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  3. How to get her measurements for a surprise engagement ring
October 05, 2022

How to get her measurements for a surprise engagement ring

Becky Waldron

Preparing for a surprise engagement is bold. It can be a nerve-wracking time for any groom – or fellow bride – to be, and requires a lot of planning.

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One of the hardest parts of a surprise engagement is the most significant part of the engagement. That is, getting the right ring size! Below we have a few ways that you can get the measurements of your partner’s engagement ring in the most subtle and – hopefully – non-suspecting ways possible.

Borrow one of her rings


If your partner is someone who wears rings, then one of the simplest ways to covertly get hand measurements is by using one of her existing rings as a template.

Hopefully you’ve taken notice, or can at least guess, what fingers she wears her rings on. If she does wear one on her fourth finger, then use this one to get the correct ring sizing.

If she has rings, but wears them on certain fingers, not including the fourth finger, then you could try borrowing these anyway. An expert jeweller may be able to scale them for you, but it is a little riskier this way.

Trace her rings

If you want to use one of your partner’s rings, but are afraid of borrowing it in case you lose it or she finds out, then get both a pencil and a piece of paper, and trace the ring. Draw the circle both inside and outside the ring – you may want to do a few traces just to make sure you’ve drawn it accurately. You can take this to a retailer or jeweller and they should be able to help you get the right sized ring.

Go shopping

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There are two ways that you can use a shopping trip to figure out your partner’s ring size. You can take her engagement ring shopping ‘for fun’ (although this might be quite blatant), or you can simply go shopping, but try to steer her towards jewellery shops and sections and get trying on those rings!

You also might get a clearer idea of what her perfect engagement ring will be by the kind of styles she chooses.

Choreographing this might take some planning. Especially if your partner isn’t typically a ring wearer. If she already loves rings, then give her an excuse to buy some more – take note of the ring sizes as she tries them on.

Wait for her to fall asleep (for deep sleepers only!)

Never wake a sleeping woman... but as long as you’re careful with this step, hopefully she won’t catch you. Make sure you have some sort of measuring tool for this before you catch the right moment. You can use a measuring tape, a ring sizer, or even placeholder ring to use for reference.

You could use a piece of string, wrap this around the base of her engagement ring finger and mark the length with a marker. You can then take this to the jeweller to work their magic.

Ask her friends

Your partner’s friends will always be happy to help you out with anything wedding and engagement related. See if they can ask your partner (casually of course) what ring size they are.

Chances are she might not know. If this is the case, then her friends can take her shopping and conduct the research for you. Having her friends do this is likely to be a lot less obvious than if you do it, too.

You can also gather extra information this way, such as what metal your girlfriend prefers - rose gold, yellow gold, or platinum for example - and whether she likes diamond engagement rings, different kinds of gems such as sapphires, or even no gems at all.

Ask her mum

Take note of all of the above, but turn to her mother instead of her friends. There is a chance that your partner’s mum might already know her daughter’s ring size, but this isn’t that common.

You could ask mum to take your girlfriend out and make a day of it. Keeping it discreet, her mum could make out as though she’s trying to find the perfect ring for herself, but get all the information she needs from your partner in the process. Her mum then can help you to choose an engagement ring - perfect for bonding!

Ask other friends who are planning engagements


If either of you have friends who are also planning to propose, you can ask them for help. You may want to start by asking if they have managed to find out their partner’s ring size and for advice if they have.

You can also discuss how much is best to spend on an engagement ring, and what shops or brands sell good quality engagement rings.

Your friend can also help by asking your girlfriend to go shopping with them to gauge ring size for their partner, or for advice on engagement ring styles, diamond cut or metal choice - getting some of her opinions as they go. It’s the ultimate double-bluff.

Make the most of any occasions coming up

Does she have a birthday coming up, or maybe an achievement she’s celebrating? You could take her to a jewellers and see if there’s any jewellery she likes for you to gift her.

During your visit, have her try on some rings and take note of the sizing. You could even secretly let the jeweller know your intentions, so they might be able to give you a helping hand, or take note of ring sizing when you’re not so sure.

Buy a ring for a relative

Another tactic to get the measurements of your partner’s ring size is to tell her you’re looking for a ring for one of your relatives. Maybe you have a sister that “asked for a ring for her birthday” or you want to get your mum “something really special this year”, these claims don’t have to be totally true, but you may still have to follow through – so it’s believable as possible!

You could strike up the issue of finger sizing while you’re there. Your girlfriend might know her sizing and tell you straight up (make sure it’s for the fourth finger on her left hand), or you could get to know by encouraging her to find out her own as it’ll “help you know what you need for [recipient].”

Extra tips

  • Be aware of factors that might affect sizing: Hands can swell when hot, and when you’ve been doing activities throughout the day. In the morning your hands can also be puffier. The dominant hand also tends to be slightly bigger than the other hand.

  • Don’t worry if you’ve got the size wrong: Retailers are often more than happy to exchange rings for you, it’s not uncommon for it to happen with proposals! If you’ve built your ring, designers also often offer resizing services, too.

  • Get a placeholder ring: If you’re struggling to find out your partner’s ring size, or are particularly nervous that it won’t fit, why not buy a placeholder ring? You can propose with an equally beautiful (but less expensive!) engagement ring, and then go shopping for the actual ring together.

  • Know the metrics: If you’re not already familiar with how rings are sized in the UK, it’s worth doing a little research first. In the UK, rings are mainly measured on an alphabetic scale, which can be a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with it. Also, use millimetres when measuring.

  • Consider the wedding ring: Of course, your wedding ring and engagement ring don’t have to match, but it’s nice when the two rings can complement each other. It’s worth keeping this in mind when buying an engagement ring.

Ready to get the ring?  

If you’ve managed to find out your partner’s ring size for her engagement ring, then we congratulate you! The next stage of the journey: the ring itself. 

Our collection of contemporary classic engagement rings are designed to last forever. Made from recycled metals and responsibly sourced diamonds (from the sky actually), our rings are incredibly rare in their nature, and cause no harm – a beautiful context to pop the question.   

Take a look at our TIMELESS range here.


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