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Your Ring Questions: Answered, Part 1

You've got a lot of questions about wearing rings and how to deal with them. We've got your answers.

You use your hands. A lot. And rings are there too. Whether you always wear a special ring — engagement, wedding or other — or just add them on for special occasions, there are practical concerns when it comes to rings.

Here at Jewelry Wise, we’ve noticed our readers have had a few ring questions that go beyond just knowing how to wear them, so we’ve gathered answers to some of your most frequent queries. Keep asking, about anything jewelry, and we’ll get you answers.

How do I get a stuck ring off my finger?

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re trying on a family heirloom that suddenly seems like it’s going to be yours forever … forever in the sense that you. Just. Can’t. Get. It. Off. Or you need to take off the wedding ring that’s been on your finger for decades and, well, it’s just not happening.

First, don’t panic and try to force it off multiple times. You’ll only irritate your finger and cause swelling, making the ring even tighter. Instead, try one of these methods:

  • Your fingers may just be swollen, so follow the medical protocol for swelling after an injury: elevate your hand and apply ice to take the swelling down. That may be enough.
  • If there’s no broken skin around your ring, take a tip from ER nurses and spritz it with a glass cleaner like Windex. It acts as a lubricant and slightly shrinks the skin — but make sure it’s safe for skin. Hand sanitizer also has a similar lubricating and shrinking effect. Then gently rotate the ring toward the tip of your finger.
  • Try a lubricant like Vaseline or hand lotion, but try to slide some dental floss under the ring first and hold both ends of the floss in your other hand. If both your hands and the ring are slippery, the floss will give you something to hold and gently tug with. You can also wrap your finger in dental floss to compress the skin , loop the loose end of the floss under the ring and gently pull toward your fingertip. The ring should roll over the floss as it unspools.
  • You can use soap and water, but make sure the sink drain is stopped up. Otherwise, you may get the ring off but then need to call, and pay, a plumber.

If all else fails, and the swelling isn’t from an injury (go see a doctor for that), get yourself to a jeweler. If it needs to be cut off, a jeweler can do it with the least damage to the ring and repair and resize it too. Which leads us to …

Can I get a ring resized and how much will it cost?

Generally speaking, you can get a ring resized and the cost will depend on the metal and the work that needs to be done. However, some metals cannot be sized including tungsten carbide, titanium and stainless steel.

Platinum, gold and sterling silver rings can usually be sized up or down one or two sizes. The jeweler will cut the ring shank — at the bottom if it’s not a plain band — and either add or subtract enough metal to get the new size and solder and polish it smooth.

Cost will depend on the metal and the style of your ring. Platinum rings will be more expensive to size up than gold, because platinum is more expensive in its raw state. White gold will be more expensive than yellow gold, because it will have to be rhodium plated. Sterling silver will be the least expensive.

If your ring is set with diamonds or gemstones, there may be an added cost to remove and reset the stones. This may need to be done to keep the stones safe. The easiest settings to work with for resizing are prong settings. Other settings integrated in the ring — like a flush setting — may be compromised by the resizing process.

Should I bond or solder my rings together? Can they be separated later?

Only you can decide if you should, but if you want to you can. This is usually done with the engagement ring and wedding band.

Bond them if you’re ALWAYS going to wear them together. It will save wear on the shanks where the rings rub together when they’re on your finger separately. If you’re a new bride or not married yet, take some time before you make the decision. Over a couple of years, a lot of women find they don’t always wear the engagement and wedding rings together. If you do decide to do it though, a jeweler will solder the rings together.

If you opted to bond them, you can still separate them later. A jeweler will use a specialized jewelry saw to cut through the solder, then smooth and polish the rings.

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