How to Measure Your Ring Size - The Right Way

How to Measure Your Ring Size - The Right Way

OMG! I just saw a ring online, and it is practically screaming for me to buy it! Unfortunately, I do not know my ring size… Or maybe, our second year anniversary is coming up and I saw a perfect ring but I have no idea what size to select! Have you ever encountered this situation? I bet most people have, and this is the reason why people are hesitant in purchasing pieces of jewelry, rings in particular, because of all the types of jewelry, a ring should have perfect or close to an ideal fit. You can find tips and trick online like how a shoe size can give you an estimate of your ring size. For example, you have a shoe size of seven, divide it by two, then add three and there is your ring size, which is six and a half. Note that this is just a ballpark figure, which may yield an incorrect reading. We are going to remedy that by learning how to measure our ring size and some tools to use in order to avoid the hassle of returns and resizing. We are also going to learn about resizing and the methods our jewelers use to alter our beloved ring. Let us start.

Why do people wear rings?

Rings are a circular band of metal, alloy, ceramic, acrylics, and others. Usually composed of four different parts, these are the hoop, shoulder, bezel, and the stone setting. The hoop is the circular hollow band where we place our fingers. The shoulder is the curved part that connects the hop to the bezel, which is a flat metal platform where the gems are placed or fastened. Worn as a piece of decorative jewelry on fingers or toes. Rings must snugly fit around fingers usually symbolize something about the wearer.

Status symbol

There are different types of status symbols when it comes to rings. The most famous would be the engagement and wedding rings. These denote the status of the couple’s relationship that the person wearing the ring is “serious” and “taken.” It is telling other people to “back off.” Millennials also have their promise band and friendship rings. These denote another relationship status for friends and couples who are in the early stage of their relationship. The traditional Claddagh ring also indicates a person’s situation, whether they are in a relationship or not, looking for or uninterested. Finally, the manly signet ring that symbolizes one’s wealth and power.


Another reason why some people wear rings is when they are in mourning. Most people are not familiar with mourning rings; these have been around since the 17th century. These are worn in commemoration of someone who just passed away. Usually decorated with black materials such as vulcanite and black enamel. The use of white coating is only suitable if the deceased was a child. In the19th century, the mourning ring features a design where the bezel has surmounted a picture of the deceased secured on it.

Religion / Society

Some people wear rings to show their devotion to their chosen religion. One of the most popular would be the Christian rings, which are worn by believers of Jesus Christ. These are characterized by the different symbols that represent the religion like the cross symbol. Another famous ring with religious connotation is bishops and papal rings. These are given to newly elected bishops and popes, which represents their engagement to the Catholic Church. Masonic rings are another one of the famous rings that represent their organization or society. A brother proudly wears them as a seal of distinction and a symbol of respect ad loyalty to fellowship,


The most commonly available are the fashion rings, which are used for styling purposes or just for aesthetic purposes. For example, a Goth inspired outfit is not complete without a skull or a dagger cross black ring. Women wear a slim and fragile ring set called midi rings or sometimes stack or knuckle rings for a vintage-inspired look that dates from the time of Cleopatra. These are called statement rings, where the wearer conveys his or her personality or belief by wearing a specific ring. An example would be the pride ring. These are rainbow-colored rings that represent the LGBTQ group.

Ring Size

Ring size is the measurement that defines the circumference or diameter of finger rings. There are different standards of ring size depending on the country of origin and but guides on proper conversion is available for reference online free of charge. It is essential to check the standard of measurement used especially when buying inline. The most common ring size for women ranges from size three to seven, while sizes eight to eleven are the standard ring size for men.

Ring size standard

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard outlines the standard ring sizes based on the inner circumference and internal diameter in millimeters. Countries like France, Germany, and other Scandinavian countries utilize this measurement standard. With the use of a stick/rod ring sizer, it measures the exterior and interior circumference of the finger scale.

Importance of knowing your ring dimension

Why is it important to identify your ring size? Basically, for the comfort and assurance, it gives in purchasing a ring wherever and whenever you need or want to. Nowadays, most people use online shopping for clothes, groceries, and now accessories. People are becoming too busy and lack time to go to the shops and browse when they can do this at home, as they prepare to go to bed or even while watching the television. Another thing that is common for men is buying for an engagement ring for their soon to be fiancé. Apart from browsing for different styles and settings, the man has the herculean task in finding out the ring size of his queen. You would not want the ring to be too small or big to fit the thumb, right? Yes, resizing is possible, but aside from intentionally damaging the ring in a sense, the price and the hassle that comes with it could be prevented by knowing your size in the first place. Also, not all types of rings can be resized flawlessly. Some may be damaged depending on the setting, design, or the material of the ring itself.

Things to consider before determining your ring size:

  1. The ring must effortlessly pass the finger joint.
  2. For designed rings, the rings must stay upright and not freely turn side or downwards.
  3. The ring must not fall off easily.


Some tools are used to accurately determine your rings size, and these are:

  1. Sizing gauge – these are a set of metal rings in different American ring sizes. This is used for the comfort fit ring that we use, such as style rings and wedding bands. Each metal ring is engraved with different sizes. They are tried on the finger as a mock-up on how the ring fits on your finger.
  2. Sizing ring stick – This is a circular ruler-like tool to determine the size of a ring by sliding the band onto the instrument.
  3. Multi-sizer ring gauge – Used to tell your ring measurement in European sizes. Inexpensive and compact made from a plastic material.

What are ring guards?

These are an alternative solution when resizing is not possible or to keep a snug and comfortable fit as the season changes. Our fingers tend to swell during hotter temperatures like in the summer season and slimmer in cold seasons. These are offered in white and metallic colors and are easily worn without being too evident.

The different system based on locations:

  1. Three countries uses a numerical scale indicated in half and quarter sizes namely United States of America, Mexico, and Canada. There is an added measurement is 0.8128 millimeters in diameter and 2.55 millimeters in the inner circumference.
  2. The countries of Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands has less than 40 millimeters in circumference.
  3. Asian nations such as Japan, China, and India also use a numerical scale in whole sizes, while the United Kingdom and Australia use an alphabetical scale in half sizes.

Dos and don’ts in measuring your ring size (500)

  • Do measure your finger at night for our fingers tend to be slimmer in early in the morning.
  • Do measure more than once or at least three times for precision.
  • Do go for the larger size when your measurement falls in between two ring sizes.
  • Do purchase a half size larger for wide band rings.
  • Do not use any material that has a tendency to stretch. Using the incorrect material to measure your finger may result in an inaccurate measurement.
  • Do not size your digit when you are feeling hot or during warm weather.

Step by step guide in measuring your ring size at home

There are three ways of measuring your ring size at home.

With the use of floss or a piece of paper,

  1. Prepare a piece of floss or a piece of paper. For floss or strings, measure and cut it for about six inches long or cut a strip of paper measuring one hundred millimeters long.

  1. Place one end just below the knuckle on your finger and wrap it around the finger until it overlaps the starting point.

  1. Mark the meeting point of the start and the end with a marker.

  1. Line the ruler and measure the length in millimeters.

  1. Convert and use a ring size chart for your reference.

Note that from the size 3 and up, each half size is equivalent to 0.4 millimeter increase.

Size 3 = 14 millimeter

Size 3.5 = 14.4 millimeter

Size 4 = 14.8 millimeter

Size 4.5 = 15.2 millimeter

Size 5 = 15.6 millimeter

With the use of a ring chart.

If you have a ring available, but you have no idea about the size, you can use the ring chart method. The ring chart tells you how the measurement of your ring in millimeters.

  1. Look for a printable ring chart on the internet. These are free to use and ready for printing.

  1. Get your ring and place it against the printed chart and to correlate its measurement. Use a plain and narrow band for accuracy.

  1. You can also use the string you have measured on the first method and measure it on the chart if a ruler is not available.

Note that when your ring falls in the middle of two sizes, you must purchase the larger one.

With the use of a multi-sizer.

Multi sizer ring is available on sale online, and these are quite affordable and do convey an accurate measurement. There are also printable ring sizers online that you can use.

  1. Print and cut the ring sizer.

  1. Insert the pointed end through the slot located on the other end.

  1. Just put your finger in and pull the tab until it enveloped your finger comfortably. Move it up and down the knuckle and make sure that it can slide flawlessly. Finally, read the measurement inscribed on the device.

Ring resizing

The process finally to alter the ring size of a finished ring.

Which is better, resize up or down?

In an ideal situation, you would want to have a perfectly fitted ring, but that is not always the case. When we see a guide in choosing a ring, you would always see the phrase “choose the bigger size.” Why? It is all because of the knuckles. The ring must conveniently pass on the knuckle of your finger when you measure your ring size at home. Choosing the smaller one would directly affect how it can slide on to the knobs of your finger if the ring has difficulty in pushing on, and then it is more difficult to slide off. You may say it is okay, because you do not intend to take it off, but you may never know when you need to take it off in certain situations.

Another reason why is because it is easier for your jeweler to resize your rings down. The methods used are also friendlier to your ring. If you have an overview of how our clothes are altered, a nip here and there is easier than patching. It affects the aesthetics as well as the durability of the ring. For sizing down, there are two methods commonly used, these are bu cutting the excess part and with the use of sizing bead. There are also two methods in sizing up, cutting and soldering a piece of metal or by stretching.

How do jewelers resize a ring?

Rings can be resized form smaller to more significant and vice versa. Here are some methods jewelers use to resize a ring:

Bigger to smaller:

  1. Cutting

The ring can be cut with the use of a tool called a punch. Characterized with two ends, a sharp tip on one side and a blunt butt on the other. It is usually struck with a ball-peen hammer; a ball-peen hammer is a type of instrument used in metal works. Characterized with two forged high carbon or alloy steel heads, one flat and the other rounded. After removing the excess metal, it is then fused together and covers the part with the same material to cover the cut portion. Some expert jewelers blend these metals seamlessly that even without the layer of coating, the soldered part is unnoticeable.

  1. Sizing Beads

This method is done without any cutting instead; a small metal, usually of the same material, is added and soldered on to the inner surface of the shaft. This is a method most suitable for individuals with big knuckles to keep the ring from turning. This is also suited for heavily topped rings to balance each side.

Smaller to Bigger:

  1. Stretching

This is a method wherein the ring is further elongated with the use of a ring stretcher. The jeweler must be very careful because the smallest amount of error may damage the ring. Thicker rings may be stretched up to four sizes up, but for some smaller and slimmer rings, it can only be stretched up to a half size larger. Stretching more may weaken the ring, for it gets thinner than its original width.

  1. Adding

This is a method wherein the jeweler cuts into the shank of the ring, pull it apart, and adds a new metal bridge in between by soldering the extra metal. The soldered portion is usually coated with a layer of the same material to hide the altered section.

Types of rings that are difficult or cannot be resized

  1. Rings with a channel or pave setting are tricky to resize for altering the band can misalign during the process.
  2. Rings with collective prongs are said to be a bit problematic to later for the prongs may flare outward during the process.
  3. Rings with engravings, engraved rings follow a particular pattern, and looking for a potion to cut is complicated and needs mastery. Most engraved rings that need to be altered are re-engraved after adjustment to make the altered potion non-evident.
  4. Rings that needs to be altered in more or less than four sizes, four sizes up or down in around sixteen millimeters in length, it may seem short with the naked eye, but our rings follow a certain standard for a reason. Adding or subtracting, this much would affect its circular form and durability. We can see this in an elastic band where when stretched, the band becomes thinner and is easier to break.
  5. Rings that are extra thick or thin, thick rings are too hard to cut with the use of a punch. The higher the force introduced to the ring, the higher the chance for it to be damaged. The use of heat to make it more pliable also has the tendency to ruin it. Meanwhile, thin bands are easy to cut, but the difficulty comes in fusing it together. Soldering slim bands would result in burned metals, which are unattractive. The jeweler would have to have a light hand and equipped with years of experience to be able to pull a seamless finish.
  1. Rings with delicate gems and crystal set, these are removed and reset after the alteration is completed to prevent damaging the stones. These soft gems are emeralds, opals, pearls, and others.
  2. Engraved or paved bands. Infinity bands would be a perfect example for engraved rings for the design is all around the exterior of the shank. Locating the part to alter is quite taxing for the jeweler. The paved ring also has the same problem as the jeweler would need to remove the crystals first, and again, it is how to make the alteration invisible, which is the hardest part of the process.
  3. Rings made of hard materials. These are the modern metals such as stainless steel, tungsten carbide, and titanium. These are difficult to impossible to alter that is why most of your neighborhood jeweler would refuse to do it. Some high-end shops can adjust these ring soft you but for a price.
  4. It is not possible to resize materials such as ceramic, wood, and jade. The composition of these materials is just impossible to cut and amend. Be sure that the seller has a return and exchange policy in purchasing these types of rings.

Whether you are buying a ring of your own or planning to give it as a surprise gift, it is essential to learn the right size you are buying especially, and I repeat especially when purchasing an engagement ring for your partner. Yes, you can always have it adjusted, but isn’t it better to give a perfectly sized ring? It shows how thoughtfulness and how well prepared you were in surprising your loved one. I hope this article has proven to be beneficial in understanding how and why it is essential to know your ring size for your future ring purchases.

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