The basic procedure for ring sizing involves the cutting of the bottom of the shank with a fine saw blade, followed by the adding or removing of matching metal to enlarge or decrease the size of the ring. After being enlarged or reduced, the shank is fused back together using the appropriate solder (i.e., gold, silver, platinum). Precious metal solders are formulated to melt at a temperature slightly lower than that, which the article of jewelry will melt, so that the solder can effectively fuse without the danger of melting the shank. For the purposes of this discussion we will refer to gold only.
Enlarging a ring size involves the spreading of the shank to accommodate a piece of gold that is the fused permanently by applying the heat from a torch to fuse the solder with the ring shank and added gold.
Reducing the ring involves cutting away the appropriate amount of gold, then bending the shank inward to create enough tension to hold a piece of gold solder.
After soldering has been successfully completed, the excess solder has to be filed away, and the remaining gold sanded and polished. Occasionally a ring’s design (such as an extended area of channel set diamonds) may create difficulty in the sizing process because opening or closing the shank might disturb gemstone settings, enamel, or the integrity of the ring’s structure. In such a case, your jeweler should advise you of the danger so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to proceed with the sizing.
Often you will find new rings on display in a jeweler’s showcase that cannot be sized at all due to their design intricacies or stone setting style. When that is the case, the ring can be obtained in the customer’s precise size by having it manufactured to the specific size, on a special order basis.
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