It’s the dream moment: You’re down on one knee, your SO just said “yes,” and you slip the beautiful ring on his or her eager finger. To anyone planning a proposal, you know there’s a lot that goes into the moment, but one thing’s for sure: You really want the ring to fit perfectly.
Whether it’s for you or for someone special—this guide can help ensure that once it’s time to slip that precious piece of metal on, it’ll never have to come off.
The good news: There’s a standard scale for men’s and women’s wedding ring sizes. Basically, sizes are representative of the inner circumference of the ring in millimeters. Unfortunately, just like with clothing, different ring brands might vary slightly in their sizing, so be sure to check sizing charts for any variations. Additionally, while North America utilizes a numerical scale (that consists of half and quarter sizes), international scales may be different, so if you’re shopping abroad, keep an eye out for differentiations in size determination.
So, how do you figure out what size you need with so many moving pieces? It’s all about measuring, shopping smart, and understanding what it means for a wedding ring to fit properly. Getting your finger measured by the store or jeweler where you’re purchasing your engagement ring is the best way to determine your size.
Whether you’ve never worn a ring or you just want to ensure this very special piece fits securely, selecting the right ring size is vital. But how do you actually know if it feels right? Keep the following in mind to ensure you find the perfect fit:
Though professional measuring eliminates any discrepancies over size charts and provides the peace of mind of a professional’s seal of approval, sometimes it’s simply not possible. Here’s how to figure out your size if you’re selecting and ordering an engagement ring from home.
Most jewelers and companies provide printed size charts you can compare to a ring that already fits. While Google has tons of options that will give you an idea, it’s a good idea to reach out to the company you’re buying from. For this method, you simply place the ring over the variously-sized printed circles to determine the correct fit.
Another great—and free—way to find your correct ring size at home is to use either a printable ring sizer or a piece of string. For the printable ring sizer, just print it out and cut a small slit where indicated. Then, with the numbers facing out, slip the tip of the sizer through the slot. From there, you’ll pull the sizer taut on your finger (where the ring will sit) and read the finger size.
The string test is another classic method, because it’s simple, doesn’t involve any printing, and is free. First, wrap a piece of string or floss around your ring finger and either cut it where it overlaps or make a small (yet visible) mark with a pen. Then, line the string up with a ruler (or ring size chart, if your jeweler has one) to see where the mark hits. Standard ring sizes (which come in half-sizes) are measured at 0.4-millimeter increments. To give you an idea, size three equals 14mm, size 3.4 equals 14.4mm, size four equals 14.8 mm, and so on.
It’s good to note, however, that there may be sizing variations depending on things such as printer settings or stretch of the string as well as general jeweler differentiations. If possible, use any and all tools or tips provided by the website you’re purchasing from. And when in doubt, reach out to the company with any questions before putting down your credit card number.
Most jewelers use a mandrel in-store to determine your correct ring size. The tool is basically just a graduated metal wand with markers for different sizes. If you have a ring you wear or know that fits, this is a great way to get a fairly accurate measurement. Simply slip the ring on the mandrel and when it stops, that indicates the size of the ring. Mandrels are relatively inexpensive online, so if you’re shopping from home, this is an ideal solution.
Another ideal solution to figuring out your ring size from home is to purchase a ring sizer. Whether plastic or metal, ring sizers look like a keychain with a whole bunch of different rings attached. Each of the rings come with their sizes marked (and usually include sizes one through 13). You simply slip each ring on until you find one that fits just right. These tools can be purchased online—just make sure to remember that different companies’ rings may vary slightly in size, so if the specific boutique sells or provides its own sizers, opt to purchase from them.
When debating between sizes or making a selection, keep these tips in mind to help determine your perfect ring size:
If you’re trying to figure out your SO’s ring size without him or her knowing (yay!), there are a few super sneaky ways to get the dirt without spilling the secret:
There’s a chance your future fiance already knows his or her ring size, especially if they wear jewelry often. Consider asking a close friend or family member to see if they know this information—odds are your SO told a pal in hopes you might ask around. Even if you do get the 411, consider reinforcing this information by utilizing another method to ensure the fit is still good.
If they haven’t said anything to a friend, see if you can have a pal work it into the conversation and report back, double-agent style.
If your person wears a ring often (especially if it’s on the ring or middle finger), this is an easy way to figure out the size without them ever knowing. If you can manage to snatch it up and take it to the jeweler without causing too much panic, the jeweler will be able to determine exactly what size you need.
If, however, he or she only ever takes their rings off briefly and you have to act fast, there is a solution: Get a new bar of soap and press their existing ring into it. This will create an imprint which you can then take to a jeweler. Otherwise, slip the ring on your own finger and take note of exactly where it lands. It’s not perfect science, but it will get you close enough to the size (and hopefully you can resize later, if needed).
In the modern age, buying a ring online is common, but it does come with a few caveats. Shopping online allows you to see a wide variety of engagement ring styles, however, it does have its downfalls. While forgoing a classic boutique might mean lower costs and more options, you do need to be cautious as you move forward. First, only buy from reputable sellers. Be on the lookout for extensive FAQ pages, customer reviews, and plenty of photos and videos. Read up on the return policy, resizing options, and warranty to ensure you’re prepared for any needed alterations. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the store to send additional photos, assets, or even hope on a Facetime or Skype call—you’re making a big purchase, so ask all the questions and, if something doesn’t feel right, chances are it’s not.