When buying jewelry for your piercings, and especially if you are heavily into body piercings, it is very important to have at least a basic amount of knowledge in the sizing of body jewelry. After you have your first piercing, chances are you will exit with a beautiful new addition to your look, and the piercer will have put in a standard piece of jewelry that will remain there until the site has healed. You may very well walk away with practically no knowledge of different sizes of body jewelry, and have no idea what to purchase after your healing process has fully run its course.
Different body parts require differently sized jewelry. In some piercings, there will not be a large range of sizes to fit the area. For instance, belly rings are generally available with a size of 14 gauge, with a length of 10mm- 3/8 of an inch, and with a top ball measuring 5mm. Sometimes you can find a belly button ring , most notably the dangling designs, with 11mm- 7/16 of an inch lengths. Typically, belly rings come in two basic styles: hoop rings or banana bells, which are also known as bent barbells, or curved barbells.
Tongue rings, which are almost exclusively industrial barbells, can be available in many sizes: 14mm, 12mm, 10mm, 8mm. They can be solid gold, titanium, surgical steel, acrylic, jeweled, or be fitted with cute designs: How about a smiley face on your tongue? Industrial barbells can also be used for other piercings on the body, like eyebrows, ear cartilage, or nipples, making them a very versatile, and necessary item for any body jewelry collection. The size of a barbell refers to its inside length, from ball to ball. This is often the cause for confusion, when people measure from the exterior ball to ball, however with barbells, its what is on the inside that counts.
If you are wondering about gauge size, it is what refers to the thickness of the ring. The larger the number, the thinner the ring is. The smallest gauge available is 20g, which equates to 1.0mm, while the largest is 00g and it measures 10mm. In another category altogether, “Large Gauge” jewelry is also available, and these rings start at 7/16” (11mm) and go through 1.5” (38mm).
Bead sizes also vary, depending on your tastes, and can range from 3mm to 10mm for round beads. Spike beads start at 3mm, and go all the way up to 4mm with a 12mm point, with four different variations in between.
Hoop rings, used in the navel, nipples, eyebrow, lips, ears, tragus, nostril, and septum, come in different styles with different details. The captive bead style is extremely popular because it looks beautiful, and it is designed to be put on and taken off without the bead detaching entirely, so it cannot get lost. These rings come in so many different sizes, that if you are looking for something specific, for that special piercing, chances are it can be found!
This chart above gives exact ways to measure different types of body jewelry, and can be very useful if you are trying to decide if a particular style or design of jewelry will work for you.
Circular barbells, also known as horseshoe barbells, are versatile and very beautiful. 14 and 12 Gauge are most often worn in the nipples, ears, or belly button. 2 and 0 Gauge are sometimes used in the ears, but usually are used for genital piercings. 16 and 18 Gauge are worn either in the ears or eyebrow.