Eternity Ring Resizing: The Process
Written by Annabelle
May 9, 2019
Resizing rings is always a scary process for the most avid jewelry lover- after all, you're taking one of your favorite pieces and modifying it. So what to do when your eternity ring doesn't fit your finger properly any more? How can you even resize a ring that has stones all around it? Take a look at the process below.
What Is an Eternity Ring?
An eternity band is a popular ring design; stones are set all around the ring, leaving not a single blank space of metal. This creates a beautiful patterned effect, and the stones sparkle all around the finger.
On the other hand, the lack of blank space means that the ring is much more difficult and expensive to resize in comparison to a regular ring. Many jewelers are deterred by the complexity of an eternity ring resizing, which is why customers are often turned away with the impression that their ring cannot be resized. This isn't true; it's just a demanding procedure that requires a highly skilled jeweler.
The Process of Sizing an Eternity Ring
- Evaluation: As with all ring resizing work, the jeweler has to do a thorough evaluation of the piece before proceeding. Some rings cannot be resized due to various components in their design, and the jeweler will keep an eye out for the following factors that could affect work:
- Metal Type: Items made from standard precious metals such as sterling silver, gold, and platinum are always workable. However, rings made from stainless steel are very difficult to size, because of the extremely high heating point that is needed to cut into the metal. If your eternity band is made from stainless steel, it is not recommended to resize it because the metal is already notoriously difficult to manipulate.
- Stone Type: The process of ring resizing exposes the stones in your ring to heat. This exposure is inevitable for an eternity ring resizing, since the whole piece is covered with stones. Heat exposure becomes a problem when the eternity band contains stones such as opals and emeralds; gems that are soft will not be able to withstand the process. For an ideal eternity band resizing, the ring should only contain diamonds, sapphires, or rubies- these stones are very durable and can take the heat.
- Stone Setting Type: How the stone is set into the ring will affect the outcome of the eternity band resizing process. Channel-set stones (gems that are set in-between two strips of thin metal) will not look the same after the sizing process and may be difficult to work with during the process. On the other hand, prong or bezel-set eternity bands are much easier to size because the stones are easily reset if they fall out.
- Sizing: After evaluation, the jeweler proceeds to the sizing process. To size a regular ring, the jeweler cuts into the shank, or the band of the ring, and adds or removes metal to size the ring. For an eternity band, this process is more complicated. Since there's no blank space for the jeweler to cut into, stones will need to be removed from the ring to create an area for work.
- Sizing down: The jeweler takes stones out at one spot until the ring is approximately the correct size. Then he removes the excess metal, ensures that the ring is the correct shape, and closes the opening with solder. The loose stones are returned to the customer with the ring.
- Sizing up: Sizing an eternity band up is very complicated, because it's difficult to retain the ring's original look without adding new stones. In an optimal scenario, the eternity ring is prong-set throughout, with durable stones such as cubic zirconia or diamonds. The jeweler opens up one area of the ring by taking out a stone, and adds metal until the ring is the correct size. Then he creates new settings for the number of stones needed to cover the blank area of metal, and sets the new stones.
If the ring's design cannot be replicated in terms of setting, the jeweler will not be able to add the new stones to the ring. In that situation, there will be a visible blank spot of metal at the area of resizing, which removes the full eternity band design.
- Finishing: Once the ring has been resized, it's sent to polishing and cleaning. The jeweler buffs the surface of the jewelry with a polishing wheel and then submerges it in an ultrasonic cleaner. When the cleaning process is complete, the ring is tested to see if any stones are loose or missing before it's returned to the client.
Alternatives to Sizing an Eternity Ring
If your ring happens to be stainless steel, or has a design that is difficult to work with, the jeweler can provide alternative options if you are sizing down. These alternatives include soldering balls or a heavy strip of sterling silver to the interior of the ring, allowing you to wear it without it slipping right off your finger.
Why You Should Get Your Eternity Band Sized
A ring that you can't wear isn't useful at all! It's worth taking the ring to a jeweler who can resize eternity bands (like us!) and getting an evaluation to see if your ring is sizable. If it is, you should definitely get the sizing process done just so you can put that piece back on your hand.
If you really can't get your ring resized because of the design, fear not! Experienced jewelers and manufacturers can recreate the ring for you in the correct size.
The Cost of Eternity Band Resizing
The price to size an eternity band is comparatively higher than an average ring resizing because of the additional labor. On average, a sterling silver eternity band sizing down one size is approximately $85. The following factors also affect price:
- The type of metal: If you're sizing up, metal needs to be added to the ring. That's a material cost that increases depending on how expensive the metal is.
- The number of sizes up or down: One to two sizes is a basic resizing- but if you're going from a 9 to a 4, that's going to be a lot of labor considering the amount of work needed to size the ring down 5 sizes. Also consider material cost; if you're sizing up, you'll need to account for the additional metal and any new stones that have to be set into the ring.
Now you're ready to get started on your eternity ring resizing! If you're interested in wearing your beloved ring again, reach out to us in the comments below and we'll get back to you with an evaluation.