Of all the jewelry that women wear, the piece that depends most heavily on correct sizing is a ring. While it’s possible for items like bracelets or necklaces to become “stuck,” they generally stay in place and can be easily removed when desired. Rings, on the other hand, must be the correct size and fit, or the wearer may experience discomfort that distracts from their beautiful appearance.
Not sure how to determine your ring size? It starts with knowing your band size. While fashion items like clothes and shoes can vary considerably even when they’re the “same size”, ring band sizing is uniform. Thankfully, it’s easy to determine your ring size with a few tips and tricks, so you can feel equipped with the knowledge to find a perfect fit for any ring – from engagement rings to right-hand rings or fashion rings.
Whether you’re shopping for a ring for yourself or for a significant other, these tips are sure to help. Learn how to determine ring size below.
How to Measure Women’s Ring Sizes
To help determine your correct ring size, there are a few easy methods to get you started:
If you have a ring with proper fit: Bring your ring to a local jeweler and ask to have it sized. Any reputable jeweler should be able to use a mandrel – a slender graduated cone on a handle with sizing marks – or another gauging tool to quickly and easily tell you what size band you’re currently wearing. There are also printable charts available online that allow you to lay your ring on top of sizing silhouettes to narrow down the correct size – if you use this method, make sure your ring size chart is set to print at the correct proportions.
If you don’t have a ring handy: The most straightforward and accurate way to determine your ring size is, of course, to ask a jeweler to size you in person. If you’d rather take a DIY approach, use ribbon, string, or even dental floss, and wrap it around your finger. Note where the ends meet with a pen mark and then measure the length. Take care not to pull or stretch the cord you’re using, as this will affect the accuracy of your results. Perform this test a few times with a fresh cord or string each time, as this will help you find the average ring size.
After you’ve made your ring size measurement, you can quickly locate a ring size conversion chart online that will tell you what your measurement “translates” to in terms of ring size. If you’d like to purchase sizing tools for better accuracy, there are also small belt-like loop measurement tools, sets of small plastic rings in graduated sizes, and mandrels available inexpensively online.
Common Methods for Ring Sizing
There are various methods that can be used to measure the size of your finger in order to determine ring sizes for women. Some of the most common methods include:
The Mandrel Method
A mandrel is a handheld conical wand used by jewelers to size existing rings. This sizing technique is far more accurate than the DIY approach but still needs to take band wear, overall band shape, and other factors into account. For this method, the ring is slid over the top of the mandrel, where it falls until the conical base stops it. Ring size measurements are marked at regular intervals on the side, but may offer an “in between” result for half-sizes that are difficult to read.
The Gauge Method
Looking similar to a ring of keys, ring gauges are a set of “dummy” rings, typically made of plastic or metal in graduating sizes. Unlike other measuring methods, ring gauges allow the wearer to feel what a new ring in the target size would feel like on the hand. Gauges typically incorporate half-sizes as well as full sizes, and some more comprehensive sets may even offer quarter sizes for better accuracy.
The DIY Approach: String/Ribbon Method
Simple but often inaccurate, this method involves wrapping a string or ribbon around the finger. Once the proper fit has been achieved with the string, it is removed and laid flat to measure the correct ring size. This method is generally not recommended to size for fine jewelry, as it’s easy to pull the string more snugly than a solid ring band would fit. It’s also easy to lose your place when unwinding the string, which can skew the measurements. If this ring fitting method is the only one available, be sure to perform it several times to determine the average.
Ring Sizing Kit
Another option you have is to buy a ring sizing kit online. Since there are different kinds of kits, some will contain sample rings while others will contain a small measuring tape that easily wraps around your finger. Both will include a wide range of ring sizes, usually from 1 to 13, so you can use it for measuring both men and women.
All you have to do is try each size on until you find the perfect fit. To ensure your ring is the right size, make sure it is not too tight. It should slide over the knuckle with just a touch of resistance. This will keep it from falling off, but ensure it will not be impossible to take off when needed. If you have larger knuckles, it is recommended to size up by a half size to ensure you can slide the ring into place on the finger. You can usually find these at a fairly inexpensive price, but before you buy one, ask your friends and family if they own a tool like this. That way you can determine your ring size without taking funds away from your overall ring budget.
Ring Size Chart for Women
The size of a finger is typically recorded in millimeters to be as precise as possible. Because of this, ring sizes are usually shown with a matching millimeter finger size. Matching these measurements to the closest degree is the best way to determine your ring size.
Men and women tend to vary greatly in standard ring sizes. The average ring size of a woman is between 6 and 8, while the average size of a man’s is between 9 and 11. However, that does not mean you will necessarily fall into these parameters. Many people live outside the average ring size as referenced in a ring size chart for women and men. But no fear, finding beautiful engagement rings for small hands or large hands that fit your style and finger isn’t as daunting as you may think.
According to the U.S. and Canadian measurement scale, ring size can range from 3 to 13.5 for adults, with a size 3 measuring at 14mm and a size 13.5 measuring at 22.6mm. For better reference, ring size increases by a 0.4 mm increment for every half size up.
Accuracy in Ring Sizing
Historically, the wedding ring rose to popularity because the ring finger was thought to contain a vein that traveled straight to the heart. The wisdom of wedding rings imagined that symbolic jewelry placed on this finger echoed the love the wearer felt in their heart. Biology aside, these beliefs did get one thing right – there is a great deal of blood flow in your fingers. That means that everything from hot weather to water retention, or from medical issues to new medication can affect the girth of your finger and knuckle.
In order to prevent sizing mishaps, be sure to measure your ring size at various times of the day, as well as after exercising or a stint of hard physical work. Depending on how drastically your ring size fluctuates, you may want to size up or down to ensure a comfortable, even fit throughout your daily activities and local weather patterns. Additionally, if your knuckles are larger than average, be sure to size up a half size to allow your new ring to slide on easily.
If you don’t typically wear a ring every day, it might also be a good idea to wear a plain ring for a few weeks to make sure you’ll be used to the weight and feel of it. That way, when it comes time to slip on a beautiful engagement ring or wedding band, you’ll be ready to show it off with pride, and work efficiently without needing to adjust it constantly.
Band Size is Only Step One
While many jewelry enthusiasts tend to think of ring sizing as a single number, there are a number of other considerations that should also be weighed in tandem. Since a ring is a piece of jewelry that you wear every day, it’s worth doing some research to learn how various factors of design can impact the fit. Here are some basic ring-sizing rules to consider when ring shopping for an engagement ring or wedding band:
- Band Width: Ring sizing is based on the left-to-right measurement of the inside of the band, but width captures the front-to-back measurement of the ring when it’s on a finger. If your band is too slender, a stone setting at the top has the potential to slump forward or back, subjecting the setting prongs to stress and less-than-optimal display. If the band is too wide, it may be uncomfortable, particularly if your job or hobbies require you to be active with your hands.
- Band Height: The measurement of the top-to-bottom of a ring covers how high the stone at the top of your ring sits. A shorter ring height is best for individuals that work with their hands, as this minimizes the chances the stone will bump up against objects or machinery and become damaged.
- Style Considerations: Ring fitting is most commonly defined as physical, but a great ring will also be a perfect fit with your personal style. Shop with an eye toward styles that match rings you already own; this will help you find a ring that will sit well on your finger and with your personal style.
Other Considerations for Ring Size
- It is better to buy a size up rather than a size too small. This is because it is easier to take metal out of a shank than it is to add it in. While jewelers usually include a complimentary resizing for rings that need to be sized down, you might have to pay more for a ring that needs to be sized up as it will need metal added.
- When trying to understand how to determine ring size, make sure to think about the different parts of a ring. Consider the size of the shank. Wider shanks tend to fit more snug than thin shanks. It’s best to size up a half size if your shank is on the thicker side.
- Remember that time of day and temperature can affect the size of a finger. If you decide to use the string or floss method, it is important to do it preferably in the early to mid-afternoon in room temperature. Hot temperatures can also affect finger size and may create sweat which interferes with accuracy.
- Keep in mind that the ring fingers on your left and right hands are not identical and may differ in size. Because the fingers of your dominant hand tend to be slightly bigger than those of the non-dominant hand, be sure to measure the right-hand ring finger for the most accurate size as opposed to the left-hand ring finger.
Find Your Perfect Fit
The key to the ring size chart for women isn’t as complicated as most may think. There are easy tips and tricks to determining the right ring size and effective methods to alter the size if necessary at any point. Follow an easy ring size guide to help you find the perfect new ring and adorn your finger with sparkling brilliance!