What worth a pearl ring?
December 25, 2008 11:07 AM   Subscribe

My mother gave me a pearl ring (one white and one black natural pearls on a simple silver band, can't find a close match online) to give to my fiance. It's incredibly small, and I would absolutely need to have it resized to fit her finger, by at least a half size, and as much as a whole size. What would that cost, and given the ring, is it worth it? It's from about 1970 or so. I'm in Chicago, is there any place that you can recommend?
posted by Oktober to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
Response by poster: To clarify, the pearls are relatively normal-sized, but the band is very small. My best guess is that she'll be able to get it up to the second knuckle on her ring finger, but not over the knuckle.
posted by Oktober at 11:13 AM on December 25, 2008

Here's the daftest of all superstitions that I know, but in my mothers and my case it has been true every time: A man should never give a woman pearls, for she will leave him.

This probably stems from the idea that pearls symbolize tears, which is why you never have them in engagement or wedding rings. If you find it tricky to enlarge this ring, you could use this old wives tale as a way of returning the ring to your mother without offending her (unless of course she's offended by you hanging on to silly superstitions).

Have you thought of it becoming a pinky ring. It sounds like it could be a cute pinky ring, and that might not need too much work. This depends of course on the style of your girlfriend and the ring.
posted by dabitch at 11:45 AM on December 25, 2008

Ring sizing usually only costs about $30. If you both like the ring, it's worth it, regardless of its market value, if any. Or she could wear it on a chain or on her pinky, as dabitch suggests, if sizing isn't feasible for whatever reason.
posted by isogloss at 12:17 PM on December 25, 2008

Pearl rings can be difficult to size depending on the mounting of the pearls, but it's certainly doable.

Pearls aren't great ring material in Chicago since they are porous and fragile. The temperature extremes will make the pearls prone to cracking. Also, pulling gloves on and off, may scratch the pearls. Pearls aren't incredibly delicate but they aren't going to put up with water, soap, hand cream and cold.

Pinkie rings also take more impact than other rings, but I'd probably wear it on that finger anyway if it would avoid resizing.
posted by 26.2 at 1:15 PM on December 25, 2008

Pearls aren't incredibly delicate but they aren't going to put up with water, soap, hand cream and cold.

They're made of calcium carbonate, which means they'll dissolve in anything with a low pH. (There's a scene in Hamlet where a pearl is dissolved in wine.)

I wonder if it might be better to hang this ring from a neck chain?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:47 PM on December 25, 2008

Resizing cost will also be dependent on the metal, especially if you are going up in size and metal is added to the ring. Is it silver (sterling silver?) and not white gold? (and if it's platinum, not likely in this case, that'll be most expensive). If a MeFite doesn't come up with a jeweler recommendation, try reading the reviews on yelp.com. My preference is for a place that has a jeweler onsite and does custom work, instead of one that is primarily retail and sends their work out.

As to whether it's worth it: you could leave that up to your fiance to decide if she will wear it to make it worth the cost. She can still treasure the sentimental value and keep it as an heirloom but not wear it. So, assuming you haven't given it to her yet, you can present it to her with the strong spirit of the gift very intact, that your mom wanted her to have it and tell her you can have it resized if she wants to wear it.

Congratulations on your engagement!
posted by girlhacker at 8:41 PM on December 25, 2008

Best answer: Dimend Scaasi, located in Jeweler's Row downtown, is awesome. Straight up. They can do sizing on site.
posted by penchant at 8:24 AM on December 26, 2008

at the shop where i work we usually charge about 15 to size a silver ring. going up one size should be no problem. this depends on the setting though, if there is any kind of inlay or channel settings on the band itll be a no-go.
posted by swbarrett at 8:41 AM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: As an update, my grandmother just gave me an heirloom diamond ring to give to my fiance, it belonged to her grandmother and is approximately 120 years old, and other than some tarnish on the silver, is in beautiful shape.
posted by Oktober at 8:59 AM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

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