Even standard wedding rings are customised.

March 24th 2017

When I get a phone call about a "standard" wedding ring I begin a process to discover exactly what they mean by standard.

This is a photo of 3 "standard" wedding rings I have made this last week. We are going to run through the levels of customisation that occurred for each. Each one highlights an important property of a ring that we need to consider.

The ring width

The ladies wedding ring on the left above was originally meant to be 3mm wide. I created some graphics to show how the ring would look next to the customers ring at a width of 3mm.

She liked the look of the photo so with the style and width decided on I created a draft so that she could try on the wedding ring next to her engagement ring before making the actual ring.

When she tried on the draft she decided the ring was too wide. I modified the draft, filing it down bit by bit until she liked the width on her hand next to her engagement ring. The end result was a width of 2.3mm and a wedding ring 20% lower in price.

The lesson here is that photos alone are not always enough. The draft is important!

The thickness

With the ladies wedding ring we just discussed the width was predefined as needing to match the engagement ring.

With this mens wedding ring the customer had choices. The design the customer wanted was this ring to the right with the following changes:  

  1. made in yellow gold 
  2. without the infinity pattern in the middle.

The major component of value in a wedding ring like this is the gold and the thickness of the ring varies the amount of that gold greatly.

Most of the men that come to me for a wedding ring choose a thickness of between 1.8 and 2mm.  The customer had decided on a width of 7mm for his ring and knowing his finger size was about a Q we could explore the amount of 9ct yellow gold used to make his ring and therefore prices.

  • 2mm thick = 9.3 grams
  • 1.5mm thick = 7 grams

You can see from above that despite both rings looking the same from the top one would weigh a touch under 33% or a third more.

Reducing the amount of gold that goes into a piece of jewellery can greatly reduce its integrity and life.  The jewellery chains love reducing the amount of gold they use to increase their profits and here is an example. This customer chose the 2mm thick quote.

The design

With a ring that has a design that goes all the way around the finger the finger size is very important. It can greatly affect how the features of the design can display.

I recently made this Zenadth Kes totem wedding ring to a size Z+7 and had to make some major changes to the standard ring to achieve that.

Normally I design the layout of these rings to be about the size U range. That size leaves a little room for a bit bigger or smaller with some minor adjustments to the spacing of the symbols and the wave pattern on the edges. If we flatten out this totem ring to a size U this is what we get.

Size U ring flattened out.

Size U ring flattened out.

The circumference of ring size U is about 62.5mm with that of a ring size Z+7 being about 77.9mm.  Lets see what that difference looks like in comparison if we just stretch out the wave and re-space the symbols.

Size U top and Z+7 below.

Size U top and Z+7 below.

You can see the much larger gaps in the Z+7 layout. This would be even more amplified once formed into a ring. The customer wanted the look of the size U spacing and the only way to achieve that was to put a lot more time into making the ring increasing the number of repetitions of the symbols from 3 to 4 times.

Bottom layout is 4 repetitions and size Z+7

Bottom layout is 4 repetitions and size Z+7

You can see from above that it is nearly impossible to resize rings like this without greatly compromising the ring. There is nowhere to put a piece in and stretching would distort all the symbols in one direction and damage detail.  They need to be made to size. Which leads me to the last point which applies to all three examples today. 

It is a new ring, lets get the size right.

With all the rings above I created a draft to ensure that the size was right. All three were adjusted from the initial size measurement.  

The size a ring needs to be to fit the same finger will vary with the width and shape of the ring. Unless you measure the finger with sizers that are exactly the same width/shape as the ring there is room for error.

The totem ring is a great example. It was made for customers not in Cairns. They informed me that they had the finger measured as a size Z+6 at the local jewellery resellers.  I assured them that we should check the finger size using my draft method which is include in all my prices anyway. When we did that the size required for a ring that width was one larger at Z+7!

The most important point.

I will plan for all these factors and make sure it is done right. It might make the sale a bit slower but your jewellery will be made properly and just what you want.


News, Wedding, InfoDavid Taylor