Dan’s Tech Tips.

Part 1: Here we address ring problems relating to enlarged knuckles and what we can do to get your ring to fit better. There are three parts of the finger to consider; the knuckle, the muscle and the pocket nearest the hand where the ring sits on the finger. Generally, the knuckle and the pocket are slow changing parts of the body. The muscle, on the other hand, can change quickly and dramatically due to allergies, exercise or diet.

First, let’s take a look at a ring that goes over the knuckle and muscle one day, but does go on easily the next. If the change in fit is this rapid, you may have an allergy or a salt based water retention problem. If you reduce your sodium and/or the citrus intake and that fixes things, we are done. If not, we need a flexible solution to the problem or the ring can only be worn at certain times.

The ring should fit properly when the finger is at its’ largest. When the size reduces, one of the easiest and least expensive temporary ways to address this problem is to wrap a little bit of adhesive tape around on the inside of the ring. This will not only reduce the size with a soft and flexible pad, but it will give some extra friction so the ring is less slippery and will be less likely to turn as it sits in the pocket. Sometimes the inside is just too slippery and a textured finish will help things stay put better.

It could be that the shank, the part of the ring at the sides and back, is so worn and thin that it doesn’t provide enough friction. If this is the case, it is also too small to hold the tape. If you have your own old gold, (single earrings, broken chains, etc.) you can bring that material in and we recycle it to make a new wider back for your ring.
If that doesn’t look s if it will work and you want a more elegant and permanent solution, we can fit small pieces of metal called “gypsy balls” inside the ring at the 4:30 and 7:30 positions. If the size difference between the knuckle and the pocket are not too great, they will grasp the muscle and prevent the ring from rotating.

Or, if the difference is greater than one size, it is possible to fit a “harp” that will compress as the ring passes over the knuckle and then spring back to grasp and hold everything where you want it.

For really dramatic problems, like arthritis, we even have specially made shanks of gold that open a full four sizes that can then lock back down in the pocket. They have a stainless steel retainer in them so the ring cannot fall off even if it isn’t closed properly or opens accidentally.
Many possible problems, many answers. Come in soon, bring your finger and I’ll take a look at it. Then I can advise you how we can fix things up at the most reasonable cost.

Part 2: This part of the series is a follow up on what to do if you have regular sized knuckles but your rings still fit poorly, are always turning and they look crooked on your finger if you pull them all of the way on. Generally, this occurs on a hand with a deeper recess between the little finger and the third finger. Most rings are flat when you lay them down on a hard surface and are made for hands with webs between all of the fingers that are relatively straight and even. About 20% of the population have slightly deeper indents between the outside two digits and half of those have very deep recesses. This causes the “pocket” or crease on the inside of your hand where the hand and finger meet to be at a sharper angle than usual. It catches the ring shank and it pulls the ring onto a diagonal line on the top of the hand. (fig. 1)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

A simple solution to the problem is to have rings with a wider shank at the bottom. This type of ring can bridge the pocket so it cannot grab the ring and twist it. The downside of this is that it can feel bulky and uncomfortable at first. It also tends to make your finger look shorter if you have short fingers to start with. (fig. 2)

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

A better solution is to have your ring made with an “S” shaped back that conforms to the pocket but has a straight top. This allows the back of the ring to conform to the pocket and, if the web is not too deep, it can straighten out the appearance of the ring. This is a most common solution for this problem used at our shop. (fig. 3)

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

The final solution is the only real answer for those with the deepest webs. It is the bypass shank, where the ring is made so that it has an “S” bottom bar on the top of the ring comes up over and under the top of the ring like a pair of hands holding the crown. This configuration allows for the widest difference in web depths and doesn’t visually shorten the finger. (fig. 4)

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

There is a final possibility and it also helps shorter fingered folk to have longer looking digits. It is possible to cantilever certain larger topped rings so that they are not actually centered on the shank, but lay closer to the hand. This hides the offset of the shank underneath and allows the wearer to display her sparklies with pride and comfort. (fig. 5)

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *