Fits Like a Glove
MAB Superfit's hinged ring shank finds new customers among buyers
of expensive rings. It's not just for arthritics anymore
Metalsmiths designing custom pieces and jewelers selling expensive, gem-intensive
rings have no doubt encountered the large-knuckled customer. To make a ring
fit over the knuckle, a bench worker must size it larger than the part of
the finger where it will rest.
Long thought to be a problem merely for the arthritic, large knuckles
are seen also today on young athletes and others who have used their hands
in rigorous work.
In the custom-fit, service-oriented retail environment of the 1990s,
jewelers need to solve this problem. Even if some customers might settle
for a ring that constantly slipslides on their fingers, such abuse causes
uneven wear on crucial prongs, raising the risk that a gem could come loose.
This dilemma should be cause for celebration at MAB Superfit, a company
that's made well-known hinged ring shanks for a generation. Long typecast
as the company to call when a jeweler had a cranky arthritis sufferer, the
family-owned business now finds its phone ringing with jewelers who have
wealthy customers who expect every whim satisfied yesterday. Among its customers
in recent years have been Super Bowl winners, the ultimate big-knuckled
wealthy types, who want their custom-designed winners' rings fitted with
the hinged shanks.
Though metalsmiths have devised many systems for fighting the problem of
roll-around rings, including sizing beads and other devices, MAB points
to its patented push-button release system as a unique feature of a Superfit
ring shank. The release makes rings easy to put on and take off while ensuring
safety from accidental unhinging, the company says.
The latching system "clicks" audibly when closed so the wearer
knows it's closed properly and securely, says Gena Bruner Alulis, president
of MAB Superfit. When closed properly, she says the latching system is a
smooth, integral part of the ring that is mostly hidden and has no raised
parts to catch on clothing or to irritate the finger it's on or near.
Alulis says that in today's competitive retail environment, recommending
a hinged shank can be an added selling tool for jewelers, especially in
an expensive sale. A ring that fits snugly on the finger is simply more
comfortable to wear. A less obvious selling point is that many people are
reluctant to wear or buy rings for fear that once they get them on, they
will be difficult or impossible to remove.
The shank comes in 14k and 18k gold, as well as platinum. It's available
in a variety of widths and finishes so it can be installed on virtually
any style of ring, from the simplest to the most complex. The shank can
be installed at the store's bench, or jewelers can send rings to MAB Superfit
for installation. Detailed instructions are available for bench jewelers
concerning installation and repair of the hinged shanks.
MAB Superfit, Havertown, PA; (800) 765-7111 or (610) 449-4383, fax (610)
The opened and closed Superfit ring shank.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.