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.

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

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.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on new designs and promotions.

You Don’t Have to Compromise on Your Wedding Ring Choices

Dinosaur bone wedding ring set with black diamonds.

Dinosaur bone wedding ring set with black diamond accents.

After years of working with customers to create their dream wedding rings, we have found that many couples are compromising on the most important piece of jewelry they will ever wear.  Not necessarily compromising because of cost, but because of the differing personal tastes of the couples.  Many couples come to us and are interested in matching wedding bands but struggle to agree on the style, shape, width and stone choices.  Usually one of the individuals is more conservative and the idea of purchasing a wedding ring as nontraditional as an inlay ring is already stretching the limits of their comfort zone.  While the other partner may be more outgoing and looking for a wedding ring that is big and bold and not at all what the other person would choose.

Why compromise and end up with a wedding ring set that is really not exactly what either one of you want?  We suggest that each person select the ring style that they will love and will be excited to wear for the rest of their lives together.  We can then work with the couple to choose elements that will tie the rings together.  The rings can be different widths or styles and still share the same central gemstones such as white sapphires or the same inlay such as turquoise or dinosaur bone that will unify the set.  Many couples are choosing wedding bands in different widths because maybe one likes a wider look and the other a narrow ring width.  They may choose to have us inlay the rings in totally different colors of the same type of stone.  Many men like our darker gray dinosaur bone and choose it for the inlay in their ring while some women feel our dinosaur bone with pink hues is more their style.  Although the inlay stones are totally different colors, both of the rings are inlaid in dinosaur bone and make a great looking wedding ring set.

Sugilite and amethyst wedding ring set.

Lavender and dark purple sugilite and amethyst wedding ring set.

The point is, don’t feel like you are limited in your wedding ring choices because of what is popular or traditional.  These are your wedding rings that you will wear for a long time and they should not compromise your personality or individuality.  Browse our Hileman wedding rings and wedding ring sets and let us work with you to create wedding rings that are uniquely you.

Contact us:

http://www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com

info@HilemanSilverJewelry.com

Hileman Silver Jewelry Wins Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Award for 2015

Turquoise and moissanite wedding and engagement ring set.

Turquoise and moissanite wedding ring and engagement ring set.

Phoenix’s Own Hileman Silver Jewelry Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2015

Phoenix, AZ – August 17, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Hileman Silver Jewelry as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 for Wedding Rings in Phoenix!

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Hileman Silver Jewelry. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

“It’s always exciting to start the year by honoring the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who represent more than two million reviews on our website,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Each of the businesses recognized are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We applaud Hileman Silver Jewelry for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”

As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Hileman Silver Jewelry is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.

Hileman Silver Jewelry is proud to be one of the top Wedding Ring Designers in Phoenix in the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015.

For more information about Hileman Silver Jewelry, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.WeddingWire.com/HilemanSilverJewelry

To learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards®, please visit http://www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

About WeddingWire
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billion wedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than two million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide.

See our wedding ring designs and read more about us at www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com.

New Lab Created Opal Rings

After years of working with top grade Australian opal in our jewelry, we have decided to expand our options to include lab created opal rings and jewelry.  In recent years top quality natural Australian opal has become harder to obtain and the price has steadily increased to reflect its rarity.  We realize that not everyone has the budget for Australian opal jewelry in 14 karat gold so we have decided to offer laboratory created opal as an affordable alternative in our silver and stainless steel rings and wedding ring sets.  The lab created opal we are using in our lab opal rings is available in a variety of colors and rivals the fire and vibrant colors of natural opal.  Laboratory grown opal has essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as natural opal with the exception of water content.  Natural opal is composed of 5 to 15% water and man-made or synthetic opal contains no water.  Instead the water is replaced with resin which increases the lab created opal’s strength and durability.

We hope that you will be as pleased with the look of this laboratory created opal as we are.  We will be adding more rings with the new lab created opal color choices as soon as possible.  Until then, here are a couple of examples of lab opal colors or you can visit our Flickr photo page for more photos.  Keep in mind that any of our ring designs can be inlaid with the new lab created opal in the color of your choice.

Please visit our websites at www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com or LabOpalJewelry.com for more information or email us with questions at info@HilemanSilverJewelry.com.

Thank you!

John Hileman

www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com  and www.TheHilemanCollection.com

Jewelry Item of the Week: Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet

This Week’s Item: Sterling Silver Amethyst, Garnet and Citrine Cuff Bracelet

Amethyst, Citrine and Garnet Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet
Amethyst, Citrine and Garnet Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet

This week’s jewelry item is a sterling silver cuff bracelet featuring amethyst, garnet and citrine cabochon cut gemstones.   As you will notice this bracelet does not have any of our usual inlay work, just the 3 different cabochon gemstones.  The center stone is an oval 3.8ct. Mozambique garnet cabochon flanked by 4 round glowing yellow citrine cabochons totaling 2.8cts.  The outside edges are adorned by 8 purple amethyst cabochons totaling 1.68cts.  The silver has been oxidized to provide more contrast between the highly polished areas and the darkened recesses in the design detail.  The oxidized silver also gives the bracelet a nice soft antique look.  Many other colored stone choices could be set in this bracelet.  Special orders are welcome!

Here is a little information about the gemstones in this bracelet.  Mozambique garnets are known for their high quality and warm, red colors. Mozambique garnet is a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnet, similar in color to rhodolite garnet, but slightly more red, and darker.  Garnets are often worn to relieve inflammations of the skin and its powers include healing, strength, and protection.  It is also believed to regulate the heart and blood flow and aid in curing depression.

Citrine is a variety of quartz ranging in color from yellow, yellow-brown, orange, dark orange-brown and reddish-brown.  Citrine is often found in association with amethyst, but it is much rarer than its purple cousin.  Citrine is warming, energizing and imparts a flexibility and openness to new experiences.  It has the power to impart joy to all who behold it and instills a positive attitude.  Gloom and negativity do not exist around the citrine.  Citrine supports generosity, helps you hold onto your wealth and draws all the good things in life to you.

Amethyst boasts the color of royalty, a rich violet-purple and is the most highly prized variety of quartz.  Amethyst is cleansing, both physically and psychologically.  It helps promote internal balance, harmony and stability.  Amethyst also helps sharpen the conscious mind and enhances one’s mental powers.  It is used to improve memory and keeps thoughts in line with life goals.  Amethyst is the stone of pure, true, emotional love.

Special care should be taken when cleaning the stones in this bracelet.  Do not put the bracelet in an ultrasonic cleaner or use a steamer to clean it.  Simply brush the stones with an old toothbrush and a mild soap to remove any dirt or lotions.  Avoid harsh chemicals as well as prolonged exposure to water.  It is very important for citrine and amethyst not to be left in the sun, or to be in situations, where they will be exposed to prolonged sunlight or heat.  Because of sensitivity to heat, the stone?s color could change and fade into a lighter color.  Store the bracelet in a box or soft pouch when not wearing it to avoid being scratched by other items.

We are currently offering this spectacular bracelet at 10% off the regular price of $750.  The special price of $675 is good through Monday September 5, 2011.

Go to our website to view more photos or for purchasing information at http://www.shop.hilemansilverjewelry.com/Silver-bracelet-with-amethyst-garnet-and-citrine-cabochons-swirlcuffSSGarnCitAmeth.htm.  You don’t need a coupon code, the price will be adjusted in the shopping cart.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or customization requests.

Thank you!

Mark and John

www.HilemanSilverJewelry

www.TheHilemanCollection.com