Remember This If Nothing Else: The Basics
- It's Always, Always, Always best to have your finger sized by a professional jeweler. You don't have to drive to the big city or to the fanciest store across town; any local jeweler should be able to accurately determine your correct ring size. Be sure to arrive prepared and tell them the width you would like, as well as other details such as Comfort vs. Standard Fit, etc. If you change your mind later on the style, width, fit, be sure to have your finger sized again and give the jeweler your new information.
- Don't rely on cut-out, paper sizers that can be printed online. While the length of the paper may be accurate, human error in cutting them out and stretching the paper in awkward ways often results in an inaccurate size. Paper sizers are good to get a ballpark estimate but are not accurate.
- Once you've picked out the perfect ring, carefully consider factors that can influence the size ring you will need: width, Comfort vs. Standard fit, time of year, diet, and several other factors described in detail below.
Standard Fit vs. Comfort Fit
Two of the most common fits for rings include Standard Fit and Comfort Fit, and it's important to understand the characteristics of both when determining the correct ring size. Standard Fit rings are completely or mostly flat on the inner surface, where more of the inner surface of the ring comes in contact with the finger. In contrast, Comfort Fit rings have a more rounded interior, where less of the inner surface of the ring touches the skin. Both types are an excellent choice, but certain individuals may benefit slightly from one fit versus the other. For example, men with larger knuckles often find that a Comfort Fit ring slides easier over the knuckle, whereas those with a small finger size often find that Comfort Fit rings fit slightly looser.
The most important factor to remember when choosing between Comfort and Standard Fit is this: Comfort Fit rings tend to fit looser than Standard Fit rings of the same size. As a general rule, when purchasing a Comfort Fit ring, and considering all sizing guidelines listed in this article, it's best to select a quarter to half size smaller than you would for a Standard Fit ring. If you visit a local jewelry store to have your finger sized (which we always recommend), tell the jeweler which fit ring you've selected, Standard or Comfort.
Factors That Can Affect Ring Size
- Seasonal Changes (winter vs. summer) - In the warmer months of the year, when our bodies are exposed to higher temperatures, blood vessels expand, which results in a slightly larger finger size. In the winter or on cold days, the exact opposite happens. It's important to keep these factors in mind when having your finger sized. Here's a helpful scenario to illustrate the point: Jill is meeting her boyfriend at the local jewelry shop to have her finger sized for an engagement ring. She's been waiting for this day for months and in her excitement arrives to the jewelry store early, 10 minutes before the store opens. Because Jill loves the brisk, cold temperatures of winter, she decides to stand outside while waiting. After her boyfriend arrives, they enter and the jeweler measures Jill's finger, but she's really on the fence between a size 6.5 and a size 7 engagement ring. In this scenario, we would recommend the size 7 engagement ring for Jill, because her finger is most likely slightly smaller than normal due to the cold temperature. Had the same situation occurred in the heat of summer, we would recommend that Jill choose the size 6.5 engagement ring.
- Diet - The foods we choose to eat not only affect our overall health, but can also greatly affect finger size. A meal high in salt can cause your finger to increase in size. Diets high in salt cause the body to retain more water, resulting in swelling, and a slightly larger finger size. It's also important to consider that many people go on extreme-type diets before a wedding in order to fit into a particular dress or suit. Try to look at the bigger picture of your overall lifestyle when selecting your ring size. Have you been stressed lately and eating meals particularly high in salt? Are you counting the days until the "I've got to fit into that dress, wedding diet" ends? Small considerations can make a big difference.
- Ring Width - As a general rule for Standard Fit rings, if you've selected a wide ring (larger width), it's better to go with a slightly larger size. This is due to the fact that with a wider ring, more of the ring's inner surface comes in contact with the finger. For rings that are 7mm in width or more, are you're on the fence between two sizes; go with the slightly larger size. The opposite is true for rings that are small in width. Please note that this general width guideline applies to Standard Fit rings (see the above section: Standard Fit vs. Comfort Fit.)
Help! The Ring is a Surprise Gift but I Don't Know His/Her Ring Size
Don't worry, we've heard this question many times and have a few tips to help determine your loved one's ring size without spoiling the surprise!
- Ask for help from their best friend. Your loved one's best friend most likely will be more than happy to help in the covert mission. Here's a helpful scenario with our imaginary couple, Jill and John, to illustrate the point: John intends to surprise Jill by proposing to her on her birthday. Everything is planned and John is excited but as he is looking at engagement ring, he realizes that he has no idea of Jill's ring size. John thinks a while and decides to ask for help from Debbie, Jill's best friend. Debbie is overjoyed to participate in her best friend's future happiness, so John and Debbie think of several options to find Jill's correct ring size, all without letting the cat out of the bag:
- Option 1: Debbie invites Jill to go shopping. On their outing at the mall, Debbie "conveniently" says "Hey, let's stop in the jewelry store. I've been looking for a new ring and would like your advise." Debbie already knows the style of ring that John has selected, as well as the width and if it's a Comfort or Standard Fit ring. Debbie asks the jeweler to see a ring with all of the attributes that John has selected and tries it on, admires it, and then says "I just can't decide. Jill will you try it on so that I can see how it looks on someone else." The ring is either loose or too tight so Debbie asks the jeweler to size Jill's finger for that specific style so she can get a better idea of how it looks. Sure, this is a little sneaky, but think of the joy Jill will feel after the proposal, and you can also come clean and laugh about how you found her ring size later.
- Option 2: If you live in the same house as your loved one, simply "borrow" your loved ones ring for a day (perhaps while they're at work), take it to a jewelry store, and have a jeweler size the ring. Please make sure that the ring you borrow is one that is worn on the same finger as the ring you intend to purchase. Also consider other sizing factors such as Comfort vs. Standard fit, width, etc. If choosing this option, just remember to be smart and use your best judgement. Never do anything that could potentially cause strife with your loved one.
- Option 3: Have the mother or best friend call your loved one and say something along the lines of: "I ordered a ring from a coworker who is now selling jewelry on the side. It's a two-for-one deal and since I don't need two of the same ring, I thought I'd give one to you. What size do currently wear?" There are many creative ways to find the correct ring size, without blowing the surprise. Always remember to act normal during your covert operation, but also keep in mind the joy you will be bringing to their life and the fun stories you'll have afterwards!