How do I order the correct ring size when shopping online?
It all starts with a trip to your local jeweler.
Getting it right the first time
DON'T rely on DIY or at home sizing methods. Those aren't accurate.
Getting sized- Most local jewelers are friendly and will be happy to help you get sized for free! In addition to local jewelers, jewelry chains and even a jewelry department in stores like Wal-Mart will normally have a decent means of sizing you, and it only takes a couple minutes.
Make sure to visit at least 2 different jewelers and make sure they agree on sizing. Visit another if you must, until you can find 2 that agree.
Really, it's that simple! Just tell the jeweler the width of the ring you're planning on getting so they can help tailor their sizing suggestions!
- DIY sizers are a no-no.
- Visit at least 2 reputable jewelers.
- Make sure they agree on sizing.
If you're the techie, detail-oriented type, read on, otherwise, that's all you need to know!
Alas, while most jewelers use a reliable method of sizing, not all jewelers do. I come from a machinist background where we routinely hold tolerance closer than a human hair and all measurement instruments must be calibrated and traceable to a master standard, so I'm baffled as to why this is, and I can't say for sure, but there are a few possible reasons-
Low-quality equipment- If the jeweler uses a cheaply made ring sizer set or sizing mandrel (a long tapered rod for measuring ring sizes) these are probably not manufactured to the correct size and will give erroneous measurements. I have personally seen a cheap ring sizer set where many of the "half size" sizers were actually the SAME size as their whole size counterparts. Useless.
Non-standard methods- When using sizing mandrel, some jewelers may read them wrong. The correct method to measure the size of a ring on the mandrel is to note the point the ring makes contact with the sizing mandrel. To read the size from any other point on the mandrel is just inaccurate.
How ring width effects fit- 2 rings of the exact same size may appear to fit differently if one if very narrow and the other is very wide. The jeweler you visit for sizing should be able to help advise you further.
Comfort fit vs. Regular fit- in short, a comfort fit ring has a round profile on the inside (like a semi-circle) and a regular fit is flat with just the corners rounded so there is no sharp edge. See my crappy illustration below :P
Comfort fit inside> ()
Regular fit inside> [)
A comfort fit profile fits slightly looser than a regular fit ring of the same size because less of the inside profile is actually making contact with your finger. Again the jeweler sizing you can advise further.
Large knuckles- If you, like me, have large knuckles, you might find that you need a larger size just to fit over your knuckle, then the ring just kind of flops around once it's over. For this reason, I prefer a wider (between 9mm-12mm) regular fit ring because it tends to "flop" less.
Fingers change- Yes, your fingers will change size throughout the day and seasons. In the morning your fingers will normally be larger, then smaller later in the day. Even things like diet and temperature changes can cause fluctuations. The good news is that these changes normally aren't anything to worry about. If possible getting sized on different days and even different times of day is a good idea if you're able to.
Size conversions- If you need to convert your size from one standard to another (say if you're in Austrailia and ordering a ring from the USA) there is this handy conversion chart
It may sound like a lot of info to consider, but rest assured, it really isn't any more difficult than a trip to a reputable jeweler and telling them about your width and fit (comfort/regular) preference.