Can Damascus Steel Rings be Resized?

Chris Ploof working on a ring at the bench

Can Damascus Steel Rings be Resized?

“I have one of your Damascus rings, and I just love it, but it doesn’t fit me anymore. Can I order a replacement? I know these can’t be sized….”

We get inquiries like this all the time, and while it’s great to be the hero who gets to tell a customer that our Damascus CAN be sized, it’s probably time to set the record straight, and to help people understand a little bit more about this amazing material.

While we use non-traditional materials in our rings, we still hold true to some jewelry traditions, like the belief that a well made band should last and serve not just years, but generations. The Chris Ploof Damascus band you choose for your milestone or celebration can absolutely be sized up or down. So whether you want to hand it on to a child or grandchild, or just need it adjusted for comfort as you live a good life, your ring can be resized!

Why such a straightforward answer? It’s simple: we use stainless steel in our Damascus forging process.

Damascus is multiple layers of steel, bonded together, twisted and manipulated to create and control patterns. Historically, Damascus was made from carbon steel, and used for blades and tools. To this day, bladesmiths continue to use carbon steel Damascus to craft beautiful and functional knives. Unfortunately, carbon steel can rust and corrode, making it a poor choice for items worn on the human body. Stainless steel, however, offers options that are much better for use in jewelry.

Steel being forged in Chris Ploof's shop

Why Stainless Steel Rings are Easier to Resize

Stainless steel isn’t a single alloy. Stainless steels are, in fact, a group of alloys that are corrosion resistant, organized into families and grades. Each family and grade has specific qualities and characteristics, making different materials uniquely suitable (or unsuited!) to different applications. Just because a material is stainless steel does not mean it’s automatically a great option for jewelry. For instance, some materials can be heat treated to improve corrosion resistance, however, heat treating can also make a material brittle, making sizing difficult or impossible. The ring won’t be as susceptible to rust, but it also won’t be sizable!

The good news is that there are stainless steels that will not rust or corrode, even without heat treating, resulting in a Damascus that is ideal for jewelry. Chris Ploof Designs has pioneered stainless steel Damascus made with 304 and 316 grades of stainless steel. These materials cannot rust- in fact, they are so stable that they are considered medical or surgical grade. In addition to being inert and completely safe for use on the human body, the resulting Damascus can be sized.

Need to get your own Chris Ploof Designs Damascus Steel ring resized? Or perhaps you have another question about maintenance and care entirely? Either way, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help!

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