How to Find Another Person’s Ring Size — Discreetly
If you’re planning a surprise proposal, the last thing you want to do is saunter up to your beloved and ask them how big their finger is. Whether you’re buying an engagement ring or looking for a gift totally unrelated to saying “I do,” these tips will help you figure out a friend or family member’s ring size so you can be confident you’re wrapping a surprise that fits its recipient (literally).
Snoop in Their Jewelry Box
Perhaps the very best way to almost guarantee the ring you buy will fit the hand it’s intended for is to snag a ring your better half already owns. Wait until they’re sleeping or at work and sift through their jewelry box or explore the top of their dresser until you find a ring you know they’ve worn recently. That last part is crucial — you do not want to accidentally use an old ring for reference when it may not still fit.
You can then take the actual ring with you when you go shopping. If you’re concerned your partner may notice his or her ring missing, grab a piece of paper, trace the inside of the band (not the outside) and take your sketch with you.
One note: Make sure you’re grabbing a ring that’s typically worn on the ring finger. Some people love to stack rings on their pointer finger or even wear midi-rings that sit above their knuckle. Those are both fun options, but not the ring you want to use as a guide for this particular mission. If you have several rings to choose from and don’t know what to do, take or trace them all and average out the sizes to hedge your bets.
Make It a Game
At last, the silliness you can find on the internet is about to save the day! When you’re hanging out with your other half, tell them you read online that a person’s foot size is the same as the length between their wrist and elbow. Once you get a good laugh out of them trying that out, follow up with the old wives’ tale that the size of your neck should be double the circumference of your wrist. Now that you’re both giggling and wrestling with bits of string, declare that the circumference of your ring finger is supposed to be the same as your big toes.
That’s blatantly false, but now you’ll have a piece of string sized to her finger. The trick is making sure she marks the string while playing your game, so you have a takeaway once you’re done goofing around.
Measure While They’re Sleeping
If you’re known for tripping over your own feet or have a partner who is a light sleeper, feel free to skip over this suggestion. If your sweetheart tends to sleep through everything from thunderstorms to fire alarms, this may be the tip for you.
While they’re sleeping, gently wrap a piece of string around the base of their ring finger. Put a line where the string meets using a marker or tape the end in place and you have a ring mockup to use while you shop.
Ask Their Friends
People love being a part of someone else’s proposal, so now is the perfect time to rope in friends and family to give you a hand. Ask your soon-to-be spouse’s BFF, sister or other close relative to do some investigating. A casual talk about ring sizes won’t seem as suspicious coming from a third party.
They could suggest trying on each other’s rings, bring up their own ring size and ask what’s average or turn it into a funny chat by asking whether he or she has ever tried on rings just to see how it felt. “I heard that engagement rings sometimes run small… did you wear your normal size?”. Of course, the sizing comment isn’t true, but it’ll serve your purpose.
Another option is to ask their parents. Chances are they’ve bought your partner at least one ring as a Christmas or birthday present over the years or perhaps had a conversation about ring sizes. Your future in-laws will be tickled to be in on the big secret, and you’ll have reliable information to help guide your mission.
How to Ensure Accurate Sizing and a Comfortable Fit
Whether you’re “borrowing” a ring your soon-to-be spouse already has or using one of the other sneaky methods lifted above, you’ll want to make sure your guess, drawing or ring is properly evaluated and sized.
Know Which Hand They’ll Be Wearing Their Ring(s) On
While most people in the western world wear their wedding and engagement rings on their left hand, that’s not always the case. From disabilities to different cultural upbringings, there are many reasons someone might want to switch it up. In Norway, for example, many people often wear their wedding ring on their right hand because they believe power and authority come from the right hand of God. Hopefully you already know whether your significant other comes from a culture or religion that adheres to a similar idea. Keeping this tidbit in mind is helpful because it’s common to have a ring finger on the dominant hand that’s larger than the ring finger on the non-dominant hand.
Take Your Info (or “Borrowed” Ring) to a Jeweler
Whether you’ve pocketed a piece of string, a sketch or an actual ring, the best way to measure the fit is to take your information to an experienced jeweler. They’ll be able to use a professional ring sizer for an accurate result.
Buy a Ring-Sizing Device or Look Online for a Size Guide
If you’re designing your rings virtually or otherwise buying online, it’s not so easy to go into a brick-and-mortar jewelry store for sizing help — but fear not! The internet is once again coming to the rescue.
You can buy a cheap ring sizer and do the measuring at home or print out a free ring sizing guide. The latter option takes a little more work but is still reasonably simple as you’ll just have to match your stolen ring or other stand-in to the ring sizes printed on the paper guide.
Let Average Sizing Be Your Guide
We know your future spouse is anything but average, but if you have no clue what size ring he or she wears, you can try buying according to what average ring sizes are for each gender.
Most women wear between a size 5 and a size 7. If your bride is petite, the size 5 may fit. If she’s tall or has a larger frame, lean toward a size 7. (For further reference, the average woman in the United States is 5-foot 4-inches tall, so use that as your starting point.)
As for men, the most common ring size in the United States is a 10.
When in Doubt, Buy Bigger
If you still have lingering concerns over whether you’re buying the right size, go a size larger. While it’s not ideal to propose or get married with a ring that’s too big, it’s far better to be able to slide the ring on your beloved’s ringer than to be left trying to jam a band on after she said “Yes” or you both said “I do.” Think of the disappointment involved in discovering the long-awaited ring can’t even be modeled for a quick pic.
It’s also both easier and more cost effective to remove metal from a ring and size it down than it is to size it up.
Whether you’re popping the question, looking for a present or buying wedding bands on the sly, it’s important to get a ring that fits as close to true size as possible. But that doesn’t mean things are ruined if you get your measurements wrong. At the end of the day, it’s the magic of the “will you?” moment that matters most, and your sweetheart will love the effort you put in and the ring you bought even if it has to be adjusted first.