You can’t get your ring(s) off?!

From our Service Department

Okay, so I swear that gold shrinks over time.  Really!  After some years, it seems that often rings don’t fit anymore.  For those who never take their rings off, this can come as quite a surprise.  One day the ring needs to come off and, oh no!  Before you panic, here is what to try.  Note:  if it is an emergency, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Pick a time of day when your hands are the least swollen (for some this is the morning; for others, the afternoon).  Go to a place where the temperature is lower (outside in the winter; an air conditioned room in the summer). Hold your hand up (above your heart) for about 2 minutes.  Next, put a generous amount of hand cream on the finger and the ring making sure it gets under the ring.  Then spray some Windex on the finger and try to slide the ring off.

If none of this works, call us!  Our Jeweller will be happy to cut the ring off.  There is no charge for this service.  Call ahead to make sure he will be in the store when you are planning to come.

What not to do!
Please do not let anyone take side cutters or any other cutters to your ring, unless it is an emergency, in which case, your finger is more important to save than the ring.


How can I tell if my jewellery is gold, silver or another metal?

Most jewellery is stamped somewhere on its surface. On rings it is typically on the inside of the shank, but, can also be under the head or sometimes on the outside of the shank at the back or side of the ring. Earrings with ear wires or posts may have the stamp on the wire part of the earring. Pendants may have the stamp somewhere on the main section or may have the bale stamped. Precious metal jewellery made in Canada MUST, by law have a quality mark and a manufacturer’s trademark on the item as a minimum or NO stamp at all. That means it must have either both marks, or neither. In some countries, EACH link of a gold chain must have a karat stamp and manufacturer’s trademark. This is not required in Canada. If your jewellery has no marking, or, if you are unsure that the mark is correct, we can test the karat of the jewellery and tell you gold content. There is a small charge for this service; typically $10 per item.

10 karat gold will usually be stamped 10k or 417. 10k means that the item is 10 parts in 24 gold, and the remaining 14 parts in 24 is alloy. 10/24=.417 which means that the item is 41.7% gold. This is why some 10k gold is stamped 417. Just as an aside, it is the metals in the alloy that determine the colour of the gold; typically yellow, white, or rose (pink).

Similarly, 14k gold may be stamped 583, 18k gold may be stamped 750, and 22k gold may be stamped 917. Because 24k gold is very soft, jewellery is seldom made in pure 24k gold.

Sterling Silver is usually stamped 925 or Sterling. 925 or Sterling means that the item is 92.5% silver and the remaining 7.5% is alloy.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at, or via Facebook (, or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc