By Indra Jhaveri,
AMI Diamonds and Jewelry
During this month of love, everyone at AMI Diamonds and Jewelry wishes our neighbors a Happy Valentine’s Day. This holiday got us thinking about rings, as many people choose February 14 as a day to propose.
Once the perfect ring is selected, it often needs to be resized for the perfect fit. There are several ways to address this, considering each individual’s fingers are different. Depending on health situations, some individuals could have knuckle problems arise due to various medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, broken bones, etc. The proper fitting of a ring is essential for comfort and to ensure that it does not fall off.
It is necessary to either stretch the shank or to add metal when sizing up. Adding metal is the method most often used. To do this, the shank is cut through and a piece of the appropriate type of metal is added and soldered. Stones must be protected from the heat of the torch so stones may have to be removed and reset to be protected. Laser soldering offers such a precise application of heat that there is little possibility of risk to stones — even stones as delicate as opals and emeralds.
It is common to cut the shank to remove some metal and then solder it back together. One of the least expensive methods of sizing down is the installation of a “ring guard” strip on the bottom of the ring. These strips are commonly gold plated, or gold filled with clamps at either end that wrap around the shank and can be adjusted to be tighter or looser. Professional installation is recommended with this method as well.
When the knuckle is bigger than the digit, (a common issue with much of the population as many jewelers who do sizings will attest) this presents a different problem. Having to clear an over-sized knuckle, the inner diameter can be so large as to allow the ring to free float on the knuckle. One way of addressing the problem of over-sized knuckles is to attach two sizing dots to the inside of the shank. This allows the ring to slip past the knuckle yet still be snug on the digit and prevent spinning on the finger.
There are also several mechanical methods available that address the problem of over-sized knuckles. The first method is called a Butterfly Clamp, which uses a 14-karat white gold u-shaped strip about two-thirds of the size of the shank that is soldered to the bottom of the shank. The clamp is springy and therefore allows the ring to go over the knuckle, then hugs the digit.
The second method is ForeverFit™, a self-adjusting shank. This uses a small u-shaped piece of metal above a leaf-spring placed inside the shank. This replaces the original shank and the spring allows the diameter to increase and decrease as needed.
Another method is a completely hinged shank such as the Superfit®. The concept is similar to a hinged bracelet that is placed directly over the digit of the finger without going over the knuckle. The hinge and latch are built into a replacement shank. A small tool is used to press a switch that opens the back half of the shank. The ring is placed in the proper position and the shank is closed and latched. This method is secure and comfortable.
The final method is the AdjustoShank®, a hinged replacement shank. The bottom of the shank slides in two directions — one simply slides the shank open and after slipping past the knuckle, the shank is slid shut. This type can open up the inner diameter of a ring three complete ring sizes.
With all the options available, it is certain that a jeweler can find a method that is comfortable for every finger — and every pocketbook.