How to Measure Ring Size

If you’re not sure how to measure ring size, this article is for you. It’s important to know the correct ring size, because a ring that is too small or too big can ruin your important gift or proposal.

In this article, we explain how to measure ring size, what happens if your ring needs to be resized, and 4 ways to measure ring size in secret so you don’t spoil a surprise.

What is ring size?

Ring size is a measurement for the diameter of a ring. This measurement has to match the circumference of your finger. In the UK, there are 26 different ring size measurements ranging from letter A to letter Z. From one letter to another, the ring size goes up by 1.25mm, with half sizes in between.

How to Measure Ring Size

Why does ring size matter?

To buy a ring, you must know the size of the wearer’s finger. Otherwise, the ring will be too big or too small. This is especially important if you’re buying a ring as a gift or for a proposal. Why? Because you can be sure the recipient will want to wear the ring straight away! If the size is wrong, it can ruin the big moment.

How to measure ring size

Don’t try to measure ring size at home with a measuring tape or other DIY methods. There are only 3 reliable ways to measure ring size:

1. With a ring sizer tool

One good way to measure your finger is with a ring sizer tool. This little gadget will give you, and your jeweller, an accurate measurement of your finger, for a perfectly fitting ring. Watch the video at the bottom of this article to see how a ring sizer tool works, and to order a ring sizer tool for FREE.

2. With a ring sizer app

A ring sizer app for your mobile phone is easy to use. For this, you will need an existing ring that the person wears. It should be a ring that fits the finger where the new ring will go. You simply place the existing ring on your phone’s screen and adjust the screen measurement until it matches the inside of the ring. Download a ring sizer app here for free.

3. Get your finger measured by a jeweller

The third realiable way to measure ring size is to take a trip to the nearest jeweller, and get your finger measured by a professional.

Measuring ring size in secret

Do you want your proposal or gift to remain a surprise? In that case, you’ll want to obtain the person’s ring size in secret. To do this, you have a few options:

  • Use a ring sizer app, as explained above. You’ll need an existing ring that the person owns to do this.
  • Some jewellers can offer you a stand-in ring in an estimated size. Afterwards, you can swap it for a correct-sized ring.
  • Ask the person’s family and friends if they know the ring size or if they can help you find out.
  • Tell a white lie, pretending you’re buying the ring for a family member. Try on rings with your intended gift recipient “to see see how the ring looks”. Don’t forget to note down the ring size.

Top tip: write down the ring size

Ring size is one of those things you think you’ll remember. But the truth is that you’ll forget it unless you write it down. That’s why you should make a note of it, or email it to yourself, so you’ll always have it to hand.

How to Measure Ring Size
A jeweller measuring the inside of a ring on a specialist measuring tool

How not to measure ring size

If you’re buying an important ring, like an engagement ring, it’s best not to measure ring size with home-spun methods. For example, a popular “hack” often seen on the internet advises you to tie a piece of string around a finger and then measure it.

However, this method will almost always end in disappointment because a string is soft and stretchy, while a real ring is rigid. Ring size can vary by a fraction of a millimetre, and therefore, nothing except a properly calibrated tool will give you the correct size.

What is the average ring size for men and women?

In the UK, according to the latest statistics, the average ring size for women falls between ring sizes L and N. For men, the average UK ring size is T.

What happens if a ring is too big?

If a ring is too big, it will slide up and down and around the finger. If it has a diamond or gem in the setting, the weight will make the ring swivel to the right or left. In the worst-case scenario, your ring will simply fall off and get lost.

Apart from being uncomfortable or falling off, if the ring’s band is too big it may lose its shape. Little by little, as the gold or silver gets pushed and pressured every time you return the ring to its correct position, the band will take on more of an oval or irregular form.

What happens if a ring is too small?

If a ring is too small, it will simply not fit your finger. Never force a ring on, as it may be very difficult to take off, or could even cut off the blood supply to your finger. At the very least, the band will feel uncomfortable and leave a deep indentation on your finger. In the long term, the band may snap, as your finger exerts pressure on the metal every day.

How to Measure Ring Size
Never force a ring that’s too small onto your finger!

What if your ring needs to be resized?

A ring resize has to be done by a specialist craftsperson. They will add or remove small amounts of metal to make up for the difference in size. As a result, your ring’s band may become slightly thicker or thinner. Finally, the ring’s band will need to be polished so no cuts or joins are visible.

Rings that cannot be resized

Some rings are difficult or even impossible to resize. For instance, eternity rings that have diamonds all around the band cannot be resized, they have to be made again from scratch. This is because each diamond has to sit at an equal distance from the next, they cannot overlap. Very ornate ring styles, such as bands with milgrain work, can also be impossible to resize without leaving noticeable marks.

How to Measure Ring Size
Eternity rings are very difficult to resize

Conclusion – How to measure ring size

The main thing to remember about ring size? You should always measure it with a proper measuring tool to avoid disappointment. If you’re planning a surprise, get some help from friends and family, or use a ring sizer app to measure an existing ring. Finally, getting the correct ring size means that your proposal or special gift will be memorable for the right reasons.

Order a free ring sizer