Stuck Ring? How to Remove It Without a Hacksaw

cocktail ringI’ve always wondered why my fingers are a little puffier after a workout. And why my rings flop around all willy nilly on my finger when it’s cold. Science has never been my thing (who really remembers what photosynthesis is all about?), but jewelry has.

So I was tres intrigued when I heard about the woman who is suing Chanel after her finger got stuck inside a $10,000 ring. Salespeople and security guards tried to get the pricey accessory off her finger in vain, and she was finally taken to the hospital, where a doctor was able to remove it without breaking out the hacksaw.

The woman is now suing the company, claiming she never should have been allowed to try the ring on in the first place. But the whole incident made me wonder, should I ever be trying on a $10,000 ring (or just rummaging through a friend’s jewelry box) and should it get stuck, what, pray tell, should I do?


Does that whole stick of butter thing really work? And are there times or days that are better for trying on rings, you know, to avoid an accessory snafu?

A little Internet surfing combined with an email to an MD relative produced these tips:

Try to avoid ring shopping when your fingers are most likely to be swollen: Late in the day, when it’s hot outside, after eating a lot of salt, when pregnant or just after giving birth, or after exercising. Also, some women find that they have some degree of swelling when they travel, and just before or at the beginning of their period.

So, basically, roll out of bed on a cold morning and hit Tiffany’s.

But, in the event you find yourself in the jewelry store on a hot, humid morning, and you simply must put that giant sapphire on or you’ll die, here’s what to do when it inevitably won’t budge:

First, elevate that finger above the heart and let the blood drain, which will reduce the swelling.

Hopefully, you’re somewhere fancy that offers cold beverages -- ask for some ice and start chilling your finger above the ring, for 10-20 minutes. This will allow the blood vessels to constrict and slim down your digit. Or, dip it in ice water.

Now it’s time to lube up. Oil, Vaseline, K-Y, whatever you have handy. Slather it on your finger.

Compress the area of your finger above the ring, then start to gently work the ring up and (hopefully) off. Don’t tug or pull -- that’ll just make your finger swell up again.

If all else fails, you’ve got two options -- head to the ER, or break out the Amex. 

What's your secret to getting a stuck ring off your finger?

Image via Flickr/wildwickedbeads

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