Sizing can be a scary process for many a ring lover because of the complicated work. After all, the ring needs to be cut open and soldered back together with heat, and all of this labor could potentially harm stones in your item. So how do you work with rings that have fragile gemstones in the design? Here’s a quick guide to resizing gemstone rings.
Gemstone Ring Evaluation
The first thing a good jeweler should do before sizing any ring is to examine the piece. Can it go up or down the requested number of sizes? Is there any existing damage to the gemstone that will affect the sizing process? What kind of stone is in the ring?
These are all questions that the jeweler has to consider before proceeding with the sizing. If the ring cannot go up or down the number of requested sizes, the jeweler will inform you accordingly. Any inclusions or fractures in the gemstone may be exacerbated by the force in the sizing process, so the jeweler will alert you to the risk before proceeding with any work. Finally, certain stones such as coral, pearls, and turquoise are easily affected by heat and may need special care in the sizing process.
Stones in the Sizing Process
To understand why stones can be affected in the sizing process, you need to know that ring sizing requires a lot of bending and heat. Whether it’s going up or going down, the jeweler is effectively opening up the ring and bending the shoulders of the ring up or down. As the shoulders of the ring consist of the metal immediately next to the ring’s design or setting, this in turn affects the setting. Prong settings are the least vulnerable to damage in the sizing process, but other setting types such as bezel or flush mean that the metal of the setting is either pushed in or pulled out, causing significant strain on the stone within the setting.
Resizing Gemstone Rings
After evaluation, the jeweler will proceed with sizing if permission is granted. In order to reduce the risk of breaking the gemstone, the jeweler may control the exposure to heat by using a laser soldering machine instead of a traditional soldering torch, or cool the stone by applying water during the process. As a last resort, the jeweler may unset the stone and reset it after work to completely remove it from the heat and pressure of the sizing process.
Once the jeweler has decided to size, they cut into the back of the ring to open it. Sliding it on a mandrel, the jeweler gets the ring to the correct size and either adds or removes metal and then solders the ring shut. The ring is then polished to remove signs of work.
A Few Things to Consider
If you’re sizing a ring with a bezel setting, there’s a possibility the ring can’t be sized without removing the stone. In this situation, the bezel may need to be cut open and replaced or rebuilt later on. Depending on the metal, expect an additional charge of $80 or more on top of the sizing and setting charges.
Now you’re up to date on resizing gemstone rings! If you have one you want to size, comment below and we’ll help you get started.