The Difference between Ring Thickness and Ring Width

Ring width vs. thickness

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Ring thickness and width are two completely different features of a ring that most people tend to mix up, believing that they’re the same. Both are important aspects to take into consideration if you’re planning to go ring shopping.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what ring thickness and ring width are and the difference between the two. We’ll also have a look at how these two aspects can affect the appearance of a ring and how it fits on your finger.

The Difference between Ring Width and Ring Thickness

Although most people think that ring thickness and ring width are one and the same, but there’s actually a marked difference between them:

Ring Width

ring width

Ring width is the width of your ring’s band, from one edge to the other. When you wear a ring, the width refers to how much space the ring covers on your finger. Jewelers usually measure ring width in millimeters and while most rings have a standard width of between 2mm – 12mm, some can be as wide as 20mm.  

Ring Thickness

Ring thickness

This refers to how thick your ring is. Some rings have different variations of thickness. For example, if you have a ring that tapers, you’ll find that your ring is thick at the base and thinner at the top near the stone. Similar to width, ring thickness is also measured in millimeters, from the inner part towards the outer.

Ideal Ring Thickness and Width

Narrow and thick ring

Thin engagement ring paired with thick wedding band.

Usually, most rings have a thickness of 1.5mm, which is ideal for daily wear. It’s also perfect for people who work with their hands a lot. The standard thickness and width for rings is 2mm and 12mm respectively. Note however, that this is just the average. These numbers can vary dramatically depending on the style and design of the ring.

There’s no saying which thickness or width is the best, however, since it depends on your preference. You can choose to have a ring that’s different in width or thickness than the standard, but you might want to consider the advantages and disadvantages before you decide.

Pros and Cons of Wide, Narrow and Thick Rings

Let’s take a quick look at the pros of cons of wide, thick and thin ring bands:

Narrow Rings

Pink sapphire eternity ring

Pink sapphire eternity ring (1.8mm thickness) by Blue Nile. See it here.

Pros of Narrow Rings

  • Narrow rings have a subtle outline which makes them look good on slender fingers.
  • They’re also very comfortable to wear since they’re lightweight and you won’t feel too much of the metal on your finger.
  • If you’re planning to have a center stone, a thinner ring would highlight it and make it appear bigger than it really is.

Cons of Narrow Rings

  • Due to their delicate structure, a narrow ring might not be ideal for someone who leads and active lifestyle and uses their hands a lot since it can get bent or lose shape over time.
  • Thin rings are also much more difficult to resize than thick rings and regular polishing can weaken them.
  • Thin rings may look too small if you have larger hands.

Wide Rings

7mm thick ring

7mm width classic wedding ring by Blue Nile. See it here.

Pros of Wide Rings

  • Wide rings allow you to get creative and also give you enough room to add more stones.
  • They’re perfect for stacking, which is convenient, especially when it’s a wedding band.
  • They’re much stronger than narrow rings.
  • They give more metal to support the center stone (if you have one).

Cons of Wide Rings

  • Wide rings can make your center stone look smaller than it really is, whereas a narrow ring would make it stand out.
  • The wider the ring, the more metal used to make it. This means that it could cost more.
  • Wider rings can feel uncomfortable if you’re not used to the feel of more metal against your finger.

Thick Rings

Sapphire and diamond stacking ring

Thick sapphire and diamond halo ring by Blue Nile. See it here.

Pros of Thick Rings  

  • Thicker rings have a much sturdier feel, because the band is heavier and has more metal.
  • Thicker rings can hold larger stones as they’re stronger and the setting feels more secure.

Cons of Thick Rings

  • Thick rings usually make small fingers look smaller.
  • These rings can cost more as they use more metal than thin bands.

Finger Size vs. Ring Thickness and Width

Knowing your finger size makes it easier to choose a ring that fits well. If your fingers are on the short side, you might want to go for a thinner ring since a wide one could make them appear even shorter.

However, if you have long, slender fingers, then you’re in luck because they would go well with almost any ring width. However, even so, it would be a good idea to avoid very thin rings and opt for medium-range ring thickness and width, since thinner rings are more prone to getting bent.

Once you’ve got the right thickness and width, opt for the right size. When shopping for a ring, the most important thing to remember and get right is the size of the ring. Here are a few tips to help you identify your correct finger size.

  • Take a piece of string or dental floss and wrap it around your finger to check the size. Don’t wrap it too tightly or your ring will be too tight for you. You can also use a ring you already have to check the size. Place it on a ring size chart to determine its size.
  • Always take your finger measurements when the weather is warm. Cold weather tends to shrink your fingers, giving you smaller measurements. The result will be an ill-fitting ring.
  • Take your measurements at the end of the day. As crazy as it sounds, your fingers tend to be slightly puffy in the early morning and by the end of the day, they’ve gone back to their usual size. This is why you get accurate finger measurements at the end of the day
  • Don’t forget your knuckles. If you have big knuckles, ensure that you get a ring half a size larger than your exact size. This ensures that your ring will easily glide over your knuckles without getting stuck halfway.
  • If you’re having a hard time trying to measure your finger size at home, visit your local jewelry store and have your measurement taken. The good thing about this is that you also get to try on different metals and feel how they sit on your finger.

Wrapping Up

When shopping for your ring, make sure to choose one that will last longer and be convenient for you to wear according to your lifestyle. In general, thinner rings are considered more feminine, whereas thicker bands have a more masculine look to them, which is why they’re ideal for men’s rings.

In the end, the thickness and width of your ring comes down to your preference. After all, it’s your ring, so make sure to pick one that feels perfect to you and that you’ll be comfortable wearing.