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Sizing Rings Down, Extra Small


I just sized this ring down from a 7 1/4 to a 4 1/4 (three sizes down). As you can see from the photo, I lost one diamond from the side (and another diamond from the other side). I don’t like sizing rings down that have diamonds half way down the side. However, I sold the ring and did not want to lose the sale. How do you minimize damage to rings when you encounter this?


You don’t. This is a given when sizing down and the diamonds are set in this way in the shank. Tighten them before you start watch for the ones that are going to come loose at each step. Tighten them again before you polish. Put the ones back in that fall out. Have a supply of loose stones to replace the ones that fall out and you never find them. Shared prong setting is one of the banes of our existence. They stay in much better if that prong is split and half goes over each diamond. That is the way I design and build jewelry. Unfortunately that is not the way most of the cad cam designed crap from the rest of the world is done. We sell crap and we fix crap and that is the new paradigm for jewelers these days.


That’s the thing. What seems like a simple sizing is often more of a repair, even on a new ring. It’s a problem when doing work for a retail jeweler who has priced the job before it has gone to the shop. They charge $30 but with the resetting and tipping with a laser it’s really a $100 job wholesale. That can create a lot of conflict if the shop and store can’t come to an understanding.

It’s also an issue when running a shop full of goldsmiths. A benchie may be told to do 50 sizings a day, but what about all the associated repair and resetting? You really need to put quality above profit. Remembering that the ring means a great deal to someone.


I agree with all of the above. Another option is to put a pair of relief cuts just below the last side melee on each side.This is done by cutting the shank with a saw halfway thru. then cut out sizing piece, bend in wings and fill in gaps. This works especially well with a laser (natural vee in shank) but can be done with a torch also. Absolutely inform customer that the ring might not end up totally round but more oval shaped…


I am surprised it was only one diamond. That is a huge adjustment in sizing and I would not have recommended such a large change. We’ve done one full size only and lost stones.


It is a big problem when it comes to pricing, especially when the person taking in the work doesn’t understand this. One of the benefits of using the Geller price book is that he factors in how many stones are in a ring as part of the price. Knowing that sizing a ring with one or two stone is easier and faster than sizing a ring with 50 stones.


I usually size a ring like that in 2 or three steps.One or 1.5 sizes at a time. Cut, start to bend,check stones tighten, solder, repeat. I lose less stones this way.You have to charge extra if you’re doing wholesale repair for another store.


I have to size down a full 2 sizes on a 9 diamond channel set ring band. My question ( which I did not say to my clients), is why did you buy such a large ring size when your fiance’s ring size is so small? I told them all the risks ( exaggerated it a bit) of all the problems that could happen in sizing that ring down so much and they agreed to take on the risk. That fact is most designers and people don’t think, and then when the jewelry come to us goldsmiths to fix or size, we get the blame. All we can do is explain the risk as much as possible. Good thing I’m a jewelry and metalsmithing teacher, so I can go into my teaching rote and explain in graphic detail what can happen.


Channel set is not a problem as long as the diamonds are not touching. They can actually get tighter. Bar set on the other hand is a disaster. More than a size and it has to be egg shaped. It’s not that customers don’t think. They are ignorant, you are doing your job of educating them. And sales people need to sell what is in the case, even though what should be done is one should be ordered from the factory in the correct size.


Good point about explaining the risk to the customer and letting them take the responsibility. And when the job goes well, the customer is VERY happy.


In the u.k, for me at least, this is such a muddy area between retailers and the bench worker.
The retailers opinion is generally the stone/stone’s fell out while the ring was in my hands so is my responsibility for it/them to be reset.
Before i take on a job I have to make the choice:
a) Do the job knowing i will possibly have to reset a few stones but at least i will make some money.
b) Tell them to order the correct size from the supplier where i make no money.

On high end rings I prefer the retailer to order the correct size from the supplier where possible.
On low end rings or second hand rings i’m happy to do the extra little bit of work at no extra charge.
On a quiet day in the workshop i’m better to make some money than none.


Nah, fixing crap has been part of being a jeweler for always and forever. There have always been customers who bring in their cheap, flimsy jewelry that they bought on “such a GREAT DEAL” during their cruise or their vacation, but it broke the first time they wore it and now they want us to put it back together, even though the metal is thin as foil and the lousy-quality ‘gems’ are held in by a prayer and glue.


My cousin gave me a ring to size. The ring was only a few molecules or even angstroms thick. She had the nerve a.k.a. “Chutzpah” to tell me she bought on her trip to China. I quickly replied…so take it back to them!! BTW…We’re still cousins!!!..:wink:

Gerry Lewy!..just sent from my very busy iPhone!