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How to Size A Hollow Ring

Written by Annabelle
March 27, 2020

Rings are very popular pieces of jewelry, but they require a little more effort than earrings and necklaces. After all, a ring has to fit perfectly or you won’t be able to wear it. So what happens when you can’t size a ring because it happens to be hollow inside? Read on to learn how to size a hollow ring.

What Makes a Ring Hollow?

A hollow ring is a ring that has a “tube-like” element to its construction. While most rings are solid, a hollow ring has a space either inside its band area, or behind the stone. 

Many items are constructed in this way to reduce the amount of precious material used in production, allowing the designer to create something at a lower cost and sell it at a lower price range. While this means that the item is more affordable, it’s also more difficult to repair and size. It should also be noted that this manufacturing method is not limited to costume jewelry or lesser-known designers; high-end fashion brands also utilize this for some pieces as well.

Sizing a Hollow Ring


A diagram with the different portions of a ring labeled.

In order to size a ring, a lot of strain is placed on two areas of the item regardless if you’re sizing up or down. These areas include the setting and shoulders, and the back where the jeweler cuts into the item. 

The jeweler first opens up the ring by cutting the blank area at the back of the ring. Then the ring is either pulled open or closed until it’s the correct size, and metal is either added or removed to size the ring up or down. This pulling and shaping process exerts pressure on the front of the ring, and as the metal is being tugged this can either force a hollow-backed setting to crumple inwards or widen to the point where a stone may pop out.

After the ring is sized, the ring is soldered shut and polished out. While this is normal procedure for all ring sizings, it should be noted that for a hollow ring there will be a noticeable width discrepancy between the area of work and the other parts of the ring’s band. This is because the metal at the area where the jeweler cut has now been flattened in the process.


This silver ring turned out to be hollow; notice the difference in width at the back after sizing.

How to Avoid Issues With Sizing a Hollow Ring

Now that you’re aware of what might happen when you size a hollow ring, we have a few alternatives that may help you preserve the design of the item. While there is no way to avoid these issues when sizing a hollow ring up, there are methods that can size a ring down without popping out a stone or flattening the back of the ring. Consider ring sizing beads or a ring sizing strip– these additional bits of metal fill out the space between the ring and your finger, allowing you to avoid the cutting procedure. 


This antique ring was sized down with a thick strip of material.

If you’re adamant on sizing a hollow ring up, make sure to discuss with your jeweler the potential consequences before proceeding with the sizing. As a more stable and long-lasting alternative, you can consider recreating the ring in a solid material. Not only is this a good long-term investment, as you can size solid rings with comparatively less fuss, but you’ll also avoid future damage. Hollow rings have a tendency to dent from wear, especially as they’re worn on your hands and come into contact with objects you touch all the time.

You’re all set on how to size a hollow ring! If you have an item you’d like to size, comment below and we can help you out. 

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