Sizing a ring is more complicated than what it might seem. You may hear prices ranging from $30-$120. There are often many variables involved such as:
–Is the ring being sized up or down? How far do you have to go?
–How wide is the ring shank?
–Are there any side diamonds, and how far down the ring are they set?
–Is the center stone tension set or a half bezel (this makes it harder)?
Don’t always go for the CHEAPEST price
Many people are tempted to base their decision of where to go on price alone. As is the case in many other businesses, price is far less important than the reputation of the jeweler.
A simple ring sizing (one of the easiest goldsmithing jobs), if done quickly can result in a ring shank bottom that is of uneven thickness or has a visibly poor polish (should have a mirror finish inside and out). Even worse is the common problem of the repair person wearing the bottom of the ring too thin (the bottom shank should be the same thickness as when you took it in).
In the most common scenario, the bench jeweler is just working too fast and not being careful enough to grind down the spot where the blob of solder was put to size your ring. A good jeweler instructs their repair people to take their time and do a good job and only grind down the area where the sizing was executed, and not grind down the entire bottom of the ring.
There’s another reason you might be subject to low quality repair work, and surprisingly this is something you might never understand without some inside information. Some stores will actually allow their repair people to keep any gold dust they accumulate as a kind of bonus. With today’s gold prices, that’s a pretty good deal. Just not for you and your ring. If the bottom part of the shank looks thinner than when you brought it in, it probably is…and now the bench jeweler’s on vacation.
How can you avoid this?
My advice is to look for an independent jeweler who does the work in-house, and don’t expect it to be done while you wait. Stores with a “one-hour sizing” wait or similar policies are rarely able to do quality work (all jewelry repair work is not created equal). Many places will accommodate customers who request their ring be done in less time, but honestly it is not in your best interest to negotiate this. Most jewelers will sacrifice quality of the work before they sacrifice the sale altogether.
I would say that a reasonable ring sizing is in the neighborhood of $35-$90, and that’s for a less complex ladies ring. With today’s gold prices, sizing a thick men’s band could be closer to $200 and still be reasonable. Ask your jeweler what type of labor is involved in sizing your particular ring.
Most importantly, take it to a well-known local jeweler you can trust. Word of mouth is powerful and the honest jewelers usually have a good reputation because of it.