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Jewelry shopping can be intimidating. That’s why we started Ask Holden, our blog where we answer your FAQs, break down scary industry lingo, and guide you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry.
You’re considering proposing to your partner - congratulations! Or perhaps your partner proposed to you, and you want to surprise them by proposing right back. We think everybody should be able to celebrate their commitment with an engagement ring - or pop the question if they want to! But now you’re facing a problem: engagement ring sizing - and how to do it without your partner knowing.
This post is actually inspired by Instagram - a recent Q+A in our stories created a big discussion about sneakily finding your partner’s ring size. These ideas are almost entirely pulled from suggestions made by our followers. If you want to be part of the conversation, make sure to follow us on Instagram!
Just ask them
No, this isn’t the sneakiest option, but it certainly is the most effective. Many couples talk about engagement before getting engaged - so even if your proposal is a surprise, your partner might not be totally shocked to know you’re looking at rings. In fact, a recent survey by The Knot revealed that one in three couples actually go engagement ring shopping together.
To get their size, simply order one of our free ring size kits and follow the instructions within to find the perfect fit. Once you determine your partner’s ring size, you can still secretly pick a ring and plan a surprise proposal that will blow them away. Or, of course, you could look at rings online together and find the perfect engagement ring (or rings!) as a couple.
Bait and switch
You could tell your partner you’re actually looking to buy a ring for your own sibling or parent. In order to get your sibling’s ring size, you’ll need to measure your partner’s finger - you know, “just to get a reference of what a ring size should be.” Of course, you’re really doing this to determine your partner’s ring size - although we’re sure your sibling or parent would love a surprise gift as well!
The sleep technique
While your partner is sleeping, you can size their finger using either a ring sizer or a piece of string. One of our Instagram followers said her husband even used a twist tie to find her ring size in her sleep! We recommend using our free ring sizer for the most accurate read, but any measurement is better than no measurement at all!
“Randomly” stop into a jewelry store
Take your partner to a local jeweler to get your ring fingers measured, explaining vaguely that it would be fun to go “just in case either of you might need this information someday down the line.” Who knows - your partner might be trying to determine your ring size at this very moment for a proposal of their own, so stopping into a store to get sized could be a favor to both of you!
Use their friends
Close friends or family can be extremely helpful in determining ring size - your partner might not be as suspicious if ring size questions are coming from a friend. A friend asking to compare finger sizes might sound a bit more natural than you bringing the topic up at dinner.
You could also ask your partner’s friend to take your partner ring browsing at a local jeweler. This could help you determine size, and it could get you some sneaky insight into what type of ring your partner likes.
Ask a parent/sibling
As one of our Instagram followers put it, “Moms are great at keeping secrets.” If you feel comfortable involving your partner’s family, there is a very real chance they might know your partner’s ring size. A sibling can always be a good reference for hand size as well.
Buy some other jewelry
One follower recommended picking up a cheap ring set for date night that you can give your partner to wear. Keep track of the sizes and how they fit your partner. This way, your partner will also have some fun new jewelry!
Propose creatively - without a ring
If you’re nervous about buying a ring without knowing your partner’s exact fit, that’s okay too! We’ve had couples put our free ring sizers into a ring box and propose with the promise of a ring that they can pick out together. That way, the ring is guaranteed to fit! We’ve even had a few couples propose with Ring Pops!
The most important part of the engagement is the two of you. If you choose to wait and pick a ring after you’ve proposed, your partner will probably love looking at rings with you to find the perfect choice!
One trick to skip
One technique we don’t recommend at Holden is using a piece of jewelry your partner already wears. Finding an existing ring in their jewelry box can be inaccurate, since different sized rings will fit different fingers. It would be unfortunate if you used your partner’s thumb ring to determine an engagement ring size!
We also really encourage you to use a ring sizer rather than tracing a ring on a piece of paper or using a piece of string, since we’ve found that these methods often lead to inaccurate sizing.
Ring Sizing Tips
Now, once you’ve figured out how you’re going to sneak a ring size, it’s important to make sure you know how to measure ring size correctly. Engagement rings and wedding bands are rings that you’ll wear every day for the rest of your life, so it’s important that they fit.
You might want to practice on your own hand before you try to do a stealth finger measure of your partner. Measuring your finger isn’t difficult, but it’s important to know how to properly use the sizer.
One common mistake with ring sizers is putting them tightly on the base of your finger but never making sure the ring can slide on and off your finger. It should be snug but not too tight to get on or off! The ring sizer comes with a ring size guide which will give more detailed instructions - we also have a video you can watch to make sure you’re using the belt correctly.
It’s also important when measuring to pick the right finger - as every finger is a different size. Dominant hands also tend to be a bit bigger due to increased use, so the sizes of the fingers on one hand might be larger than the sizes on the other. Make sure you pick a ring that they wear on the correct finger - on the correct hand.
Not sure what hand you want them to wear their ring? Traditionally, in the United States, the fourth finger on the left hand is the standard choice for wedding and engagement ring placement. We’ve got a blog post on which hand your wedding ring goes on to help you learn more - where the marrier wears the ring varies from culture to culture!
At Holden, we measure all of our rings on the standard US and Canada sizing scale. We also have an international conversion chart if you’re looking for other types of sizing. This ring size chart is also a good resource if you’re unable to access a ring sizer, but we do recommend using a ring sizer to get the most accurate measurement.
If despite your best efforts, the ring doesn’t quite fit, you can always get the ring resized (for free!) by sending it back to us. Need some more advice? Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.