Engagement Ring Resizing

Engagement Ring Size and Resizing: What You Need to Know

You have found the one with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and are getting ready to pop the question. You research diamonds and ring designs and choose an engagement ring that will be just perfect for them. But wait, there is one thing you don’t know – their ring size! Unlike a necklace or earrings, rings are one piece of jewelry where size really does matter. But don’t let the fact that you don’t know the correct ring size derail your engagement plans – we are here to give you all the information you need to know about assessing ring size and resizing a ring.

Ring Sizes

In Canada and the United States ring sizes follow a numerical scale which is based on the inner circumference of the ring. They come in full sizes, half sizes and quarter sizes. The average size of a lady’s ring is in and around a size 6, and the average size of a men’s ring is between size 8 and 10. However lots of people fall outside these numbers, with smaller or larger sizes needed.

Figuring Out the Engagement Ring Size

Many people try to figure out their partner’s ring size before they buy a ring, and there are a few ways you can attempt to do this.

Asking friends or family members can be a good way to find out. If you can covertly borrow a ring your partner wears and bring it to a jeweler, then they can measure the ring on a mandrel (a conical metal sizing tool) to find the correct size. However, the ring you borrow will need to be worn on the correct finger and be a similar width, or else the sizing will be off.

If you and your partner have talked about getting engaged, you can always stop by a jewelry store at the mall together and get their size “for in the future”.

Many online sites suggest wrapping a piece of paper or string around their finger while your partner sleeps, but this is not reliable enough to get an accurate reading.

If you do not know your partner’s actual ring size though it is not a problem for an experienced jeweler. At Kimberfire we help our customers estimate the ring size and then after the proposal we resize the ring to be the perfect fit, at no charge.

Professional Ring Sizing

After your best efforts to figure out the ring size, the perfect ring may still not be the perfect fit. Don’t sweat the small stuff (or the too big stuff) because your jeweler is here to help. When you come to get your engagement ring sized we will check the size of the current ring and then place various sized ring sizers on the finger. The ring sizers come in full and half sizes, but the ring can be sized between the two sizes as well.

There are some things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding what size is the right fit:

  • A wider ring will fit tighter than a thinner ring.
  • Temperature will affect your ring size, as fingers often swell in summer heat and shrink in cold weather.
  • Your finger can fluctuate in size through the day depending on temperature and water retention.
  • Adding another ring beside the ring (like a wedding band) will make the rings feel tighter as they cover more surface area.
  • A ring should slide easily over the knuckle when going on, and there should be some pull when you take it off.
  • Ring sizing is not an exact science as it really depends on the finger shape and how the person likes the ring to feel on their finger.

Something else to consider is that some people have knuckles which are much wider than the base of their finger, and this can cause the ring to spin around when worn (this is especially true for larger stones and top heavy rings). To counteract the spinning a jeweler can add sizing beads inside the ring, which makes the ring feel a bit tighter but still makes it possible to fit the ring over the knuckle.

How the Jeweler Resizes the Ring

There are two ways to resize a ring. The first is by placing the ring on a metal ring stretcher or compressor and using force to either stretch or compress the size. This method usually only works for plain wedding bands and cannot be used for rings with diamonds or gemstones, or those with intricate details.

The second method involves cutting the ring. To make a ring larger the ring is cut at the very bottom, and the two sides are moved further apart from each other. A new piece of metal (the same type of metal the ring is made of) is then added and soldered into place. The jeweler then polishes the ring so that the new area is undetectable. To make a ring smaller, the ring is cut at the base in two places and a piece of metal is removed. Then the two sides of the ring are brought together, soldered and polished. Don’t be alarmed at the thought of your ring being cut and set on fire – ring sizing is a routine process and a professional jeweler should be able to resize the ring without affecting its durability and without anyone being able to detect that the ring was altered in any way.

Potential Ring Resizing Issues

If you need to resize a ring more than two full sizes, you may run into problems depending on the ring’s design. Rings with intricate wire work or filigree will probably be too fragile for a large size change. Rings with gemstones set in them have to be resized very carefully so that the angles don’t change to the point that the stones are misaligned or fall out. In general, too great of a size adjustment can destroy the structural integrity of the ring and leave it misshapen or vulnerable to breakage.

If a ring has been resized more than a couple times it may run into issues such as thinning of the shank, and of the prongs if there are diamonds on the shank. If this happens the ring may need to be remade in the correct size.

Eternity rings with diamonds or gemstones encircling the entire ring cannot be sized. It is not recommended to buy this style of ring without knowing the correct ring size.

Men’s rings that are made in titanium, tungsten, ceramic or stainless steel may be extremely difficult or impossible to size and again are not recommended to buy without knowing the right size.

If your ring has an engraving on the inside or outside of the ring shank, it is very possible that it will be destroyed during sizing, and will have to be removed and completely redone.

A reputable jeweler should explain all these possible issues with you before any resizing is attempted.

The Perfect Fit

Once you have found the perfect size for your ring, it should be comfortable and secure. You shouldn’t worry about it falling off your finger or not being able to come off when you want it to. You can now wear your ring with confidence and show that beauty off to the world.

Engagement Ring Styles

Solitaire, Two-Stone and Three-Stone Engagement Rings

When you are setting out to find the perfect engagement ring, there are so many different styles and designs to choose from. How do you know where to start looking? Do you want something simple or embellished? Traditional or modern? Solitaire or multi-stone? If you aren’t quite sure what styles you like, a bit of jewelry education can help make the task a bit easier. Today we look at three styles of engagement rings which have been popular throughout history – solitaire, two-stone and three-stone diamond rings.

One of a Kind: One-Stone, Solitaire Engagement Rings

The most classic of all engagement ring styles is the diamond solitaire. The solitaire ring is a band of metal set with a single diamond. This style of ring can be traced back to Ancient Rome, and was usually a gold band set with one uncut diamond. Some of these Roman rings still exist today, owned by museums or collectors. Diamond cutting was invented in the Early Middle Ages, and primitive diamond cuts such as the point and table cut, were held in place by gold bezels. As diamond cutting and goldsmith techniques improved, the bezels were often made in silver or gold and backed with silver foil to show off the diamond’s colour and sparkle better. Some antique designs used prongs to hold the diamond in place, but they differed from the styles of today in that the diamond was sunk deep into the metal to secure it. In the early 1800’s setting diamonds ‘a jour’ became popular, which was a style where the back of the setting was pierced open to allow more light to enter the diamond. In 1886 Tiffany and Co. debuted their ‘Tiffany’ setting, which was a 6-prong solitaire setting that held the diamond high above the band. This setting was revolutionary as it showed off every angle of the diamond and enhanced the stone’s brilliance. The Tiffany setting is still one of the most popular diamond settings in the world today. Modern settings can have 4, 5, 6 or more prongs holding the diamond in place. Like the Tiffany setting, most of today’s solitaires have the diamond raised up above the band. The solitaire setting may seem a simple choice, but in fact there is a lot of variation to choose from, like metal colour, diamond shape, the number of prongs, the style of the band and the design of the setting itself. The solitaire ring is the perfect choice for someone who wants their diamond to be the center of attention. This elegant and classic design ensures that this type of ring will never be a passing trend and will maintain its appeal for generations to come.

It Takes Two: Two-Stone Engagement Rings

The second type of engagement ring we are going to look at is the two-stone diamond engagement ring. This style of ring has gained popularity lately with many jewelry stores promoting these designs. The two stones can represent two people joining together in love, or one stone for friendship and the other for love. While the two-stone ring seems to be a rather new concept, rings with two central elements trace back to Roman times when wedding bands featured two hands shaking, representing the marriage contract. In the Middle Ages, a popular style of marital ring was the gimmel ring, named after the Latin word for twin. The gimmel ring consisted of two interlocking hoops that, when connected, formed one single ring. Each gimmel ring would have a gemstone set in a bezel setting, and when the two rings joined together the stones sat side by side. In 1776 Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to Josephine de Beauharnais with a two-stone “Toi et Moi” ring (“you and me” in French). The ring featured a pear shaped blue sapphire and a pear shaped diamond set opposite each other. This ring become one of the most famous engagement rings in history and started the “Toi et Moi” trend. Victorian era rings often featured two pear shaped gems that were set beside each other to form a heart shape, usually topped with a crown or a bow. Rings from the Edwardian era and Art Deco periods featured two stones (usually diamonds) flanked by a curving band in a bypass setting. After the Art Deco style fell out of favour, two-stone rings weren’t commonly seen as engagement rings. But like all trends, what goes around comes around and the last few years have seen a rise in this style of ring again. The two-stone engagement ring is perfect for the person who is a romantic and likes to be a little bit different from the rest. It is also a great choice for someone who may not be able to afford one large diamond, but still wants something that looks significant on their finger.

Third Time’s a Charm: Three-Stone Engagement Rings

The three-stone ring is often called a trinity or trilogy ring and it first came into style during the Victorian times. This style of ring traditionally displayed three stones of the same shape and cut with the center stone being the largest, although they could all be the same size as well. The three stones are symbolic, although there are different opinions on what they represent. The most popular belief is that the three stones stand for past, present and future, with the “present” stone being the most important. This idea was heavily promoted by De Beers and lead to the three-stone diamond ring becoming a popular anniversary gift. Other meanings of the three stones have been “friendship, love and fidelity”, the words “I love You”, and “father, mother and child”. The last few decades have seen this style of ring become popular as an engagement ring. The three-stone ring is fantastic because it comes in a huge variety of designs. The style can look classic using three stones of the same cut, such as three round brilliants or three princess cut diamonds. Or it can look completely modern using different combinations of stones, such as an emerald cut diamond set with two trilliant cut stones, or an oval diamond being set with two pear cut stones. The options are literally endless, with variations in metal choices, graduated or non-graduated sized stones, setting styles, combinations of diamond cuts or adding coloured gems into the mix. The three-stone engagement ring is a great choice for someone who is sentimental and symbolic. The wide variety of options means the three-stone ring can appeal to both the traditional and the modern jewelry wearer.

Endless Possibilities

The types of engagement rings I have covered above only describe three options out of a limitless number of ring designs. There are, of course, the popular halo engagement rings, five-stone rings, eternity bands and the list goes on and on. If you are still trying to find the perfect engagement ring, a great place to look for inspiration is on Kimberfire’s Pinterest page where we have curated a fantastic collection of images.

Marriage Proposal Ideas

15 Memorable Marriage Proposal Ideas

You have fallen deeply in love with someone and have decided you want to spend the rest of your life with them. You know this person will be the perfect partner to grow old with, and you buy a ring. You are so excited to propose and cannot wait, except for one small thing…. you don’t know how you are going to ask the question! I am here to help with some creative proposal ideas and, in case my ideas aren’t for you, I’ll also guide you to some expert advice. Let’s start with the ideas…

First Date Memories

Take your love to the place where you had your first date, where you can sit and reminisce. You can present the ring once you are both feeling nostalgic, bringing your relationship full circle.

Beach Time

Go to a nice beach together and when you arrive have “Will you marry me?” written in the sand or with pebbles. The location and message will be the perfect backdrop for all your proposal photos.

Furry Best Friend

Are you a doggy parent? Writing “Will you marry me?” on your dog’s collar or on a sign around it’s neck is a sure-fire way to get a yes!

In the Clouds

Propose in the sky! Hire a small airplane to fly an aerial sky banner or sky-write your proposal in the clouds.

Scavenger Hunt

Create a personalized scavenger hunt around your home, with each clue bringing your partner closer to the ring.

Jumbotron

Propose on the scoreboard during a sporting event. Note that this is only a good idea if the person you are proposing to is a huge fan of the team, and crowds!

Surprise Street Art

Have a street artist or caricaturist draw you and your partner on the street, having previously arranged for them to incorporate your partner’s name and “Will you marry me?”. When the artist presents the finished drawing, it will be a huge surprise.

Holiday Love

December holiday proposals are extremely popular, and no proposal list would be complete without them. Luckily, I previously wrote a blog covering the topic of fantastic holiday proposal ideas.

The Highest of Heights

Propose at a great height, whether it be on a mountaintop or a rooftop patio. If you want to take it even further, go on a helicopter tour or up in a hot air balloon. Something about being high up with the one you love is so romantic.

Meal Time

Say it with food. Take your love to a romantic restaurant and have the chef write the proposal on the dessert plate. Perhaps cook up a gourmet meal at home to pop the question. Are you proposing to a coffee lover? Have a custom mug made with the question inside at the bottom, so your message is revealed as they finish drinking.

Game Time

Play a trivia game with your partner and have one of the trivia cards ask “Will you marry me?”. Alternatively, put together a puzzle that has the same question, so they don’t see the message until it is complete.

Ferris Wheel

Take a ride on the Ferris wheel at a fair or amusement park, and have the operator stop when you reach the top. Then pull out the ring and ask your question.

Photo Book

Create a photo book of memories the two of you have had together. When they reach the last page, have a photo of you on it holding a sign that says “Will you marry me?”.

Fireworks

Proposing during a fireworks display is always a great time, as it is usually a public holiday and everyone is enjoying themselves. It also guarantees your partner will be looking up at the sky and won’t notice when you kneel down and pull out the ring.

Parisian Elegance

In front of the Eiffel Tower! Okay, I know that not everyone can afford to fly to Paris just to propose, but there is no more romantic place to be than in the city of lights. It’s a classic for a reason. If taking a trip isn’t in the cards, then perhaps re-create the setting in your home town. You can set up your living room like a French bistro, complete with a live violinist and fairy lights.

So those are my ideas and while I think it’s a great list, I know that some people are looking for something different. Maybe you want something a bit more personal and customized. Perhaps you want a professional photographer waiting to catch the moment. Or perhaps you don’t know what you want at all and you need someone to help guide you. Well did you know there are professional proposal planners who offer that very service?

Luxe Proposals is a luxury proposal planning company which serves Toronto and Vancouver. They offer customized ideas, full service design and coordination to bring your proposal vision to life. You just email them with your proposal date and a brief description and they will help create your perfect proposal. You can choose from one of their signature packages or have it completely customized. They will create a step-by-step itinerary and will make sure your proposal is kept a surprise. Those who are looking for a truly unique and luxurious proposal need look no further than Luxe Proposals.

There will also be people who don’t want a huge elaborate proposal, but prefer something very simple and sweet. To them I’d say, do what suits you and your relationship best. In the end, the proposal is just the very beginning, and there will be much more to come in your adventures together.

Engagement Ring Maintenance

The Do’s and Don’ts of Engagement Ring Maintenance

You’re recently engaged and it was the most romantic moment of your entire life. You are thrilled to make a lifetime commitment to the one you love and are filled with joy. And let’s not forget your new engagement ring! It’s so beautiful and sparkly that you just can’t take your eyes off it. You can’t believe you are lucky enough to get to wear a diamond ring like this every day of your life. But then you begin to wonder, how am I supposed to take care of this ring? Am I allowed to wear it swimming? Can I work out with it on? All these questions are running through your mind. At Kimberfire we are engagement ring specialists and we want to help answer all your questions about keeping your ring in tip top shape!

DO get your engagement ring insured.

Your engagement ring was most likely a large purchase and one in which you would be very upset if it became damaged or lost. Insurance will give you peace of mind that if something happens to your ring you will be able to replace it with something just as beautiful. Some people can add their engagement ring on to their homeowner’s insurance, and if you go this route please make sure the insurance covers the ring even when it is outside of the house, as it is not always covered otherwise. Another option is to use an insurance agency such as Jewelers Mutual, which offers specialized insurance for jewelry.

DON’T take off your ring when you are out in public.

Taking off your ring and leaving it somewhere by accident is one of the easiest ways to lose your jewelry. Always keep it on your finger until you are back home, and then try to keep it in the same place every time you take it off.

DO clean your ring at home.

One of the most common questions we get from our clients is how to keep their ring clean in between professional cleanings. Well the answer is simple! Buy yourself a brand new, soft-bristle, baby’s toothbrush, and brush the ring in warm water with a little drop of dish detergent and then rinse it clean. This will remove the built up dirt and grime and keep your diamond sparkling.

DON’T wear your ring when cleaning the house.

While household cleaners work wonders on the house, the harsh chemicals in bleach, chlorine and acetone can erode the metals in your ring, while powder cleaners contain abrasives which will scratch the metal.

DO get your ring checked if you notice a diamond has become loose.

You may notice your diamond makes a small clicking sound when you tap the ring near your ear, or you may be able to spin the diamond with your finger. In either case it’s best to stop wearing the ring and take it to your jeweler to get it tightened. Stones can become loose due to prolonged wear over the years, or they can become loose by the metal accidentally being hit or dinged. Your jeweler should be able to get the stone tight and secure for continued wear.

DON’T wear your ring to the gym.

While some physical activities like aerobics will probably not hurt your ring, there are some exercises that most definitely will. A common cause of ring damage is weight lifting. The steel of the weights is harder than both platinum and gold and can make hammer like dents in the metal. Heavy weight lifting can also distort the shape of the ring so that it is more of an oval instead of round. When the metal becomes distorted it may cause the prongs on the diamonds to become loose and a stone may fall out. Golf and tennis are two other sports which can cause a great deal of damage to your ring.

DO have your ring professionally serviced once a year.

Your jeweler should clean and examine your ring once a year to make sure the diamonds are secure. Every few years you may want to get your ring re-polished if it is quite scratched up. Those who have white gold rings may want their ring re-plated with rhodium to get it back to its bright white colour.

DON’T wear your ring swimming.

An easy way to lose your ring is in the water when it is more slippery on your finger, and you may not notice while you are playing in the waves. Pools and hot tubs are no better as prolonged exposure to chlorine can cause damage and discolouration to white gold.

DO show off your ring proudly.

Your engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment and you should share that with the world!

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your ring looking as beautiful as the day it was received, as we know it is something very precious and special to you. If you have any other questions about ring or diamond care please contact us at Kimberfire and we will be glad to help.

White Gold Engagement Rings

White Gold Jewelry and Rhodium Plating

One of the most popular ongoing trends for engagement rings is that of white diamonds set into bright white metal. This white jewelry look is very modern and clean and has maintained its popularity for quite some time now. To achieve this all-white effect, diamonds are set into either platinum or white gold. Platinum is naturally a very white metal, but is the heavier and more expensive option. White gold is less costly and a lighter metal, but isn’t naturally a bright white colour. Therefore, white gold jewelry is almost always plated with a rhodium coating as standard practise in the industry.

Gold Alloys

Pure 24K gold is only found in one colour, and that is yellow. However, 24K gold is extremely soft and unsuitable for jewelry purposes, so the pure gold is mixed with other metals to create better working properties. This process is called alloying, and it can also be used to change the colour of the gold. White gold is created when pure gold is mixed with at least one other white metal, such as palladium, manganese, nickel, silver or zinc. 14K white gold is 58.3% pure gold while 18K white gold is 75% pure, with the remainder being a white metal. Although white gold is much whiter than yellow gold, it still has a slight shade of yellow or gray. It gained its popularity for jewelry use in the 1920s as a less costly alternative to platinum.

Rhodium and Electroplating

In the 1930s silversmiths began rhodium plating sterling silverware as they found this reduced the tarnishing and therefore the constant need to polish. This was then applied to white gold as well, as it made the jewelry look much whiter and similar to platinum.

Rhodium is a member of the platinum group of metals and is quite rare and expensive. It is hypo-allergenic, highly resistant to wear, tarnish and corrosion and it has high light reflection. Solid rhodium is rarely used in jewelry as it is extremely expensive and is a very brittle metal. It is much more cost effective and practical to use it as a plating. The official name of this process is called electroplating, where the piece of jewelry is submerged in a heated bath of rhodium solution and then an electric current is run through the bath using the jewelry as a cathode. This causes the rhodium in the solution to bond onto the jewelry. The solution is a mix of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid or a combination of both, mixed with rhodium and water. A relatively small amount of rhodium can be used to plate many jewelry pieces, keeping the cost of the process down.

Care of Rhodium Plated Jewelry

The one drawback of rhodium plating is that it will wear off over time. The length of time depends on a few factors, such as the amount of wear and roughness the ring receives, its exposure to environmental factors and the wearer’s own body chemistry. Some people can wear a rhodium plated ring for three years before needing a re-plating, while others will need it re-plated more frequently. It is not wise to re-plate more than once a year because, while the rhodium plating doesn’t affect the jewelry, the jewelry does needs to be thoroughly cleaned and re-polished to remove all the old plating and re-polishing removes trace amounts of metal. This won’t affect your jewelry, provided it is not done too frequently, although over-polishing will eventually impact durability. The plating does not affect any diamonds or gemstones which are set into the metal, although it could affect some natural materials such as pearls.

At Kimberfire we provide complimentary cleaning and re-plating up to once a year for any of our white gold jewelry pieces, to ensure they maintain their bright white colour. Whenever you are purchasing white gold jewelry you should ask the jeweller about rhodium plating and if they include re-plating in their care policy, as it is important to know all the costs to be incurred in properly maintaining your purchase. White gold jewelry is both beautiful and popular and it is essential to know how to keep it looking its best throughout the years.