In an ideal world, the best way to accurately find your ring size is to visit a jeweller, who can measure your finger with a ring sizing tool and talk to you about fit, width, and how you intend to wear your jewellery. You will be able to try on a variety of accurately sized and graded rings until you get the perfect fit, and the jeweller will tell you what size you are. Sizes in the UK consist of a letter, and some jewellers use half-sizes too, a bit like shoes - so a ring size might be S, or S1/2, for example.
If you can’t get to a jeweller (none of us have been able to see an actual, in-person jeweller for a while now during the various pandemic-related lockdowns, and may not be able to for a while longer yet), there are a variety of other ways to find your ring size for a particular finger, by yourself, at home.
1. Use a simple ring sizer
This is a super simple tool, a little like a tiny belt.
Simply form a loop, place on the finger you wish to measure, and adjust until you get a good fit. You want the loop to move easily over the knuckle without having to force it, but not so loose that it moves too easily. Take it on and off a few times, adjusting a size smaller or a size bigger, so you can be sure you have the perfect size for your finger. The small arrow on the outside of the sizer will be pointing to a letter - this is your ring size.
When you’ve done, you can unloop the belt, and keep it flat and safe ready for use another time. Please do keep it and reuse it, or pass it on to a friend who needs one - this is plastic, but it shouldn't be single-use. You can find some in my shop here.
2. Measure a ring that you already have
You will need a ring that fits well on the appropriate finger - if you are able to take an accurate measurement, you can send this to your jeweller who should be able to convert it into a ring size for you.
Accuracy is key here - you will need to measure directly across the centre of the ring*, from one inside edge to the inside edge directly opposite. Fractions of millimetres are very important in jewellery and the more precise the measurement, the better. If you have access to a vernier gauge (a tool for precisely measuring outer and inner dimensions) this is ideal, but a very careful measurement with a ruler will work too. Chat it over with your jeweller first, to make sure you're both on the same page and that you're taking the measurement in the way that's needed for their methods.
*I should point out that you need a perfectly circular ring for this method - I make irregular-shaped rings, and it is possible to buy all sorts of other ring shapes, but to get a standard ring size you will need a traditionally round ring.
3. Use a printable ring size chart
Many high street jewellers have a chart on their website which is available to download and print.
The chart will look like a series of circles, from smaller to larger, each one labelled with the appropriate UK ring size. The circles represent the internal dimensions of that particular size ring, and the idea is for you to place your ring over the circles one by one until you find an exact match. There will be instructions on the chart so do make sure to read them carefully, and please do check with your jeweller if anything doesn’t seem right.
Hopefully one, or two, or a combination of these methods will work for you. But occasionally, especially if you need to be sure of your ring size before investing in a really special bespoke piece, you might want to discuss alternatives with your jeweller. As part of the commission process, for example, I can offer to make a small range of simple rings, usually in base metal (copper, ordinarily), that will be the same shape and profile of the finished piece, that the client can try on to get a more accurate experience of how the finished ring will feel. It’s still necessary to have a rough idea of finger size for this, so I know what trial sizes to make - if the client is roughly a size P, I might make, in copper, an O, P and Q, for example.
A few final tips:
A broad ring style, for example a very wide wedding band, will fit differently to a very narrow, petite ring, and it is not uncommon to need a size or two bigger when wearing a very broad or chunky ring.
It is perfectly normal for hands and/or fingers to swell in the heat and contract in the cold. Your hands will change shape throughout the day and throughout the year, and a ring that fits well on a March afternoon may feel too restricted in the heat of an August day, or too loose on a freezing winter morning. There is simply no way around this! But do bear it in mind when taking your readings from your ring sizers. I would recommend that you take a measurement at least three times throughout the course of a day - morning, afternoon and evening, so that you are aware of how little or how much your fingers fluctuate in size. When choosing ‘the’ size to ask for, go for the size that best fits you in around the middle of the day, as this should be a happy medium. If there’s a really significant difference in your finger size at various times of the day, you might like to speak to your jeweller about how best to accommodate this comfortably.
If your knuckles are rather larger than the rest of your fingers it can mean that once your ring has passed over the knuckle area it ends up feeling loose and large when sitting in place on the finger - again, this is not uncommon. In this case, you might want to think about combining, or 'stacking', 2 or 3 (or more!) rings together, which will help to 'fill in' the loose space on your finger. When worn together they will fit like a broader band, but they can be removed one at a time for ease of wear over the knuckle. This also makes for lots of fun ways to style your rings!
Ring sizers and charts to use at home can be very useful, but they are only as good as the care you take to use them, so take your time, and do get in touch if you have any questions.
If you have any questions or concerns about how any of my rings will fit, please feel free to get in touch! I am here to help you find a piece that’s perfect, and will be able to talk you through the options even if I can’t see you in person. You can email me at email@example.com, or find me on Instagram at @sarahruthstanfordjewellery.