(Or how do I buy the right ring for someone else?)
One of the most common questions we get asked by customers in our Etsy shop is “How do I know what my ring size is?” This is a great question so I wanted to write more detailed instructions on determining your ring size.
When you’re buying online, it’s important to get the size right ahead of time and there are many factors to consider. Here are some options (in order of most recommended to least) for determining your ring size:
1. Ask at any jewellery counter.
By far, the most accurate way to know your true ring size, is to ask at a jeweller’s counter. (You can even do this next time you’re out shopping at a department store or any giant superstore with a jewellery counter.)
Don’t be shy about asking – attendants are happy to provide this service for free. Everyone wants you to know your ring size and everyone knows that finding the right ring takes a lot of time and thought.
The attendant will ask you to try on rings with a finger gauge set like this one:
(Or you can even order a set for yourself for under $15 if you’d prefer, here’s a Canadian supplier we like, and they also sell them at Rio Grande. If you’re going to order your own, I’d recommend getting a finger gauge set like the one pictured above. Avoid the plastic wrap around sizers as they aren’t as accurate.
Keep in mind that your ring size will increase slightly in hot or humid temperatures and with a diet high in salt. Your ring size will also change if you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, during pregnancy, and as you age (due to your knuckles getting larger.)
Another thing to keep in mind is that our hands differ in size. The fingers on your dominant hand will often be a half size larger than on your non-dominant hand! (So if you have a ring that isn’t fitting comfortably, give it a try on your other hand to see if it’s a better fit. )
While you’re getting your ring sized at the counter, make sure to also get your middle and index fingers sized. Many rings (our resin rings included) look great worn on the index or middle fingers, over the traditional ring finger. (I prefer wearing my resin rings on my index finger.) Write down your ring sizes and keep it handy for when you’re making orders online.
2. Measure the inside diameter of a ring that already fits you.
This is the second-best way to measure your ring size. It’s not as accurate as the finger gauge, but it’s the next best option and still a pretty good one. As an example, I took a silver ring of mine that is a perfect fit:
Measure the diameter from the left inside wall to the right inside wall (make sure you’re measuring at the ring’s widest point. Use a precise ruler – metal ones are usually the best. I measure in millimeters (I am Canadian, after all) which is nice because it’s a small internationally recognized unit. We list the inside diameter of our rings in our listings, but you’ll need to use a ring size coversion chart to find out what your standard size is. I like this ring size conversion chart from Wikipedia.
As you can see, different parts of the world have a different naming convention for their sizes. We measure our rings in US numbered sizes, which is the most common, but the UK, Australia and New Zealand measure rings in letters. Other parts of the world have their own systems.
My silver ring measures about 17mm in diameter, and the Wikipedia chart tells me that’s about a size 6.5 US, or an M 1/2 in Australia. This is my standard ring size.
3. Use a printable ring sizer (NOT recommended)
If you’re googling ring size, you’ll probably find a lot of printable ring sizers. We even offered one on our site a long time ago. Unfortunately, we’ve found that there are just too many variables with paper ring sizers (printer settings, type of paper, how tight you wrap the paper) and you are unlikely to get an accurate measurement. We recommend you use one the sizing methods above instead.
Cocktail rings. Most of the rings in our shop use standard sizing and you would choose one by knowing your ring size. Some of our rings are cocktail rings (also known as ‘statement rings’) and they have a wide band. A wide band (over 6mm in width) will have an effect on the sizing. For cocktail rings, we recommend you choose a ring that’s a half size or full size up from your standard size.
Stacking rings will have the same affect as a wide band ring. If you’re stacking two of our regular rings, we recommend choosing rings that are a half size larger than your regular size. If you’re stacking three rings, choose a full size up from your regular size.
How we measure our rings
When metalsmiths create rings, they use a mandrel as they work with the metal to create the ring to size.
While our rings are resin cast in silicone molds, we alter the original size slightly during the sanding and polishing process. Before we list each item we check it with a mandrel so that the size is accurate.
(People always ask why I don’t model my own rings. You’re about to find out – I’m secretly a hobbit!)
As I calculated before, I’m a standard US 6.5 on my ring finger. Here are some examples of how different sized rings fit me. The first example shows size US 7.5 stacking rings:
The stacking rings look great when placed on a middle or index finger.
For cocktail rings, I prefer the index finger:
What if I’m buying a ring as a gift?
If you’re buying a ring as a gift for someone special (how thoughtful of you!) and want to be sneaky, we’d recommend option #2 for finding out the size.
Pay attention to what fingers she wears the rings on, and if they’re normal sized or wide-band. If you have a chance to measure one of her unworn rings, do it! Carry around a tiny ruler with you to be discreet (you can often find them in sewing supply shops.)
If it helps, the most common women’s ring sizes are US 7 and 8. If you’re buying a ring without knowing the size, make sure before you buy that the shop can resize (Typically an option for most fine metal rings. Please note that we can’t resize resin rings. ) or has an exchange or return policy. Most online shops will do an exchange or return, but you’ll probably be out the shipping costs.
Hope that helps. If you have any of your own ring sizing tips or questions, please share them in the comments!