UK Ring Sizing - How to Measure Your Ring Size

UK Ring Sizing - How to Measure Your Ring Size

Who does not love a pleasant surprise? We love giving and receiving surprises particularly, from our mate or special someone. The most popular gift or surprise that men and women are having problems with is gifting their mate a ring. For a birthday, anniversary or the grandest gesture, for a surprise proposal. It is delightful, yeah? However, the problem with a surprise ring is how to know your mate's ring size without her knowing? This is why ring sizing is essential that everyone must know his or her own ring size. Today, we shall talk more about the standard UK ring sizes, how to easily measure your own ring size at home and some other relevant knowledge pertaining to how rings are resized and the methods and tools used in ring sizing.


International Organization for Standardization is a self-governing and non-governmental association composed of councils from the worldwide association of one hundred and sixty-four countries. The body creates and develops an international standard that covers the manufacture of products and equipment used in healthcare, food and cultivation.

The guideline released by the organization helps to ensure good quality and safe products that safeguards end consumers that the products they purchase conform to the international minimum standards. This also aids in fair global trade by enabling companies from different countries to enter the global market wherein their products can be directly compared with other goods from other competing countries.

ISO 8653:2016

This is a guideline released for the definition of ring sizes, measurement and designation. The revised standard that was previously published in 1986 that illustrates an additional table in diameter and tolerance for the ring size, measuring methods are described, added samples for sizing rings with specific shapes, and changes in the new rules for the design.


Each country use different systems with regards to ring sizing, for example, the United States of America and some other countries use a numerical scale in half and quarter sizes compared to countries like the United Kingdom, and Australia uses an alphabetic range. The chart helps you with converting your ring sizes from numerical to alphabetic and vice-versa.

United Kingdom Ring Size

Circumference in millimetres

USA Ring Size









1 ½






2 ½






3 ½






4 ½






5 ½






6 ½






7 ½






8 ½






9 ½






10 ½
















Ring Size

The circumference of the larger cylinder that inserted in the ring, which is a finger. The average women ring sizes in the United Kingdom range from size L to size N, while in the US, the average ladies size ranges from three to six and a half.  Knowing your ring size is quite essential nowadays due to the advent of online stores and shopping. You can purchase pieces of even from another country at the comfort of your home. Measuring your own finger is also possible with the help of some standard tools that are available in your home.

Tools Used in Ring Sizing

Different devices may or not be available at home. Some are only available in the jewellery shop used by a professional jeweller in determining the size of our finger and here are some of them:

Ring Mandrel / Rings Stick

Characterized by a tapered hollow cylinder with measurements much like a ruler. Used to measure a ring by sliding the ring on to the stick, and reading the size on where the ring stopped.


Also known as the line gauge, used in schools for drawings and geometry. You can use this with the help of flexible materials, such as a strip of paper of dental floss that can be wrapped around your finger.

Ring Gauge

There are a set of circular metals similar to a ring in different sizes. It is effortless to use for all you need is to try the rings on your finger until you find the right size for you. Made particularly for engagements and wedding rings tagged with a comfort fit.

Ring Sizer (Plastic /Printable)

Plastic rings sizer are available for purchase at an affordable price, while printable ones are also available for download. Compact and lightweight used to measure the circumference of your finger. Handy and easy to use by just inserting your finger in the slot and reading the ring size printed in the tool.

Soft Tape measure

This is a flexible ruler used to measure body parts and are commonly used in the apparel industry. Typically, sixty inches long made of plastic with a metal end.

Vernier Caliper

Invented by a Pierre Vernier, designed to measure the depth and the inner and outer dimension of an object. Characterized by a twenty-five Vernier scale division and a twenty -our main scale division having the same length. Known to make an accurate linear measurement with the use of two graduated scales. This tool is used to measure the inner diameter of a ring.

Things to consider on sizing your finger at home:

  1. Knuckles

These are the joints on our fingers where the little bones are connected. Why is it essential the ring we purchase can smoothly glide over our knuckle? For protection and comfort. One of the common mistake in sizing our rings at home is the part where to measure. Yes, the ring sits at the base of our fingers, but we must remember that has to pass over the knuckles first before it reaches the bottom. Some, the blessed ones, have slim and candle-like fingers have the same or almost the same measurement as their knuckles have no problem concerning this. However, we are not all equal, and some have big knuckles. Knuckle cracking has nothing to do with this; some are born with more prominent knuckles while some have condition knowns as rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Time of the day and Weather

Our fingers are bigger in the morning and slimmer at night. This is directly comparative to how our fingers are swollen during warm weather and slimmer in colder seasons. Our small blood vessels have the answer to this phenomenon. When we are active, such as in the morning or while exercising, our internal organs such as the heart and lungs require more oxygen leading to our blood vessels to expand and make our blood flows freely through our fingers, which has a lesser blood flow than other parts of our body.

  1. Materials

Use non-elastic materials such as paper. Some yarns tend to be stretched that can lead to inaccurate measurements.

  1. Type of ring

Consider the thickness of the ring when choosing your rings; get a bigger sized ring for thick and heavy rings. This is for your safety, in case of unforeseen accidents that may require you to take off your rings quickly.

  1. Frequency

We need to size our finger not just once but at least three times. You can never be too careful, particularly for non-resizable or challenging to resize rings. 

Non-resizable or challenging to resize rings

  1. Channel and pave setting

A channel and pave setting are composed of crystals and gems embedded in or on top of the exterior shank. The jeweller must remove and reset the stones prior to and after the modification. The procedure is tasking for a paved ring has numerous rocks from small to bigger sizes depending on the ring, while a channel set is challenging to remove for the gem is secured within the upper shank with thin metals in between. An improper alteration may also cause a misaligned, unbalanced result.

  1. Infinity and engraved rings

Infinity rings are typically stamped with the infinity sign. Any engraved rings are tricky to resize due to its continuous design. Professional jewellers would always consider the result, which is a seamless and unnoticeable modification, and that is just impossible for engraved rings. Some may say that you can only wear the altered ring part facing the inner palm, but we must remember that rings tend to change position and lean on the side and make the modified portion visible.

  1. Alloys such as titanium, tungsten carbide and stainless steel

These alloys are taking over the jewellery world and are getting more and more popularity for their durability hardness and affordability. They do have many advantages over the traditional softer metals, such as gold and silver, but the only disadvantage they have originates from their hardness. Hard alloys cannot be bent or cut by a regular punch, a punch is a tool used by a jeweller to manually amend the band by using a ball-peen hammer. Hard alloys tend to break and not cut. Therefore the only way to alter a hard metal is by melting. Hard metal also requires extreme heat, which requires a machine that your neighbourhood jeweller does not have. Resizing these materials is also impractical for as mentioned, they are affordable, and the resizing might cost even more than buying another ring.

  1. Thick and slim rings

Thick rings can only be stretched but are not advisable to be cut and soldered. The thickness gets in the way of seamless soldering, which dramatically affects the aesthetics of the ring. It is also challenging to create a perfect circle for its hard and thick body, which is very hard to manipulate. These rings are not advisable to be stretched for it the ring would become brittle and may even cause injury to your finger. Cutting and solder are also problematic to impossible for the point of connection are quickly melted that results in an uneven and fragile closure. 

  1. Ceramic, wood and jade rings

These materials are unquestionably non-amendable. The pressure would just completely break them, and their composition just makes it impossible to adjust and fused together.

Comfort fit or standard fit rings

You may have seen on some ring descriptions labelling the ring as a comfort fit while some are not tagged as so, are not all ring supposed to have a comfortable fit? The standard-fit band has a flat interior shank. Comfort fit bands as the label says offers a more comfortable wear and are fashioned with a dome interior shank, these are more suitable or men for a smooth slide over their usually larger knuckle. Comfort fit bands are recommended mainly for everyday rings like a wedding or engagement rings. However, these are also more expensive than the standard fit for the new metal used for the inner dome.

Size your finger at home:

Here are the steps in how to correctly size your finger or ring to help you find the correctly sized ring for you.

  • Paper
  1. Prepare the following materials: Six inches long paper strip, a ruler, and a marker.


  1. Place one end of the cut-out paper strip just below your knuckle and wrap it around until it overlaps the initial point.


  1. Mark the part where they start and the meeting point is connected.

4. Measure the length in millimetres and compare the size on the rings chart above.

  • Tape Measure
  1. Prepare a tape measure


  1. Place one point of the tape measure just below your knuckle and wrap it around until it overlaps the initial point. Read the measurement and correlate with the reference chart.


  • Printable Ring Sizer

Not everyone can spend and buy their own ring sizer, especially if you are only going to use it once. What do we do? We go online and look for a printable ring sizer! All you need to do is follow the procedure in how to accurately print it. Again, I must reiterate that you must read carefully and follow the instructions given for they have their own guidelines and specifics on how to print out the document for more accurate sizing.

  1. Print and cut out the printed rings sizer.


  1. Insert the tapered point in the dotted lines found on the other end


  1. Insert your finger and pull the tab until it comfortably hugs the part just below your knuckle, you may try to slide the sizer up and down to check it can glide smoothly on your knuckle. Read the size on the printer paper.


  • Printable Ring Chart
  1. Print out a ring chart


  1. Place you ring on top of the circle to know your ring size.


Ring Resizing

There various reasons why we need to resize our rings; the main reason would be incorrect sizing. Some individuals who have no idea that their ring size tends to base on the size of the average ring for their country. Some would follow a chart that calculates body height and mass, but we must remember that these are not as accurate and applicable to every individual. One of the most common questions about ring sizing is "Do our fingers slim down when we lose weight?" Some individual declares that their fingers also slimmed down when they were able to shed about twenty pounds. However, diet and fluid retention have a more direct answer to the change in our finger size. Salty food intake results in water retention that make our extremities swell while exercises make us shed some body liquids through sweating.

Larger or smaller?

In case of doubt and uncertainly, such as when you sized your finger at home, and you fell in between the sizes. Which one should you choose and why? Smaller or bigger? The answer is to get the bigger size and here are the reasons why. By knowing how rings are resized, you would be able to conclude by yourself why choosing a bigger sized ring is better when it comes to resizing.

Resizing from smaller to bigger  

  • Stretch it out

Have you ever heard of a ring stretcher, this a device that further elongates your ring until it reaches your desired ring size? This tool gently widens and stretches your rings on a hollow slotted mandrel surmounted by a top pin by gently tapping a hammer. This needs patience and controlled pressure to slowly expand the circle and not crack open the soldered portion.

  • Add additional metal

This method is characterized by adding a piece of metal in between the cut portion of the shank, therefore extending the circumference of the ring. This is usually followed by buffing and layer of metal coating to hide any visible altered part.

Resizing from bigger to smaller

  • Sizing bead

This method is done made adding and soldering pieces of tiny beads on to the underside of the inner shank. This method not only thickens and base for a smaller fit but also balances the ring keeping it upright, which is advantageous for heavily topped rings. This method does not affect the quality and aesthetics of the modified portion is hidden on the inner part of the shank

  • Cut it off

The band is manually cut on one segment with the use of a punch and a hammer. The amended part is then soldered together after removing the excess metal. It is then buffed and coated with a layer of the same metal used on the shank, to hide any imperfections.

*Note that ring adjustment that ranges from four sizes up or down is difficult to impossible. The gap is too big for a seamless modification that may affect the beauty and quality of the ring. The quality and strength of the ring becomes compromised, particularly when the method used is stretching, whereas the aesthetics and the quality are affected during cutting and soldering.*


Here are some practical advice on how to covertly find out the ring size of your mate:

  1. Ask his or her friends or family members. They may know or have an idea of what ring size does she wear. Choose people who can keep a secret and not the ones who would babble, you know what I mean.
  2. Great acting is the key. Print your own ring sizer and act interested in printable tools are accurate and size your and her finger. This can make her think that you want her to know your ring size instead of the other way around.
  3. Play with her fingers. While waiting for your food when dining in a restaurant, hold her hand and place it above table napkin. If she is already wearing a ring, you can play while secretly marking on the tissue with your nails.
  4. Be imaginative and resourceful by purchasing a hand casting kit, it is a fun bonding activity, and that can adequately replicate her hands and fingers.
  5. Go for a long, long, long, long drive. She would undoubtedly fall asleep, and it an excellent chance for you to measure her finger without her knowing. So, always be ready for you will never know when she may fall asleep in your car.
  6. Take a hint, she may already have told you her ring size even before you have thought about surprising her with a ring.

Technically speaking, it is still wise to go in and have your finger sized by a professional jeweller. Jewellery is their forte, after all. However, if that is not probable, we have to be resourceful and use what is available around us, which is the internet, and the standard measuring tool we have, a trustee ruler. Be reminded that there is no such thing as a perfect fit in buying precast rings unless you have requested for a custom fit, which is also not a guarantee to a perfect fit. If ever and when you have found a "perfectly" fit ring, then, you hit the jackpot! It is like the universe telling you that that ring is yours. Case and point, it is essential to know the type of ring you are going to purchase and the possibility of it being resized and your ring size for a hassle-free ring purchase.

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