First published: 26-11-2015

What do I need to know about buying a ladies' ring?

Article date: Tue 27th January 2015 03:32 PM
What do I need to know about buying a ladies' ring?
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Wearing rings can be one of the quickest and most effective ways of styling up any look. No need to fasten it; just slip it on to instantly take your outfit up to the next level. From subtle bands to explosive cluster designs, there are rings to suit every woman, style and occasion, so we know you will be able to find something perfect for you.

To find a ring that is ideal, there are a few things you should consider. Take a look through our hints and tips below to help you determine which ones will suit you.


Before anything else, you have to make sure you know what size ring you're after. Any jewellers will be able to help you with a quick measurement, although grabbing a tape measure at home might be just as easy.

No matter how perfect the style of your ring, if it is the wrong size, you might find yourself constantly worrying about it staying on your hand. Of course, rings can be resized after purchasing, but to avoid yourself the extra effort of sending it away, take the time to find out exactly what size you need before committing to buying.

If you don't have the opportunity to try your ring on before purchasing, then it may be slightly harder to ensure you get the right size (in which case, resizing is always an option). If you already own another ring that is absolutely perfect, use that as your guide.

If not, check whether or not the ring's designer has a specific size guide, as well as checking that of the retailer. This will typically involve measuring around your finger and comparing the circumference against their pre-defined sizes.

Make sure your hands are not too hot or cold when you measure for size, as this can give you an incorrect result. Also, try measuring on three or four different occasions (at different times of the day) to get an idea of the average size you need to look out for.

Of course, the size of your fingers can alter slightly over the course of a few years (especially if you are pregnant), so never worry if your ring feels a bit more snug than it used to - you can always get it resized to maintain a perfect fit.

Buying for someone else

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Picking the right size can be a bit trickier if you're buying for someone else, but there are a few things you can try if you need to figure out their size without just asking them outright.

If you notice they are wearing a ring already, you could comment on the style or pattern and ask to try it on yourself to see how it would look. See where it stops on your finger, and then when you're out shopping for a ring to give them, try on any you are considering buying to see if they stop at that same point on your finger.

Alternatively, give them one of your rings to try on, pretending you are not sure if it suits you or looks good. Take note of which finger they instinctively put it on, and whether or not it is loose.


So, now that the tricky bit is out of the way, it's time to start having some fun. The different metals used to make rings give you the opportunity to find out exactly what will suit you and the occasion you're dressing for.

In terms of colouring, the three most common ones found on ring bands are rose, gold and silver. However, the materials may not actually be gold or silver, rather stainless steel, platinum and gold-plating. (Fortunately, no-one else needs to know that, so if you want to tell all your friends that you're rocking an 18 carat ring, we promise not to say a word!)

However, in actual fact, nine-carat gold is typically more durable than 18, so many ring shoppers might opt for that instead. It's still very luxurious and has a pale yellow tone to it that can really accentuate diamond stones.

Platinum is also very durable, making it a very popular option in more recent years for wedding rings. Furthermore, it is hypoallergenic, so even people with sensitive skin can wear a platinum ring with ease. Titanium is also hypoallergenic, so these are the two silver-toned options to look out for if you need a little bit of extra care. Bear both of these in mind if you are buying for someone else who you know to have sensitive skin.

Sterling silver is not normally as durable as other materials. However, it is quite inexpensive, which means that it is used to make a lot of everyday rings. It typically contains roughly 92.5% silver, with the other 7.5% made up of a combination of other metals such as copper.

Rose gold is extremely popular these days, often seen as a very romantic and feminine colour. Its shade can range from a fairly reddish-pink to a paler colour that is closer to white, so there is a rose gold tint to suit everyone. It is often used as part of a two-tone design, there to complement another, more traditional colour, although many people now prefer it as a colour in its own right.

If you want to start your journey taking a look through the rings Watch Shop has on offer, you can browse through the full range of yellow gold, silver toned, rose, multi-tonal, and even black-tinted rings.


Here's where your own individual preferences come into play. While there are rough guidelines in terms of proportion (smaller hands often suit smaller rings), each person is different, so the trick is just to try the ring on and see how you feel wearing it.

That being said, there are a few recommendations based on the shape of your fingers. Shorter fingers can be elongated by rings with an oval or rectangular stone, whereas thicker bands can complement narrow fingers and vice-versa.

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Ultimately, the style of ring you pick will depend on what kind of style you typically dress to suit, as well as the occasion. Slender rings with embedded jewels, such as this one by Karen Millen, may be more appropriate for a black tie event, as they exude a classic charm and sophistication.

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On the other hand, something more bold and playful such as this design from Lipsy might look better if you're out for cocktails with the girls. Costume jewellery - pieces with big theatrical embellishments - can transition really well between daytime and evening looks, but for the more formal events, something understated may work a little better.

You also have to consider what other jewellery you are wearing. If your earrings are a delicate pearl design, then a matching pearl ring might really bring the whole outfit together. Alternatively, if the material of your watch is rose gold, then a silver or gold ring may end up clashing. Always consider the ensemble effect of your outfit to find the perfect ring.

Furthermore, ring stacking is also very popular, so if you're planning to wear quite a few on one hand, you might want to make sure the colours coordinate. Having the same colour band will instantly help them match, though you should also consider the size and colour of the stones so that your hand doesn't look overpowered.

When buying for someone else, think about what style of jewellery you have seen them wearing, and for what occasions. Depending on how well you know them and their style, your best bet might be to opt for something classic, but feel free to be more adventurous if you are confident that you know their style.


It is always best to consider your day-to-day activities when you pick out a ring, especially if you are planning to wear it all the time. Think carefully about the kinds of activities you might do regularly, such as doing the dishes, as well as the requirements of your job.

For example, if you work with food, you may not be able to wear rings, or only ones that can fit under gloves. This will help you figure out what kind of ring will be suitable for everyday wear and which ones are best reserved for special occasions.

Rings can really be the perfect finishing touch to your outfit. If you've got the ideal size and style, it can be a really eye-catching addition to what you're wearing, helping you feel glamourous whether you're doing the housework or out at a wedding reception. Bear in mind all our advice and you can find the ring or rings to suit you.

What I need to know about buying a ladies' ring | Watch Shop


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