Today I am going to talk about how to size online jewelry. As mentioned in our online buying tips: ‘The online image of the item may make it look larger than it is in reality, so check the measurement guide and any photos of models wearing the item.’ I have come across many reviews from customers on jewelry sites saying ‘lovely piece but smaller than expected’. Somehow we need to determine the size of an item before ordering it to avoid any disappointment.
How can we measure online jewelry?
But how can we do this? Mobile screens are small, desktop screens are large, zoom in and out tools all make images appear larger or smaller than they are in reality. Even if the online jewelry store has taken the time to show the item as accurately as possible or even included a ruler or model to help portray the dimensions of the piece, it is still often difficult to visualize the actual size.
Most online jewelry stores state clearly the measurements of all their products. The size is not always in the initial description so you will need to find it under ‘more information’ or under ‘product specifications’ on the product detail page. The most common measurements in the USA are inches (in) for necklaces and bracelets and fractions of inches or millimeters (mm) for earrings and other smaller jewelry items. Metric units used in other countries are centimeters (cm) and millimeters (mm).
Common measurements are length (L) and width (W) and perhaps depth (D) for the thickness of a piece. Other dimensions for circular pieces are Circumference which is the total distance around the circle and Diameter which is the distance across the circle. The measurements can be in fractions (3/8) usually used with inches, or in decimals (0.25) used with both inches and millimeters.
Convert Inches to Millimeters
If you need to convert from mm (millimeters) to in (inches): 1 in = 25.4 mm
- To convert mm to in, divide by 25.4. For example if a bracelet is 200mm: 200 ÷ 25.4 = 7.87in which is approx. 8in
- To convert in to mm, multiply by 25.4. For example if a bracelet is 8in: 8 x 25.4 = 203mm which is approx. 200mm
For metric countries: 1 cm = 10 mm
Example Jewelry Measurements
Here are example measurements from pieces featured on our April Birthstone page:
How to Size Online Jewelry
Once you have found the measurements I suggest doing one of the following:
- Use a piece of your own jewelry as a reference. Choose a similar item, for example a pendant, measure it and compare the dimensions to the size of the online piece. You can then determine if the online piece is larger or smaller.
- Use a ruler and draw the dimensions on a piece of paper to immediately get an idea of the size. You could additionally cut this shape out of clear plastic and hold it over your screen and zoom the image on the screen to fit the cut-out. This will help you really be certain of the size of the online piece.
- Use a small common household item that you know the dimensions of, like a US penny which is 20mm across or a small square object that is ½ in and keep this handy to compare and visualize online measurements.
- If you want to know if a particular jewelry item will fit you, the easiest is to take a piece of string and fit it around your arm or neck to the length you want, cut it and measure it. Then compare this length to the online measurements.
Is There an App to Do This??
I have searched for apps that may help us do this and found online rulers and ring sizing tools but nothing that addresses this particular challenge. Ideally I want to resize an image of jewelry according to its actual dimensions on my screen. It sounds really simple but varying screen sizes and resolutions apparently make this very tricky. If you come across an app that does this, please share in the comments!
Well I hope your next online jewelry purchase will be hassle free and you will be more confident in choosing a lovely piece that will meet all your expectations. If you have any tips about buying jewelry online, please feel free to share them in the comments, we would love to hear from you 🙂