Getting an Accurate Ring Size for Your Inlay Ring

Gray dinosaur bone ring with white sapphires in sterling silver

Ring inlaid with gray dinosaur bone by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

You’ve found that perfect ring online and now you are ready to select your ring size.  You pause as you think back to a couple of years ago when you bought your last ring.  Was I a size 7 or 7 1/2?  I have gained a couple of pounds over the holidays…let’s just go with a size 8.  Guessing and guessing wrong is not a disaster with traditional gold and gemstone rings.  In most cases, if your ring arrives and it is too big or too small, you can take it to a local jeweler and pay to have it sized to your correct ring size.  This is not the case with inlay rings.

Rings inlaid with just about any inlay material are difficult to size without damaging the inlay.  The first issue is the epoxy that secures the pieces of inlay in the ring’s inlay channel.  The epoxy is quite hard with very little flexibility and bending the ring to make it larger or smaller puts stress on the epoxy.  This stress can cause the bond between the inlay material and the ring mounting to be compromised which could lead to one or all of the inlay pieces falling out.  This same stress can also cause the inlay pieces to crack if they break before the epoxy does.  For a jeweler to avoid stressing the inlay and epoxy, all of the bending of the metal to make the ring smaller or larger needs to be done in the bottom half of the ring where there is not any inlay.

laser welder

You really need a laser welder to size inlay rings.

Even if the jeweler is successful in bending the ring to the correct size, there is still one more critical step- joining the metal back together.  Traditional rings would just be soldered back together using a torch but inlay rings cannot tolerate that kind of heat.  The heat from the torch will ruin the epoxy and most likely scorch the inlay materials.  The only good option to rejoin the metal is a laser welder.  A laser welder produces highly localized heat so the jeweler can work safely on the bottom part of the ring and not damage the inlay.  More and more jewelers are using laser welders and some will be willing to try to size your inlay ring if you are willing to risk the possible damage.  All of this sizing drama and expense can be avoided by getting your finger sized accurately before ordering your new inlay ring.

The easiest and most accurate way to measure your finger size is to visit a local jewelry store and ask them to determine your ring size.  You may want to visit more than one jeweler just to confirm your size.  It is important to use a sizer that is approximately the same width as the ring you intend to purchase.  It is also important to use a sizer that is comfort fit if you are shopping for a comfort fit band.  You may wear a smaller size in a comfort fit band than a non-comfort fit band.  The only other acceptable and accurate method is to take a ring that currently fits (the finger your new ring will be worn on) to a jeweler and have them determine the size of the ring or you could ship the ring to be used for size reference to the jeweler that will be making your new inlay ring.  The jeweler can then measure the size of the ring with the same measuring tool that will be used to make your inlay ring.

Other methods for determining your ring size are not accurate enough for inlay rings.  Some of the big chain jewelers recommend the string test, the paper test or the secret test.  The string test involves wrapping a string around your finger and then measuring the length of the string and matching the measurement to a chart to determine your ring size.  This method is very inaccurate and doesn’t take into consideration the width of the ring or

ringsizer

Paper finger sizers are NOT accurate!

the size of your knuckle.  The paper test asks you to print and cut out a paper finger sizer.  You then cut a slit on one end of the paper strip and insert the other end through the slit and pull it snug around your finger.  All you have to do next is read the tiny numbers and marks on the paper to determine your ring size.  What could possibly go wrong!  The secret test is recommended if you are trying to surprise your loved one with a ring and don’t know their size.  The first challenge is going to be finding a ring that you know currently fits and fits the finger you want them to wear it on.  The next step is printing a sizing chart with circles representing different ring sizes.  Just lay the ring over the circles until you find the one that is closest to the same size.  Keep in mind that just a small error of 0.4mm could mean you are 1/2 of a size off which could mean the ring falls off or won’t even go over the knuckle.  We have experimented with these methods and found them to be highly inaccurate with errors of half a size up to a whole size.  Again, these inaccuracies are not a big deal for a traditional ring but are not acceptable for an inlay ring.

What if I do every thing right and my new inlay ring still doesn’t fit?  It’s not the end of the world.  If at all possible it is best to avoid cutting and sizing the ring to mitigate the risk of damaging any of the inlay.  If the ring is too big or spins after going over the knuckle, small sizing balls or a sizing pillow can be laser welded inside the shank (bottom) of the ring to snug it up.  This method also allows for the balls or pillow to be removed should the wearer gain weight.  If the ring is a just a little snug, it may be possible to grind some of the metal from the inside of the ring to loosen it up a little.  Getting sized by a jeweler increases the odds that any sizing error will be small and less risky to correct.  In some cases where the customer uses inaccurate methods to determine their ring size the sizing error is so far off that the ring cannot be resized and a new ring would have to be made.

About Us…

We are inlay jewelry experts. We have been creating inlay jewelry since 1974 and would love to help you with all your inlay jewelry needs.  Contact us to get started building your new inlay ring, wedding ring or engagement ring.  We specialize in dinosaur bone, turquoise, lab created opal and Australian opal inlaid in sterling silver, gold, platinum and stainless steel.

Visit www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com or www.TheHilemanCollection.com to see our creations.

Our Favorite Turquoise Wedding Ring Set

Turquoise and spiderweb turquoise rings are one of our most popular choices for wedding rings and wedding ring sets.  Our turquoise wedding ring sets are available in a variety of colors with and without the spiderweb pattern.  Our most popular spiderweb turquoise wedding ring sets are inlaid with spiderweb turquoise from Kingman, Arizona.  This turquoise has a very tight spiderweb pattern and the color of the blue ranges from light blue to a darker blue and lighter blue mix.  The colors and pattern of the turquoise varies from stone to stone and sometimes changes with every saw blade slice through the stone so you can expect some variation in this natural material.  These variations make your turquoise wedding ring set unique and virtually one of a kind.  Here is an example of our favorite turquoise wedding ring set inlaid with plain blue turquoise and Kingman spiderweb turquoise in Continuum sterling silver.  The man’s wedding ring is 6mm wide and the woman’s ring is 4.5mm wide.  Both rings taper slightly toward the bottom of the ring and are stamped .925 sterling silver and hand signed “MMH” on the inside.

Turquoise wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

Spiderweb turquoise and turquoise wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

We also have several turquoise engagement ring options that would look great with our turquoise wedding rings if you are looking to create a bridal set.  Center stone options include white sapphire, white topaz, Moissanite, blue topaz and diamond.  We also offer metal upgrades to 14 karat gold in both white and yellow as well as platinum. If you don’t see exactly the stone combination you are looking for, contact us for a quote on customization.  Check out all of our turquoise engagement rings and wedding sets at HilemanSilverJewelry.com and ShopTurquoiseRings.com.

Turquoise wedding ring and engagement ring set in sterling silver.

Turquoise wedding ring set shown with white sapphire and turquoise engagement ring in Continuum sterling silver.

 

 

John Hileman

HilemanSilverJewelry.com

 

New Lab Created Opal Wedding Ring Set

This new lab created opal wedding ring set is stunning.  We inlaid the wedding set with some of the new lab opal we just received.  This new lab opal has bright green flashes of color on a dark blue base color.  The colors and flash of the lab opal mimic those of the best Lightning Ridge Australian opal at a much more affordable price.  Both rings in the set are a comfortable thickness and width.  The man’s band is 6.5mm wide at the top and the woman’s band is slightly narrower at 5.5mm wide.  Both the man’s wedding ring and the woman’s are available for purchase separately if you don’t need a set.  You can also purchase the set in hers and hers or his and his combinations.  The green lab opal in these rings is very flashy and bold.  We also have several other lab opal color options that are variations of blue-green and some options that are multicolor.

M200 W100 lab created opal ring set 2 cropped

Green lab created opal wedding ring set in sterling silver by Hileman Silver Jewelry.

The high quality lab created opal we use in our rings has the same chemical composition as natural opal with the exception of water content. Natural Australian opal contains about 4% water and lab created opal contains no water. Instead, the water is replaced with resin

in lab created opal. The resin gives the synthetic opal more durability and helps to resist cracking. Laboratory grown opal gives you all the fire and colors of top grade natural opal at a much more affordable price with increased durability.

M200 W100 lab created opal ring set 1 cropped

His and hers lab created opal wedding ring set.

This set is available for purchase in our Hileman Etsy shop or our new Lab Opal Jewelry website.  Please allow us 4 to 6 weeks to make your rings in your exact sizes.  See more lab opal colors on our Hileman Flickr page or on our lab opal Pinterest board.  If you are interested in natural Australian opal take a look at our Australian opal jewelry website featuring only the finest Australian opal inlaid in our bold 14 karat gold designs.

New Lab Created Opal Ring with Purple Amethyst

CS030 amethyst lab opal 2 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal 3 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal 4 cropped CS030 amethyst lab opal ring 1 cropped

We are excited to offer some great new lab created opal in beautiful colors and patterns.  This is the first ring completed with the new multicolor laboratory grown opal.  This opal fires in red, orange and yellow with a purple base color and hints of blue and green.  We took special care to cut the lab opal to mimic the random pattern and colors of natural Australian opal.  The colors in the lab opal look great with the purple amethyst set in the center.  This ring would make a fun statement ring to complete your ensemble for a night out or it could be the unique wedding ring you have been searching for.  The ring is shown in sterling silver but is also available in gold or platinum for an additional charge.

The stunning lab created opal in this woman’s amethyst ring is a top quality synthetic opal grown under laboratory conditions. The manmade opal’s chemical composition is the same as natural opal with the exception of water content. Australian opal contains about 4% water and lab created opal contains no water. Instead, the water is replaced with resin. The resin gives the synthetic opal more durability and helps to resist cracking. Laboratory grown opal gives you all the fire and colors of top grade natural opal at a much more affordable price with increased durability.

Stop by our new Lab Opal Jewelry website or our Etsy shop to read more about it and see our other jewelry items available.  Keep checking back to our blog and our Facebook page to see updates on the latest jewelry created with the new lab created opal colors.

Thanks for reading!

John Hileman

HilemanSilverJewelry.com

Amazon Launches Handmade on Amazon

Dinosaur bone jewelry by Hileman Silver Jewelry

Dinosaur bone wedding ring set now available at Handmade at Amazon.

Today Amazon officially launched Handmade at Amazon.  Amazon’s new venture will feature handmade items from around the globe and we are pleased to announce that our Hileman Silver Jewelry line was accepted to be a part of this new marketplace.  Amazon is only accepting artists and companies that offer handmade goods – no mass production items!   At launch Amazon plans to offer over 80,000 items from artisans in all 50 states and 60 countries.  The new marketplace will also offer more information about the artists and how they produce their goods as well as images of their studios.

We are in the process of building out our new Handmade at Amazon shop but we invite you to stop by and check out our new home on Amazon.  We believe our handmade dinosaur bone rings, turquoise engagement rings and Australian opal jewelry will be a big hit with customers looking for unique handmade jewelry.

Visit Hileman Silver Jewelry on Handmade at Amazon!

New Australian Opal Jewelry Website Launched!

Australian Opal Jewelry by The Hileman Collection

Australian Opal Jewelry by The Hileman Collection at www.TheHilemanCollection.com.

The Hileman Collection just launched its new Australian opal jewelry website last week.  Our new website TheHilemanCollection.com is mobile user friendly and includes a shopping cart for easy online purchasing.  Stop by and browse our Australian opal rings, wedding sets, earrings, necklaces and bracelets.  Check back often as we are adding new opal jewelry designs every week.  Our old website will still be available for reference and viewing our opal jewelry portfolio.  If you don’t see the item you are looking for on the new website contact us or the store nearest you for assistance and pricing information.

New Chrysoprase Wedding Ring Set!

Chrysoprase wedding ring set with pave` set white sapphire in sterling silver.

Chrysoprase wedding ring set with pave` set white sapphire in sterling silver.

We recently completed this stunning new chrysoprase wedding ring set.  This unique chrysoprase wedding set is inlaid with three pieces of chrysoprase on each side of three sparkling white sapphires.  The white sapphires are pave` set in a triangle cluster and at first glance appear to be one bigger trillion cut stone.  The total weight of the white sapphires in his ring is .12 carats and her ring is .09 carats.  This set is shown in sterling silver but the set is also available in 14 karat gold or platinum for an additional charge.

For those not familiar with chrysoprase, it is a rare form of chalcedony or quartz. Chrysoprase ranges from light to dark green but is most sought after in its striking apple green color. Chrysoprase is rare due to the fact that it is cryptocrystalline. This means that instead of being formed by large six sided crystals, the size of the crystals are extremely small and cannot be seen as distinct particles under normal magnification. Chrysoprase has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Moh’s scale and is in the same stone family as agate, carnelian, and onyx. Because chrysoprase is so hard, it is highly suitable for inlay and will stand up to daily wear and tear in a wedding ring.  The best known sources of chrysoprase are Queensland Australia, Germany, Poland, Russia, Arizona, California, and Brazil.  The chrysoprase in this wedding ring set is from Australia.

This his and hers matching ring set will be made to order in your ring sizes in 4 to 6 weeks.  All of our jewelry is handmade by the Hileman family in our Arizona studio.  This set may also be customized by changing the inlay from chrysoprase to dinosaur bone, turquoise, opal or any of the other stones you see on our website.  Black diamonds, blue sapphires, moissanite or diamonds could be substituted for the white sapphires as well.  Some modifications will be upgrades and additional costs will apply.  This style wedding set is also available in his and his or hers and hers ring set combinations.  Check out the listing for this beautiful ring set on Etsy or browse our wedding ring sets on HilemanSilverJewelry.com.

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