Most people visit a goldsmith for the first time because they’d like a ring resizing, so what better way to begin our workshop blogs than a step-by-step guide to how we make a ring bigger here at PA Jewellery.
Firstly, we look at how your ring would cope with the process. Sizing a ring up involves some bending, heating, and hammering so we need to check the following things:
- Are there stones set a lot of the way around the ring?
- Are there deep dips cut into the inside of the ring to reduce the overall weight of it?
- Is there any engraving?
- Will it be going up a lot of sizes?
There are a few more things that we need to think about, but if you’re considering a resize and have just answered ‘no’ to all those questions then there’s a high chance that we can make your ring bigger with no trouble at all!
Answering ‘yes’ doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be resized, just that we may need to give you a bit of advice first, so please ask as there may be a solution.
Next up, the fun bit.
I’m going to use the example of sizing a platinum and diamond solitaire ring up three sizes.
We submerge any stones in a little pot of water and gently heat the back of the shank with a blowtorch, this will show us if it already has any joins in it. If we find a join we’ll get a saw and cut through it (if there isn’t a join we’ll just cut it in the middle).
Now the ring is ready for us to add metal into. We have a look through our reserved Platinum, usually jewellery that we have bought from customers. We very rarely use new metal because it’s endlessly recyclable.
What we’re looking for is a piece that is slightly wider and thicker than the ring that we’re resizing. Once an appropriate piece of metal has been found we cut out a piece of the correct length (one size is generally 1.1-1.5mm), then very gently open out the cut that we have made in the ring with specially shaped pliers.
The piece that we’re adding then gets delicately balanced into the gap that we’ve just made for it, the stone goes back into the little water pot to protect it, and the piece of platinum is soldered in place using a blowtorch.
What we’ve now got is a ring that isn’t round and has a big lump of platinum in the back of it, but that’s ok, all jobs go through an ugly stage. The next thing to do is work on blending in the new piece. We use a half-round shaped file to blend the inside of the ring first because that’s the most important bit for now. Once the new piece is nice and level with the inside of the ring, we can check if we’ve got the size right.
The ring goes onto a steel mandrel (which is just a big steel cone for making things round) and we gently hammer around it to encourage it to be a perfect circle again. After that we can put it on a ring stick and check that we have the new size bang on.
Once that’s done we can carry on blending until the piece isn’t visible at all. This involves checking the shape of the ring from all angles. Personally, I do the following:
- Use the curved side of my half-round file to blend the inside of the ring, as above.
- Use the flat side of my half-round file, working across the piece to blend the sides of the ring.
- Turn my focus back to the inside of the ring and use the curve of my file so that the piece blends in neatly from the inside to the side.
- File the outside of the ring with the flat side of my file so that the ring is a consistent thickness.
- Lastly, blend the outside to the sides with the flat file.
All of this is photographed below.
The only thing that it needs after all that is a good polish and clean and it’s like we were never there! In fact, the before and after photos should look exactly the same – besides the fact that my fingers are dirty afterwards.
If you’re at all apprehensive about getting a ring resized I hope that knowing some more about the process is helpful and you can feel reassured that all of the goldsmiths at PA Jewellery will do exactly what is best for your ring at all times.
If you have any questions about resizing or any other repairs or alterations, please do ask. Our experienced team of jewellers and goldsmiths will be able to help.