct ring size on your own can be a tricky business if you don’t understand some of the factors that affect sizing.  My goal here is to give you my take on ring sizing and to help you size like a pro.  

First things first, 

Our finger size changes ALL - THE - TIME! 

Say what?! 

That's right! Our body, including our fingers, is affected by many elements, such as the weather, temperature, level of activity, etc.  We swell a bit in the summer but shrink a little in the winter. So for example, if you get your finger sized in the winter but order a ring in the summer, it's probably going to feel a bit tight or even too small to fit.

Another factor to keep in mind: 

There is no standard ring-sizing system out there. 

Wait! Say what again?

Ok, alright, there is “a system”, but like clothing or shoes, a size 6 from one brand might fit differently than a size 6 from another brand.  It is the same with rings.  There are a couple slightly different ways to interpret the standard. I won’t go into the details; just trust me on this one. 

One more thing to consider when choosing a ring size:

Width of the Ring Does Matter

Rings that are 5mm and wider will fit more tightly than a skinnier band of the same size.  Why?  It’s because the flesh underneath the ring will have less room to “move around,” making it will feel more constricted on the finger.

Now that we understand the factors that affect how we choose a ring size, how does one go about measuring?

Most jewelry sites will have downloadable charts that you can use.  They will likely use a paper sizer that you can print and cut out, or ask you to use a string to wrap around the finger and measure against a scale. 

Well, I’m not a big fan of either of those methods.

Let’s think about it, your finger is really more oval than round. When you measure your finger with a piece of paper or string, it will conform to your finger shape as you slide it up and down. But a ring is rigid. So using the dimension that is for an oval shape to make a round shape is not the way to go.

In addition, printer settings can vary and the page you printed out might not be the exact size that is intended to be.  Even a couple of millimeters can make a huge difference in ring size.  But if you have to go that route, make sure you print the chart from the site you will be purchasing from AND MAKE DARN SURE the graphic prints out accurately by measuring it with a ruler.  The same goes for those plastic sizers that you can adjust on your finger (see figure xx).  Not very accurate.  

Believe me, I have tried them all.

I know, I know, I’m being really picky. But those are all the things you have to take into consideration when deciding on a ring size. Plus I was an engineer for 20 years so you can’t fault me for being thorough!  I’ve made hundreds and hundreds of rings to know better. 

As I mentioned above, the best way to get your finger sized accurately is to go to where you will be purchasing from.  Alternatively, I suggest that you go to at least two, if not three, local jewelers to get your finger sized. This way you can be sure, or you can “take the average” size if they vary slightly.

For my own clients, I recommend the rigid plastic disposable sizer (but definitely reusable too) that is available for purchase in my shop.  It costs less than a cup of latte at Starbucks.  It is included with my wedding band sets and most gold ring orders.  If you are interested in getting one, you can purchase it here.  I included simple instructions with it.  Once my clients provide me with their sizes, I then size the ring they ordered if necessary depending on the width of the band and style.

A few more things to consider:

  • Don't size your finger when your hand is stone cold.  Warm your hands to room temperature first.
  • If you are getting sized in the summer, opt for the tighter fit so your ring won't be too loose in the winter
  • Go up half a size if you are getting a wide band. 
  • Get your finger sized again if it has been over a year since you last had it sized.
  • CONSULT the jeweler/company that you are buying from.  They should be able to help you to determine the best size for you.

“What if I get my ring, and it is a little tight or a little loose?”

Don't panic!

Remember your finger is not a fixed size, but your ring is.  Just keep wearing the ring for a couple of weeks (or even months I told my clients).  Chances are that you'll notice that it fits fine.  The ring will feel different on different days and seasons, and you will get used to it.  On the other hand (no pun intended), if it is consistently too loose or too tight, then you probably need to get it resized. 


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