Knowing how to measure your ring size can be one of the most problematic parts of buying a ring online, whether for you or for another. This is especially challenging if you are trying to keep the ring as a secret gift, – such as an engagement ring – because you can’t visit a jeweller in person.

So how do you find out this information if you’re looking to buy a beautiful gift for your loved one?

How can you estimate ring size?

In normal circumstances, the most reliable way to get an accurate ring size measurement is to visit a local jeweller and get measured or take your partner to get measured. 

The jeweller will be able to establish the ring size needed, using a set of finger gauges to measure the most secure and comfortable fit. Temperature, humidity, and altitude are just some of the elements that can affect ring size and a jeweller will be able to take these into account to take any doubt out of the purchase. 

However, with current lockdown restrictions in place, measuring your ring size can be tricky to do without being able to visit your local jeweller. For those people feeling uncomfortable trying on jewellery in store, we have put together some top tips for measuring your accurate ring size from home.

Measuring your ring size accurately

Step 1: Gather your materials - you will need a plain piece of paper, scissors, a ruler and a pen or pencil

Step 2: Cut the piece of paper into a strip, no wider than the band you are planning to purchase

Step 3: Place strip of paper underneath the relevant finger

Step 4: Wrap the paper strip around the circumference of your finger

Step 5: With a pen or pencil, mark on the strip of paper the points at which both pieces of paper overlap, forming a full circle. It is important to check the paper is fitting snugly with no folders or bulges, to ensure a correct measurement.

Step 6: Using a ruler, measure (in mm) the length between the two marked points on the strip of paper, and write down the length for reference

Step 7: Using the William May ring size chart, find your ring size based on the measurement

Step 8:
Now you know your ring size, you can browse and purchase online with peace of mind that you have accurate sizing information

Can I work out my partner's ring size and keep it a secret?

Yes, although whilst it isn’t an ideal way to measure ring size, this is your next best step. Take a ring your partner wears and put the ring on your own finger, making a mark with a pen where the ring fits your finger snugly - this could be above the knuckle for example. When doing this, measure the point at which the ring fits your finger rather than at the base of the finger. Refer to our William May ring measurement guide, to get the most accurate sizing following our other steps. 

Try to ensure that it is a ring that is worn on a ring finger and not the middle, thumb or index as these will be very different sizes. You should also be aware of whether the ring is for the dominant hand or not, as someone who is right-handed, will have a slightly smaller ring finger on that hand, and vice versa.

Common ring sizes

In most cases, rings can be resized. However, depending on the stone and ring setting, there can be some limitations. For instance you might wonder, if two different sizes are perhaps too far apart, is it still possible to get the ring resized?

Using a trilogy ring as an example, you might be a ring size ‘N’ and perhaps your partner has purchased a ring size online of size ‘S’. With such a large gap, it mostly then depends on the stone, stone size and ring setting style to determine if the band can be resized or not. Any changes to sizing will change the curvature of the band, which may in turn compromise the setting style.

You can always check with us directly for more information and please note, this is a guide only under temporary measures whilst local jewellers are closed.

Other ring measurement considerations

Firstly, be aware that fingers are at their largest at the end of the day and that width can affect how tight a ring will feel so a thicker band may need a larger size.

You should also avoid measuring cold hands as it’s possible for fingers to shrink up to 2 sizes when they are cold. Other external factors such as alcohol and salt can also cause swelling in your fingers so be careful not to get measured if these are likely to still be in the system.

Overall, the most important thing is to ensure that the ring is tight enough to stay in place but loose enough to slide on over the knuckles. And if in doubt, buy a larger ring rather than a smaller one as it is easier to remove metal from a too-big ring than to add it to a too-small one.

So there you have it. Using paper is currently the most effective method to measure your ring size which allows you to then complete your ring purchase online from the comfort of your own home. Whilst it isn't a method we would usually advise in normal circumstances, this is the most suitable temporary method to go by. 

Hand Model Bio 

Sophie Spaldin is a blogger and Instagrammer from Teesside, in the North East of England. Her content covers fashion, food, music, travel, beauty and wellbeing –and the tips and tricks she has picked up along the way.