What If My Engagement Ring Is Too Small (How To Fix)

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I just engaged, but I think that my engagement ring is too small.

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life, but finding out that your engagement ring is too small can put a damper on the mood — but don’t worry!

An engagement ring (or wedding band) that doesn’t properly fit isn’t a major cause for concern. Most jewelers can resize your ring in 1-2 weeks.

If your engagement ring is too small, you can visit a jeweler to have it resized, exchange it for a bigger size, or return it for a refund to purchase a different ring.

Here is what we cover in this article:

A close up photo of a bride's hand wearing her engagement ring. This is for the articles called what if my engagement ring is too small?
Your engagement ring should not be worn too tight. Getting it resized is pretty simple.

Can You Make an Engagement Ring Bigger?

Yes, you can make an engagement ring bigger by taking it to a jeweler and having it resized. Jewelers can increase a ring’s circumference by up to two sizes. Sizing a ring up in size requires severing the shank and adding additional metal or stretching the ring.

The method a jeweler uses to resize an engagement ring varies depending on the ring’s material and design.

Keep in mind that increasing the size of a ring by adding metal costs more than going down a size since jewelers require more material.

Another important consideration is the value of the ring. Stretching the ring may cause weakness at the soldering point, devaluing the jewelry.

To avoid this, consider having the entire ring re-shanked instead of thinning out the metal through stretching.

How Should an Engagement Ring Fit?

An engagement ring should fit comfortably and snugly on the left ring finger. It should slide easily over the knuckle, although with some resistance, requiring a gentle yet firm pressure. It should fit around the base of the finger with no bulging of the skin or indentations. 

Here’s how to determine if your engagement ring (or wedding ring) is the perfect fit:

  1. Turn your left palm upwards, facing the sky.
  2. Use your right hand to pull the ring upwards away from the finger.
  3. Look for a gap.

With a properly fitting ring, you should observe a tiny (roughly two to three millimeters) gap between the ring and the finger.

Little to no gap indicates that the ring is too small, whereas a significant amount of space suggests that the ring is too big.

It’s important to note that our finger size changes throughout the day and seasons. In cold weather, your ring size may be smaller than usual as the finger shrinks.

On hot days, your ring size might go up ½ a size or more as the finger slightly expands. Because of this, you may find slight variations in your measurements in specific climates or during certain weather conditions.

To combat this common ring sizing issue, measure your finger during different temperatures and in high and low humidity. Use this information to determine your average ring size to ensure that your ring fits comfortably throughout the year.

A couple holding hands and showing off the engagement ring.
Make sure your engagement ring fits perfectly.

Real Couples Talk About Their Experience with Ring Resizing

We asked some of our readers who had to resize rings that were too small what they did to fix their problem. These are some of the tips and thoughts that they shared with us:

“My jeweler was able to resize my ring up 1/2 of a size. I went from a size 5 to a size 5 1/2. It took about a week and cost $50.”

“If your ring needs to be resized, I recommend finding someone close to you who can do it in-house. Zales has had my ring for 5 weeks now. Don’t be like me, ha!”

“My jeweler told me to get it resized in the winter months. If you do it during summer when there is water retention, it might be sized so large as to fall off when colder weather arrives. I ended up going up about half a size. It cost $25.”

“My engagement ring was 1 full size too small because my fiancé didn’t know my size. Zales allowed me to exchange it for a bigger size. This would probably not be the case with custom-made rings.”

“I was very reluctant to let the stones in my ring go out of sight. I had my local jeweler remove the stones, give them to me (wrapped and put into an envelope), and then he sent the empty ring out to be resized. Then he reset the stones after the resized ring came back.”

“I had my engagement ring made bigger, and it was really easy. My jeweler didn’t even charge me. I recommend going to a real jeweler that is local to you. Stay away from mall jewelry stores for things like this. You never know what you’re going to get.”

A bride showing off her new engagement ring.
A bride-to-be showing off her new engagement ring.

How Do Jewelers Resize Rings?

Now that you know how to determine whether your engagement ring is too big or too small, it’s time to learn more about the resizing process. But, before we get started, know that jewelers cannot resize every ring.

Whether a jeweler can resize a ring depends on the:

  • Material
  • Design
  • Jeweler’s Expertise

Let’s learn more.

What Materials Can Jewelers Resize?

Jewelers can resize gold, silver, and platinum jewelry. These metals are soft, malleable, and relatively easy to manipulate, making it easy to go up or down one to two sizes. Materials including wood, tungsten, and resin cannot be resized.

Gold is soft and bendable, making it one of the easiest jewelry metals to work with. On the other hand, silver is softer than gold but may be made stronger by combining it with additional metals (alloy).

Platinum, like silver, is also softer than gold. However, it’s harder than silver and more durable than both metals.

Rings made from non-malleable materials cannot be resized. Tungsten, for example, doesn’t bond with other metals, making it impossible to resize.

Titanium is another metal that is very difficult to resize.

Wood, ceramic, and resin are far too brittle and would snap when subjected to the cutting and bending required to resize a ring.

Resizing an Engagement Ring That’s Too Small

Resizing a ring that’s too small is more challenging than reducing the size of a loose-fitting ring. 

Depending on the ring’s design, a jeweler may sever the band and add additional metal, or they may attempt to stretch the ring.

Severing The Shank

Jewelers cut the bottom of the ring’s shank to make a ring bigger using the severing process, essentially splitting it. From there, they add additional metal to increase the overall circumference of the ring. Finally, the ring is cleaned and polished before sending it back to the customer.

Stretching The Shank

Stretching isn’t suitable for all rings — it’s only recommended for solid wedding bands or rings with no spacing along the shank. Rings with pavé sides are particularly difficult to increase in size through stretching, as the supporting walls of the stones become weakened. 

With that said, some expert jewelers can resize elaborate rings by adding metal to reinforce the stone channels and even incorporating additional stones along the shank to retain the overall look of the ring. However, this is significantly more costly than a standard ring resizing.

How Long Does It Take To Resize a Ring?

Resizing a ring takes around two weeks to complete if you’re increasing the ring’s size. The process may take longer for downsizing, custom rings, or those with intricate shanks or elaborate designs. Jewelers may be able to resize a ring that’s only slightly too small in as little as ten minutes.

A photo of a bride showing off her new engagement ring. This is for the article called what if my engagement ring is too small.
If your engagement doesn’t fit, you can have it resized, or you can exchange it for the correct size.

Can You Return or Exchange Engagement Rings?

You can return or exchange engagement rings as long as the jeweler includes these terms in their return policy. Most jewelers offer a 30-day guarantee (some as much as 60 days) from the date of purchase and accept returns on unworn jewelry. Custom-made rings may not have a return option.

When returning or exchanging a ring, ensure you have all the required documentation and proof of purchase.

You might run into trouble when attempting to return a ring you purchased online. Visit the company’s website and check the return policy. You may find that you have to pay to ship the ring back. When shipping the ring, pay for tracking information to prove it was shipped and received.

Are you having trouble finding the company’s return policy? Call their support number and speak to a representative to get more information.

Conclusion

An engagement ring is a treasured piece of jewelry and a symbol of love, so it’s important to ensure a proper fit. Fortunately, if your engagement ring is too big or too small, there are easy ways to have it resized by a jeweler.

More Wedding Planning Tips

Here are a few more articles that you might find helpful when planning your wedding:

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