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Can You Resize a Ring With Engraving?

Annabelle / April 8, 2020

Engraving a ring is a popular and sentimental way to really make that piece of jewelry special to you. However, it can become a problem when the ring is a little too loose or too tight for your fingers. You might be wondering; how can you resize a ring with engraving on it? Here’s what you need to know.

The Ring Sizing Processes

resize-ring-with-engraving-process

A jeweler cutting into the back of a ring.

When a jeweler sizes a ring, they can use two methods. One is the traditional method of cutting into the ring; this involves opening the band, adding or removing metal, and then closing the band once the ring is the correct size. The second method is stretching- this technique is used for plain bands to increase or decrease the size by a half size or full size. 

Both of these methods can be used to resize a ring with engraving on a case by case basis. The jeweler determines whether or not the ring can be sized without removing the existing engraving based on the following criteria:

  1. Location of engraving: If the engraving is behind the stone, or in an area that isn’t the band, the engraving will not be affected by the sizing process. If it’s on the band, it may be affected as the jeweler has to work in that area to size your ring.
  2. Available blank space: If there is a sufficiently large enough area, the jeweler can simply cut into that area to size the ring as normal. This will not affect the engraving.
  3. Number of sizes down: To size a ring down, the jeweler has to take out metal. If you’re going a lot of sizes down, this may potentially affect a long engraving as part of the ring will have to be removed. In the event that this is the case, the jeweler will offer to polish off the original engraving and re-engrave the inscription after sizing for an additional charge.

Keep in mind that if you’re not comfortable with sizing the ring via the traditional method, opting for stretching may still affect the engraving. The stretching process can distort the engraving so that the words look wider, with a “pulled” look to it. Compressed rings that are sized down may have fainter or equally distorted engravings as well.

Sizing Soldered Rings with Engraving

size-soldered-rings

A wedding set before and after unsoldering. Note the engraving in the back.

It’s a popular practice to solder wedding rings and engrave on the newly combined back. However, this poses an issue when the rings need to be sized. A jeweler cannot stretch soldered rings- the only way to size them is to cut them apart, size them individually, and solder them back together. If the bands are still distinguishable from one another, the jeweler may be able to cut them apart and size them without removing the engraving. If the back of the rings has been merged together and engraved, the jeweler will have to remove the engraving and re-engrave the inscription after sizing. 

Sizing Plated Rings with Engraving

color-engraving-antiquing

This pendant was recreated in sterling silver and gold plated with an antiqued engraving. Note the difference in engraving color.

Plated rings that have been engraved are particularly tricky to size. The sizing process removes the plating, and when the plating is reapplied after the sizing process it can alter the visual contrast of the engraving to the surrounding metal. This is because the plating is applied to the entire surface of the item, making everything yellow, rose, or white gold in color. 

In order to size an engraved plated ring, the jeweler must remove the existing engrave, size it, plate it, and engrave it afterwards to maintain the original look of the item. Expect these additional procedures to add to the cost of the overall sizing job.

Sizing Engraved Tungsten, Titanium, and Ceramic Carbide Rings

tungsten-engraving

This engraved ring is made out of tungsten.

Unfortunately due to the nature of these items, these rings cannot be sized, nor can the engraving be removed. Tungsten, titanium, and ceramic carbide are not malleable and cannot be worked on with regular jeweler’s tools.

Now you know how to resize a ring with engraving! If you’d like to get started on an item, comment below and we’ll help you out.

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