Ring guards are used to reduce the inner diameter of a ring to make the ring smaller. Ring guards are known by many names: ring wrap, ring guard, ring sizer, ring size reducer, sizing beads, sizing balls, spring insert or ring size adjuster. Ring guards can be permanent or temporary. Some ring guards are adjustable. Most ring guards can be installed without the help of a jeweler.
Sizing beads, also called sizing balls, must be installed inside of the ring by a jeweler. Sizing beads measure about 2 mm each and are typically created from the same carat metal from which the ring is constructed. Two sizing beads are usually soldered inside of the back of the ring. Sizing beads are used for reducing a ring size by about half a size and typically are used in cases where the ring wearer needs the ring to be larger to fit over a knuckle, but smaller to prohibit the ring from twisting around on the finger. Heavy rings or rings with large settings also benefit from sizing beads to hold the setting on top of the finger. "Professional Jeweler Magazine" maintains that sizing beads are not for every customer, as some people find the beads uncomfortable.
Metal Ring Guard
Metal ring guards are sometimes called metal ring sizers or spring inserts. Metal ring guards may be installed by yourself or by a jeweler. Metal ring guards installed by jewelers are soldered to the outer sides of the ring. Metal ring guards installed by yourself require the use of needle nose pliers. A little metal strip is looped around each side of the ring, across the inside back of the ring, and metal tabs are then secured to the ring. You can push the metal guard up or down to make the ring smaller or larger. Metal ring guards are good for reducing the size of a ring that you don't wish to have cut down to make smaller in the case of temporary weight loss or for a family heirloom.
Rubber, Plastic or Silicone Guards
Rubber, silicone or plastic ring guards are temporary ring guards and usually the most affordable. Some guards are tubes with one side slit so the guard pops over the back of the ring band. These are typically not adequate for wide ring bands. The tube is usually clear rubber, plastic or silicone. Adhesive ring guards resemble little pads that stick inside of the ring back and are sold in packages of multiple guards. Adhesive guards must be replaced if they get wet, as the adhesive weakens. Silicone ring guards can also look like clear rings that slip under the actual ring and cling to the inside of the band to make it smaller.
Liquid Silicone Guards
Liquid silicone is available in a tube and is applied to the inside of the ring in order to reduce the size. Liquid silicone may be applied to any width -- wide or narrow -- ring band. The silicone is squirted in a fine line inside of the ring and allowed to dry for about 36 hours. More silicone may be added to adjust the size. When the ring guard is no longer required, the silicone can be pulled from the ring. Liquid silicone ring guards go on clear to white, and most dry white.