how-to-measure-ring-size | Desiderate Jewellery

How To Measure Your Ring Size: Two Methods To Try & One To Avoid

How to measure your ring size 

When you’re shopping for rings online, do you hear that voice of inner doubt worrying about how to measure your ring size? It’s a tricky one. 

If you get it wrong, you’re stuck with processing the return and exchange. Plus, if stock is limited and sold out in the meantime, you may not be able to get the ring you wanted. 

It’s a common problem. Here at Desiderate, about one in twenty or 5% of ring orders are returned for exchange because they are the wrong size. 

Wouldn’t it be much easier to get the right ring size to start with? 

Today we will show you how to avoid being that five percent person who gets the wrong size. We will explore:

  • the pros and cons of different ways to measure your ring size
  • the common mistakes people make when measuring ring sizes
  • tips for choosing your ring size on ring sizing charts 
  • how to measure a ring size of a friend (hint: it’s not easy) 


Measure your ring size: Trace inside the inner perimeter

 This is a tried-and-true way to find the right ring size.  

Step one

Get a ring that fits you. 

Step two 

Get a pencil or pen (with a fine-tip if possible).

Step three 

Trace around the inner edge of the ring’s perimeter.

Step four

Using a ruler, measure the diameter of the circle you’ve drawn.

You can then find your ring size using the measurement. 

Most of the time, this technique is effective. However, we’ve had people send us drawings of measurements that just don’t correlate to the actual ring size. So, what has gone wrong? 

The key mistakes to avoid with this technique are: 

  • it can be tricky to hold the ring still while you measure—the ring can slip or your fingers can get in the way
  • if the ring has a gemstone or uneven texture, it may not be able to sit flat on the paper
  • the width of the pen may steal a millimeter or two (which makes a difference) 
    • keep the pen as close to the perimeter as possible and take it slowly to avoid this 
  • you’ve measured a ring that fits the wrong finger 

We strongly recommend taking a few measurements from different circle drawings to get the most accurate result. Millimeters make a big difference in ring size, so it helps to be accurate. 

Another great way to measure ring size: ring sizer tool 

This is nifty, if we do say so ourselves! The ring sizer tool will take the guesswork out of finding your ring size, and it reduces the risk of pesky problems arising from the pen-and-trace technique mentioned above. 

Instead of tracing an existing ring, it uses a cable tie to measure the width of your finger. 

Step one 

Make the sizer into a loop using the buckle.

Step two

Place it over your finger and gently pull until it fits snugly—keep it firm. 

Step three

Read the corresponding size indicated by the arrow. 

We find the ring sizer to be more accurate than the pen and tracing ring size technique. Plus once you have one of these in your jewellery drawer you can use it any time you want to buy new rings—which is often, right? ;) 

Sadly there are a few common mistakes you can make with this sizer tool. So keep these in mind when measuring: 

  • Measure for the finger you want to wear the ring on (and the hand - your dominant hand often has larger fingers).
  • Go for a fairly tight fit.
  • Check the arrow for the size, not the number on the extended part of the sizer.
  • Don’t make the band so firm that it can’t get over your knuckle.

desiderate ring size tool

How about the ring sizer that jewellers use?

If you’ve ever had a ring resized, you may have seen the conical-shape tool that measures ring sizes. Many jewellers use this, but we find the measuring of the finger preferable to measuring the ring, so we don’t recommend bother purchasing one. 

Standard ring size charts

We use the international numeric ring sizes standard. Most people fit between a size 6 and size 10, but we offer sizing from 5 up to size 13. (This is great for those who like wearing thumb rings or if you have extra tiny or large fingers)

Numbers or letters? 

Most retailers use international number size system which originated in the USA. However, some may follow the UK-based letter system. Our ring chart shows the measurements according to both types. 

Additional tips for measuring ring size 

When in doubt: choose the larger ring size

It’s better to have a slightly loose ring than too tight. Rings with wider bands need to be upsized too, because they are covering a larger surface area of your finger. 

Consider your knuckle size

It sounds obvious to say this, but the ring needs to make it over the knuckle! As you age, the knuckle size can change with arthritis, injury or even pregnancy. 

Use a thin ruler 

If you follow the paper-tracing method, don’t use a wobbly ruler from your kid’s pencil case or a flexible tape from your sewing kit. A fine-edged ruler with sharp lines is more likely to give you a more accurate result. 

Pop into a jeweller

If you prefer the experience of trying on rings, then you can always stop by your local jeweller to try on a few rings. Choose a ring similar to what you like online and ask the jeweller what size it is. Give the jeweller a generous online review in return for letting you try on rings!  


Measuring with string: don’t!
We don’t recommend measuring your finger with string. It simply offers too many chances for mistakes. It’s incredibly tricky if you are measuring your own finger, especially on your dominant hand. It’s hard to get the right snug fit, too. It’s a no from us.

Same finger, different size

Your finger on your dominant hand is likely to be a touch bigger than the finger on your non-dominant hand. Most people are right-handed and so their left fingers are slightly smaller. For left-handed people the fingers on the right hand are slightly smaller. So don’t make the mistake of measuring the finger on the opposite hand thinking they'll be the same size. 

Adjustable rings 

Many people are moving to adjustable rings to avoid the problems with measuring ring size. But we find that these rings may pinch, or leave a large gap, so they can be a little less comfortable to wear. Adjustable rings are great, but if you master the art of measuring ring size well, you can enjoy both kinds of rings! 

Resizing rings 

Of course, if you’ve purchased a ring you can go to a jeweller to have it resized. But this comes at extra cost, and there may be a visible seam where the ring has been adjusted. Of course, choosing the right ring size is the preference. But, if it’s your only choice, do your research. Find a jeweller with good reputation and strong online reviews. If the ring has a stone, resizing can compromise the stone and cause it to crack when resizing, so it’s worth investing in a high-quality ring resizing service. 

Getting your friend or partner’s ring size

Ready to get sneaky? If you are buying a ring for a friend or special person, here’s some ways to get their ring size. 

  • Steal or borrow their ring when they are not looking and use the tracing technique.
  • Admire the ring, and ask to try it on yourself—if you know that ring finger size (and it matches) you will get the size right.
  • Simply get them a gift card to choose their own ring (it’s fail-safe).

We hope this helps you feel more confident when wondering how to measure ring size! 

Now, time to do some shopping? 

Check out our online ring collection, you’re sure to find something you like and you’ll have no trouble finding the right size!

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