Let’s talk about stretching a Ring.
Some people know this can be done, others have no clue. The truth of the matter is, yes, you can stretch a ring to size it.
Normally the only type of Metal this works well with is Gold.
Gold is ideal because Gold is very malleable and stretches quite easily.
I have seen other types of Metals sized as well, like Platinum or Titanium, but Gold is hands-down, the easiest type of Metal to work with.
The Ideal Ring to Stretch?
So now that you know the Jeweler’s Metal of choice, what about the Ring? The Ideal type of Ring to stretch and size up is a Plain Gold Band. (See picture) Plain, Boring, Smooth, Solid Gold! Yellow or White doesn’t matter, Gold is Gold! But Plain is the key!
Stretching a Ring up is very easy.
There’s actually a Tool that Jewelers use that expands your Gold Ring. It’s simply called a Ring Sizer and Stretcher. (See Left Picture)
You slip your Ring on to the Mandrel and pull the handle. Easy as that!
The Mandrel has numbers and sizes on the stick, and when you pull the handle, the Mandrel actually opens up and pushes the Ring outwards stretching it in the process.
It’s pretty simple and painless. But if it’s not done right…
It can be a Disaster!
You see, the Mandrel can physically distort your Ring if not done properly. It will leave odd ridges inside your shank and can make your Ring a horrible Octagon-Shape. The Jeweler has to work the Metal slowly and stretch the band ever so slightly. Rotate the Ring, stretch it some more, and repeat. You stretch it a little at a time to expand the Ring and rotating it keeps it a nice Round shape.
The Heavier the Better!
The heavier the Gold band, the easier it is to size.
Comfort Fit Bands work extremely well and can be sized without any problems or concerns.
How many Sizes can you Stretch a Gold Band?
Normally the Jewelers only advise a half size up or one full size up. I have seen emergency situations (Like the Wedding’s in 2 hours!) where the Jewelers have been able to stretch a Ring up 1.5 – 2 sizes, but those are rare and I don’t recommend it. Stretching a Ring this much can break down its durability and strength.
Plus it can leave scars and pits in the Gold.
Just Plain Bands?
Are Plain Gold Bands the only types of Rings that can be stretched?
Nope! (But they should be!)
I have seen Jewelers stretch up practically any and all types of Rings before. Rings with Designs, Etchings, Carvings, Beads, Intricate Details… You name it.
With these types of Rings, you have to be careful! Anytime you stretch a band with designs, you are also stretching that design and pulling on those Carved Walls and Etched Mountings, and it can make it look pulled and stretched or elongated.
The Ring’s Clean Lines and Knife Edges may look Bowed or Warped. It could break your beautiful Carvings and damage your Ring all together.
It’s just Not Good!
You just never know what you’re getting into when you stretch a Ring with a design on it. If you really must stretch one of these bands, try to never go bigger than 1/2 size up. If you need more than that, Special Order it in the correct Ring size. Because if the Ring gets messed up and damaged, it’s almost impossible to fix it and make it look good again.
Don’t try it!
What about Diamond Rings?
And if you have Diamonds or Gems in your Ring, skip the whole stretching process.
Stretching a Ring with Diamonds or Gems can Loosen all your Stones, Bend your Prongs, crack your Diamonds, Warp the Channels and break down any structural support your Ring has. It’s not worth it. Don’t stretch any Rings with Diamonds or Gemstones in them!
Now as a last note…
The Sizing Tool that can stretch your Ring up, can also size them down. (Or squish them down!)
The round holes in the base of the machine actually do the trick. You put your Ring in the right sized holes and pull the handle. The Hole actually contracts, pushing on all sides of your Band and sizes it down. It condenses the Gold molecules and compacts them together to a smaller size.
“Honey, I shrunk my Ring!”
I would also recommend only a half size down for this as well. Any more than that and you should really get it sized the conventional way. (Cutting, Bending, Soldering, Polishing)
All the Jeweler has to do then, is give your Ring a good polish job on the Buffing Wheel and it will look brand new again.
Stretching is a fun and easy way to add 1/2 size up or down to your Plain Gold Band. The only other alternative I have… (Other than a real sizing) is to Diet!
I never said it was pretty!