5 Sneaky Ways to Get a Ring Size
By Mary Elizabeth Linford, Founder of Glitter & Gold Studios.
There’s nothing more magical than that moment when you ask your partner to marry you! You plan the location, the time, and you even get other people involved. Most of all, you want it to be a surprise.
The issue that many of my prospective clients face is how to get the ring size without spoiling the big reveal. Whether you’re purchasing a ring or having one custom made, you want the ring to fit. So in this article, I share 5 tips and tricks that can help keep the surprise and get that ring size correct – and two common, but not-so-accurate, methods to avoid.
But first, a quick anatomy lesson:
Did you know that your hands are different sizes? It doesn't matter if you're right-handed or left-handed either! About 95% of the time, your right hand is going to be bigger, usually about ½ to 1 full size larger than the left hand. Tradition has it that you wear your wedding rings on your left ring finger.
Pro-tip: most people aren’t wearing rings on their ring finger yet (patience, my dear), so when you use these techniques be sure to remember which finger you’ve measured!
Depending on the style of the ring, an approximate sizing is usually all you need. In most cases, as long as you can get to within 1/2 to 1 size, quality rings in gold, platinum, and palladium can be adjusted. Rings with complex designs or gems going all the way around to the backside are, of course, the exception.
So, let’s get that ring size!
1. Corroborate with someone who knows them well.
Check with their mom, friends, or siblings. Someone close to them may know their ring size and are just waiting for you to ask! Or there may be a family heirloom that fits them. Of course, this is tipping your hand to someone close to them. And if you don’t want to do that, don’t worry… This is where the rest of my ideas come in handy.
2. Catch them in a ring-sizer.
I can mail you a set of plastic ring sizers. Sometimes it's enough to have them laying around... People will naturally gravitate towards them and will be curious and start playing.
Here are some excuses you could have as to why there’s a ring sizer laying around:
“I’m getting a ring sized and I have to send it out.”
“My mom needs my finger size for a ring she's planning on getting me.”
“I’m ordering a ring online for a friend.”
Then leave the ring sizers out (while you are watching) and your partner may try them on.
What if they don’t take the bait? Or you’re nervous they might catch on to the ruse? The sizers are great to have for a couple of my other ideas. Just keep them tucked away!
3. Raid their jewelry box (by candlelight!?!).
Find a ring that already fits them! Again they may be wearing it on a different hand so pay attention to which finger they wear it on.
If you can sneak the ring away for a moment you can do one of two things:
1: Slide the ring onto a tapered candle, mark it top and bottom, and then slide the sizers on the candle and note the size. Tip: You will need a candle with a nice taper so that you have the best variety of small to large finger sizes.
Don’t have a candle? Don’t worry…
2: Take that ring that fits them and try it on one of your fingers. Then, take your ring sizers and match the size to that finger on your hand. Note the size that is the closest and send that my way!
3: If you can sneak the ring away, bring that ring to a jeweler and have the size read professionally.
4) Take them to a carnival or art market!
A lot of craft fairs or markets feature silver jewelry, and often they'll have rings categorized by size. You can ‘stumble across’ these vendors (“hey babe, let’s go over here…”) and ‘shop’ the rings. Maybe take a moment and say “hey, try this on,” or “ I think this one might look good on you… what do you think?” You may want to circle back around to the vendor to confirm the size of the ring, as they may not be labeled.
Too obvious? Enlist one of their friends to take them instead.
5) Sneak a photo when they’re sleeping.
The last-ditch effort, if none of these other methods work, is to take a picture of your partner's hand. This is often done while they’re sleeping. The important piece is to have an object that's used for scale right next to their hand. This may be a quarter, or a dollar bill, or something common enough that I would also have one on hand to measure. You’d be surprised how well this works! The key is to have the item right next to their hand – not too high or too low – to avoid issues of scale.
Two methods to avoid:
Now that you’ve learned about the most effective methods, there are two popular methods that really don't work:
A piece of string or paper wrapped around the finger. Not only is this going to give away the surprise, it also isn't very accurate. Unfortunately, the “string-method” doesn’t account for the fact that the ring needs to glide over the knuckle. So, the ring usually ends up being too small.
Using the paper-sizer templates found online. This doesn’t work for the same reasons as the string method above, not to mention the possibility of discrepancies that could occur from printing. With both the paper and the string method, you’d risk giving away the surprise.
Still stuck? Feel free to reach out and we’ll figure this out together!
Give me a call or message me and we'll find a solution!