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Thread: Help resizing onyx signet ring

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Help resizing onyx signet ring

    Hi All,

    I am normally reading and enjoying investigating jewellery making as a pastime and not posted or taken it up myself. However now I have a problem with a family ring I want to pass down to my son since injuring my finger and not having worn it for a long time. It is my father's gold onyx signet ring. My son (22) has been desperate to wear it for years and I finally made the decision and we both recently visited a local jewellery shop to get it resized.

    Their opinion was that the ring was downsizing by too many sizes and I ran the risk of the stone breaking and running into huge costs. The ring has worn away a lot since I had it and the hall mark and engraving has long gone but still seems to be solid enough. I asked if they could add gold or if there was any other way it could be done. I can't afford a complete copy to be made, especially with the carving. It seemed maybe a new ring should be bought and the stone set in that but they didn't really seem interested. Anyway this all loses the whole sentimental value of a ring and the reason for passing it down two generations if you know what I mean.

    My son, even though he is 22 has very small fingers. I stupidly forgot to note down the sizes we were talking about and will have to get it measured again but I think we were talking about it being K now and having to come down 4.5 sizes or it may have been even more than this. I will have to get that part confirmed again.

    My question is, can this sort of ring be downsized substantially and stay in one piece, can gold be added back in or is that not necessary, what information would you need to asses the work? How do I find a person with skills to do this. I am based in Loughton, Essex. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am very keen to get a family heirloom passed on. I hope I can upload photos to help, they are not the best quality. Many thanks for your help, James.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,951

    Default

    My initial reaction is that's a lot to size down and yes, conventionally it'd put the stone at risk (distortion of the shoulders as it's being sized).
    My gut feel would be to unset the stone and remake the ring - it's usually possible to reuse the existing gold, so there's some continuity; it'd then need to be hallmarked as a new piece.
    Can't see any evidence of engraving in the pics; can you shed any light on what it was?

    I considered whether adding a sleeve in might work, but it'd have to be fairly thick (the price of gold is way up at the moment); as that would obscure any remains of the hallmark it'd still need marking. And the stone would still be best unset first.

    Another option would be to leave the ring untouched and wear it on a chain instead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hi Peter thanks v much for the speedy reply. I would be very interested in a solution. I think the chain option is OK but not ideal as greater risk of losing and not quite the same. Engraving is JGK one side and date the other 26:7X, I think it was date my father was given the ring as he wasn't born on 26th (he died when I was young). Pretty sure it was 26:7:48.

    Can you recommend anyone? Photos of engravings attached.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Emoji choice was an autocorrect I didn't notice!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    Totally off the top of my head if Peter thinks it isn’t viable to resize. Your son has tried all fingers, it could possibly be worn as a thumb ring which is quite popular?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Many thanks for the suggestion, we hadn't really thought of the other fingers route. I suppose it's really not a traditional thing anymore these days. Will give it some more thought.

    James

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,951

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
    Can you recommend anyone? Photos of engravings attached.
    Not something I can really make out in that - not to worry. Inside ring engraving, just the one date then? Relatively easy to recut by hand. Inside the ring is always that much more fun because of not being able to swing the graver around (ring shank in the way).

    5mm (ish) is quite a lot to take out of a ring shank; easy enough to cut it, but bending the shank round without distorting the setting is going to be fraught. There's no way I'd attempt it without taking the stone out first, and that's always a risk too.

    Another option that might work - depending on how your son feels about it - would be sizing beads; small balls attached to the inside of the shank that reduce the size at those points. It'd be the same ring, but it'd not rattle around on a too-small finger. I've used them before for people with arthritic knuckles, which is why I didn't immediately think of it - the ring can go past the knuckle twisted at 90 degrees (er - the ring, not the knuckle), then be rotated to the correct orientation. In this case I'd laser them in place rather than solder - 3 or 4 around the shank (avoiding the hallmark & engraving) and then true them up to give a better size.

    As for the emoji - yeah, sometimes seemingly innocuous character combinations get matched!

    I'm not sure I can recommend myself per se, but it's the sort of thing I do quite a lot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,351

    Default

    Personally I would remove the Onyx and use the same gold to remake the ring in a smaller size, this will in my opinion produce the cleanest most satisfying result, not bits a pieces stuck here and there, it will the same gold just rearranged
    is the the ring a military regimental ring.

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