We have eight bench jewelers here at Josephs and they stay continuously busy with jewelry repair and custom work (see some behind the scene photos of our shop here!). One particular repair we take on quite frequently is ring sizing. We often get asked, “How exactly do you size a ring?” We thought we’d take this time to actually visualize the ring sizing process for you with photos for every step of the way. It’s neat to see the hard work and care involved with each piece we have the privilege to work on. Rest assured your rings are, quite literally, in good hands!
RING SIZING STEP 1
First things first, we always do a thorough inspection of each piece before moving forward with any work. This includes a full evaluation of the overall state of the ring: is the shank too thin? Are prongs thin or missing? What metal is it? What stones are there and are they missing, abraded, chipped or loose? This helps us to know if we need to work on anything else while it’s in our shop and also informs us of the best sizing method based on different metals and stones.
Off to the cleaner it goes for a deep clean! This is a very important step because dirt or other substances, when not cleaned completely, can be burned onto stones and make it hard to remove after the fact.
RING SIZING STEP 2
Now the jeweler must make sure the piece of metal to be added (when sizing up) or removed (when sizing down) must be precisely the right width, depth and length in order for the seam at the bottom to be undetectable and strong. The ring then takes a nice antioxidation dip and is set aflame, leaving a powder residue that protects the piece when soldering at the new joint area.
RING SIZING STEP 3
Now’s the exciting time when the seams are connected together! In order to ensure a super strong bond, a special liquid is placed on the seam under a gas-oxygen flame until the metal melts just enough to combine the two ends into one. To avoid temperature shock that could potentially harm the metal and stones, the ring is air-cooled on a block. Once cool, it takes a different bath to remove the antioxidation solution previously applied. It’ll be rinsed, dried and ready for shaping and polishing!
RING SIZING STEP 4
Your ring is now well on its way to becoming shiny and looking like new. The inside is smoothed out and then rounded to its new size. All scratches are polished away using a series of different polishing wheels, each getting finer and finer to get the piece looking as bright, shiny and flawless as possible. It then goes through a thorough final cleaning and inspection before it makes its way to you – and more importantly, back on your finger where it now fits properly and sparkles bright!