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Getting Your Engagement Ring Resized

By Mike Fried,

There are many reasons why you might need to have your engagement ring or your wedding band resized. Maybe your partner planned a beautiful surprise proposal, and wasn’t exactly sure of your ring size. Or maybe your ring used to fit, but your ring size has changed over time (which is very common, by the way). Perhaps you’ve inherited your grandmother’s beautiful heirloom diamond ring, and it just doesn’t fit on your finger. Whatever the reason, we hope to provide a few helpful tips and steps to determine the best way to resize your ring so you can wear it and enjoy it for a lifetime.

How are rings resized?

Reducing the size of a ring involves cutting a small piece of the band to make it smaller and then rejoining the band where it was cut. When done correctly, there won’t be any sign of the alteration. To increase the size of a ring, additional material must be added to enlarge the band. For this reason, it tends to cost more to make a ring bigger than smaller. 

Keep in mind, it’s easier to make a ring smaller than it is to make it bigger, so when choosing an engagement ring for your partner, or any ring you intend to give as a gift, always opt for ½ a size bigger if you are unsure of your partner’s ring size.

Ring making process

One resizing technique that is sometimes used is called “stretching”, but we don’t recommend going this route, because the practice can result in damage or undue stress to the ring. While it might not be a problem to have a simple metal band resized in this way, it can certainly be problematic for an engagement ring or any ring with diamonds or precious stones, as it can disrupt the integrity of the setting or settings.

How much does it cost to have a ring resized?

Many of the best online retailers often have generous resizing policies. Still, it’s wise to learn the retailer’s policy before purchasing. James Allen has a 60 day free resizing policy on all their engagement rings and wedding bands, and Blue Nile offers complimentary resizing for all customized engagement rings. While resizing is often a complimentary service if you have it done where you purchased the ring, having it done elsewhere can cost anywhere from under $50 (for smaller and easier adjustments) to a few hundred dollars for trickier jobs.

What kind of rings can be resized?

When it comes to resizing, some materials are easier to work with than others. Gold, white gold and platinum rings are the easiest to resize without risking the integrity of the ring. Some materials are challenging or impossible to resize by hand. For example, rose gold is too brittle to resize easily, and many jewelers will avoid resizing rose gold rings for that reason. On the other hand, tungsten and stainless steel are both too hard to resize by hand.

Another important factor in determining whether a ring can be resized is the style. A simple solitaire is just about the easiest kind of ring to resize. As a rule of thumb, the simpler the ring is, the easier it will be to resize. Thinner bands are also easier to resize than thicker ones. The more detailed the band is, the more challenging it will be to resize while maintaining its integrity. Resizing a band with more detail might take longer and cost more. 

As long as the material and ring style permits, it is usually possible to resize heirloom and vintage jewelry, but in these cases it is especially important to work with someone who has a lot of experience and knows how to work with vintage rings, especially if the ring has sentimental value to you. If an heirloom ring is too intricate or delicate to resize properly, consider having the ring remade instead.

What rings styles are difficult to resize?

Certain styles are particularly complicated to resize. Eternity rings, like this Low Dome basket eternity ring from James Allen usually can’t be resized because there simply isn’t enough exposed metal for a jeweler to work with, and when there are diamonds or gemstones all around the band, altering the band size can be problematic for stone placement. Tension set rings are also challenging if not impossible to resize because of the precision required for a tension setting to hold stones in place properly and securely.

eternity ring and tension ring are difficult to resize
Eternity ring (left) and tension ring (right) – not good for resizing

If you are selecting a style of ring that would be challenging to resize, it is a good idea to find out the retailer’s policy on returns and exchanges before purchasing. Sometimes it is easier to exchange a ring for a ring of the correct size than it would be to try to resize a ring with intricate details, or a ring made of non-malleable metal.

What to do if your ring can’t be resized

If your ring isn’t a good candidate for resizing because of the material, the type of ring or the amount of detail, sizing assistants could be helpful- sizing assistants are either a small metal bar or little metal beads that can be added to the inside of the ring to help a ring stay in place. This is an especially good solution for a ring that is just slightly too big.

Will having a ring resized damage it?

Having a ring properly resized by a professional will not harm the integrity of the ring. However, it is best not to have a ring resized too many times, as too much work on a ring can begin to put stress on the metal and the setting. So for temporary changes in ring size, such as can occur during pregnancy, it is better just to store your ring until it fits again. It’s also best not to go more than 2 sizes up or down when resizing a ring- any more can jeopardize the stability of the setting and the prongs that hold any diamonds or gemstones in place. 

Ultimately, when it comes to resizing a ring, the most important thing is to choose a trustworthy and reputable vendor who will make the necessary alterations to your beloved ring with precision and care.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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