Ring Size: What Is It, and How Can You Find Yours?

Most people can go their whole lives without knowing the circumference of their finger. Unlike shirt size or shoe size, which are important every day of the week, ring size can sit on the back burner for years. But one day, ring size may take on vital importance.

Often, ring size is most important when shopping for engagement rings and wedding bands. You’re looking for a lifelong ring—and you won’t want to choose wrong. 

So what is ring size? How do you measure it? Which size should you choose? Read on for an introduction to ring sizes, and take the confusion out of the process.

What it is

With so many factors that come to play when choosing an engagement ring, the last one on your mind may be the size of the ring. Yet, even with the perfect design, setting, and center diamond, the ring will only be right if it offers the perfect fit.

Ring size measures the circumference of the finger. Ring size, of course, varies from finger to finger. The ring size of your index finger and ring finger will likely be different from each other. Even two of the same fingers on different hands can have different ring sizes, as your dominant hand tends to be slightly larger than your non-dominant hand. Because of this, it’s important to size the specific finger you have in mind.

The US and Canada use a numeric ring sizing system. The smallest size offered is often a 3, and the largest is usually a men’s 16. The most common size for women, ring size 7, is 17.2 mm around. Size 10, a common men’s size, measures 19.8 mm. In the UK, ring sizes are measured by letters.

How to find out

There are a few ways to find out the size of your finger. You can measure it at home, or you can have it professionally measured by a jeweler near you. Even if you feel confident that you know your ring size, we would recommend getting your finger professionally sized before you make the purchase. It will save you from any unpleasant surprises down the line.

Several factors can impact the size of your fingers. If you’re finding your ring size at home, the best time to measure would be in the middle of the day at a comfortable temperature. Avoid measuring after exercise, drinking alcohol, or when the temperature is higher or lower than normal. These factors can cause your fingers to swell or shrink, giving you an inaccurate read.

One way to measure yourself, at home, is to use the string test. You can wrap a small piece of string around your finger and cut it to the length where the ends just touch. Then use a ruler to find the length of the string in millimeters, and find the equivalent size on a chart. Another home measurement system involves using a simple, printable tool to help you find your finger’s circumference. 

For the most accurate read, visit your local jewelry store. A skilled jeweler will give you the precise size and will be able to answer any questions you might have.

Finding your fit

Beyond ring size, the type of finger you have will affect the fit of your ring. There are two main types of fingers: tapered and knotted.

Tapered fingers are fingers that are widest at the base, and get narrower toward the fingertip. Choosing the best ring for this finger type is fairly straightforward with the right circumference. The downside is that rings are more likely to fall off this type of finger. Choosing a ring with a close fit is essential so you don’t lose your valuable jewelry.

If you have knotted fingers, the widest part of your finger is the knuckle. This may mean that you’ll have to choose a larger band size for it to fit on your finger. However, sometimes the ring will slide around and have a loose fit. Your jeweler may offer a few solutions to this problem. The simplest and least expensive may be sizing beads—two metal pieces that your jeweler adds to the ring to ensure the perfect fit.

Don’t miss this step

For a ring you plan to wear forever, it should fit like a dream. With these tools, you won’t have to guess or give up. Measure yourself and get the size confirmed by your local jeweler before you make the big purchase, then rest easy. You’ve made the choice of a lifetime.

Browse our engagement and wedding collections here, and shop in person or online through a Zeghani retailer today.