People resize rings for many different reasons. For some it is weight loss or weight gain, and for others it is simply to be able to wear the ring on a different finger. Resizing is very common and can be done on most rings, but there are some exceptions. To better understand when sizing can and cannot be done, one must understand the process.
Making a Ring Smaller
Decreasing the band size on a ring is fairly easy when done by a jeweler. For the ring to be made smaller, the jeweler must cut out a small portion of the band. The ring must then be reshaped to the proper circular shape and then it can be soldered back together. The jeweler must make a weld that is virtually invisible, and it must then be polished and smoothed so that no indication of the sizing is visible.
This method can easily be used for rings with a plain shank or band. Rings which are ornate or have a design which carries around the complete band will need to be rebuilt over the sizing. There is sometimes an area on ornate rings which has been left for resizing. This area, however, is usually used for making the ring larger instead of smaller.
Some rings have jewels all around the band or are channel style less than half way around the band, and may require the jeweler to remove the gems before sizing. This depends on the setting and pattern. For rings being made smaller, the diamonds or gems may be moved to balance the setting of the ring.
Making a ring larger
Increasing the size of a ring can be done two ways. When a ring needs to be made just slightly larger, sometimes a jeweler can stretch the ring to the desired size. The ring needs to be cut and an additional piece of the shank or band soldered in if the size increase is a half size or larger. If a jeweler needs to resize an ornately patterned ring, or one with jewels throughout the band, the sizing can pose a problem. The jeweler will discuss options with you which may include changing the setting.
Rings not to re-size
You should not try to re-size a ring which has channel set stones more than half way around the band. If the ring has an elaborate setting or certain types of gems, some of the stones may need to be removed and reset before the ring can be sized. If the ring is an antique or is an older white gold ring, there may be some discoloration around the repair area. It is not always possible for the jeweler to know the cause of the discoloration. Most jewelers will make every effort to minimize lines or discoloration on the ring. Usually it is only noticeable with the use of a magnifying glass. It is imperative that you discuss options with your jeweler.
Celtic rings with the design all the way around the band can be made slightly larger or smaller without distorting the pattern. Increases or decreases of a significant amount are usually not successful without distortion to the pattern.