1-img_3366Sizing a ring is pretty easy.  It just takes a little applied mathematics.  First, determine the inner diameter of the desired ring size. Then, take the inner diameter, add the thickness of your wire and multiply by pi…3.14.

Example:  To make a size 7 ring with 14 gauge wire (1.63mm thick) follow this calculation.

To 17.35  (inner diameter of size 7) add 1.63  (thickness of 14 gauge wire)  for a total of 18.98.  Multiply 18.98 by pi (3.14) for a grand total of 59.60mm  (total length of wire needed…see SPECIAL NOTE)

In this case, round the measurement up to 60mm.  When cutting your wire stock, make sure that it is straight along your measuring tool for an accurate cut.  Also, use a quality flush cutter. This prevents having to sand off a large amount of wire in order to solder two perfect wire ends together.


Keep in mind that after soldering the wire ends together your metal will be soft.  Treat it with care so as not to mar the ring surface.  Also, it’s important to remember that wire will expand when hammered.  Therefore, please follow the guidelines below.  Depending on the manner of your hammer blows the ring could possibly become larger than intended. Use your ring mandrel to regularly check sizing.

  • Reduce your wire length by 1/4 size to allow for shaping your ring after soldering.
  • Reduce your wire length by 1/2 size to allow for stamping or embossing your ring after soldering.

Your may add interest to your ring by lightly hammering the outer surface using either end of a chasing hammer.  Or perhaps by using a metal stamping tool, such as a “period” or “starburst” to create a design.  Wire stock is sold in many forms as well.  Round, square, beaded and patterned wire, to name a few, will add an artistic dimension to your rings.

There are numerous educational websites to help the jewelry maker along his or her way.  I personally prefer to visit Rio Grande,  Beaducation and Contenti on the web for my jewelry making supplies and additional help in the way of videos and blogs. A wonderful YouTube channel features Mr. Soham Harrison who masterfully takes the jewelry making student to more involved levels.  Additionally, there are myriads of sites devoted to US and UK ring sizes, wire gauge sizes and ring calculators.

You just might be surprised at how satisfying and enjoyable calculating the exact ring measurements may be.  Not to mention having a new set of stack rings to wear!


  • 14 gauge sterling silver wire (copper wire can be used for practice if desired)
  • flush cutter
  • measuring ruler, caliper or sliding gauge in mm
  • #2 file
  • soldering equipment *
  • finishing and polishing equipment*

* To be covered in a subsequent lesson.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article or jewelry making in general please be sure to leave them in the comment box below.  Thank you!


Trying something new…

Do you love rings?  How about spoon rings? I am expanding my jewelry making adventure into the art of….spoon jewelry!  Would you like to learn how to make spoon rings, too? How about spoon bracelets?  Stayed tuned for my new tutorial…coming April 2017!!!

LOVE this pickle!

Do you like pickles? No, not the ones you like to eat with your ham sandwich. The easy-on-the-earth-we-live-on pickle! This pickle cleans off fire-scale* from your metal jewelry.

I was quite cautious about using a caustic pickle mixture. Everything I read about it was HORRID! I didn’t want to worry about getting it on my skin, in my eyes and on my jewelry making bench. So, I just kept on researching and found a really great ‘natural’ pickle. I have used it for a couple of weeks and it works wonderfully! The fire-scale is cleaned off nicely and doesn’t harm anything that I value! The recipe is at the end of this post, if you’d like to try it.

I bought a little, used crock pot to heat the pickle mixture. It seems to work better warmed up a bit. I leave the metal in the pickle for about 15 minutes. Then, I turn off the crock pot and remove the metal piece using popsicle sticks. I then rinse and dry the metal and prepare it for the next step…whatever that might be.

The BEST part is that I’m not involved in harming the planet. That makes my heart happy! (Wouldn’t that make a cute stamped disc? A little smiling planet…sign!)

Hope you have a really nice evening!

Natural Pickle Recipe

About one cup of White wine vinegar to one teaspoon of iodized or kosher salt or slightly more, if required.   Should be used warm for best results.  I have personally used it on copper and sterling silver only.  Please be advised to dispose of responsibly.  Due to the possible metal content, pour into plastic container, label, then take to your community land fill.  There should be persons on site to help you.