So you got your piercing. But you’re going on vacation and really want to use it as an excuse to buy a “belly ring” that matches your new bikini. Or maybe you’re at the dentist and they’re giving you the once-over about why your lip piercing is rubbing on your gums. Or maybe you just need your favorite body jewelry in every color. The point is, you want to find more jewelry for your new piercing but don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to measuring body jewelry.
Your piercer told you your new jewelry was 18 gauge. But what does that even mean? Do you get the same size jewelry you are currently wearing or go smaller? Can you go larger? So it’s 18 gauge, you’ve figured that out, but what is the diameter? While we can’t go over every option since we don’t have the luxury of seeing you face-to-face, we can help you with tips on measuring body jewelry.
Let’s start with some commonly used terms when measuring body jewelry:
- Gauge – the thickness of the jewelry
- Length – the length between the inside of each ball on a barbell
- Diameter – the inside diameter of a ring
The gauge is essentially the thickness of the jewelry inside of your piercing. The higher the number, the smaller the thickness. (Tip: think the opposite of shopping for women’s pants.) “Regular” earrings do not follow a body jewelry measuring system, however, are often referenced as being anywhere from a 22 gauge – 18 gauge.
*for reference, hold a penny up to the circle in the right column
The length of body jewelry is most often referenced when purchasing barbells and flatbacks. Whether it’s a straight barbell or a navel curve, the length of the shaft is this measurement. For example, a changeout tongue barbell is most commonly a 14 gauge 5/8” long barbell. 5/8” is the measurement from the inside of one ball to the inside of the other.
The diameter most often references rings: captive bead rings (CBRs), circular barbells (horseshoes), clickers. The is the measurement from the inside of the metal on each side straight across.
If you can, it’s often best to consult your piercer in regards to what size jewelry you are wearing. Do you notice that your current jewelry is too long? Measure the size it is and go one step down to start.
This only discusses the very basics for measuring your body jewelry. We will write another post about correctly measuring your plugs in the future. Measuring body jewelry doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process; we’ll start in small doses.