So you’re thinking of getting some new body jewelry? Of course it’s important that your new bit of bling looks good, but it’s just as important to get the right size.
Unless you’re actually in the process of stretching, you need to make sure that you fit the jewelry to the piercing and not the other way round.
But how do you work out what the right size is? Read on…
There are three important measurements you need to know about: GAUGE , DIAMETER and LENGTH . For any piece of jewelry you buy, you’ll need to know at least one or sometimes two of these measurements.
On this website, all measurements are in millimeters.
Gauge is another word for thickness. Most often it is used to measure the thickness of the wire used in rings, bars and studs, but it can also be used to describe the width of a flesh plug.
The most common gauges used in unstretched piercings are 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.2mm and 1.6mm. If you aren’t sure what gauge you need (and you don’t have a set of vernier calipers handy) you really need to ask a professional piercer what size your current piece of body jewelry is. It isn’t practical to try and measure the gauge with a ruler – you might as well just guess
(protip: don’t guess).
The definition of a diameter (of a circle or circular object) is a “the length of the straight line segment, passing through the centre of the object, terminating at it’s periphery”.
Nope, we can’t be bothered trying to get our heads round that either. That’s why we’ve made some pictures instead.
For rings, the diameter we use is the internal diameter, which is measured from inside edge to inside edge, see below:
For flesh plugs and tunnels, the external diameter is used, measured from outside edge to outside edge.
It’s possible to get a fairly accurate measurement of the diameter of a ring, plug or tunnel with a ruler – try drawing an outline on a piece of paper and taking the measurement from that. Otherwise, as before, ask a professional.
Sounds obvious, yes? Well, like lots of things, it is once you know it. For straight bars, labrets etc. the length measured is the visible part of the bar itself, not one end to the other of the whole piece.
This makes sense if you think about it, because you can screw lots of different things (of different sizes) on to the ends of the same bar, but does this change the length of the actual bar?
See picture below for a visual explanation:
But what about curved bars, belly bars and bananas etc? Do you need a bendy ruler?
Just like the straight bar, only the visible part of the bar matters, and the length is measured from one end of the bar to the other in a straight line. So, what you’re actually measuring is the distance between the ends of the bar, not the actual length of the bar itself. Think we need another picture:
Everybody’s different. You need to make sure that the piece of body jewelry you choose is right for you.
Ask yourself, is it large enough to allow for any swelling that might occur. Also, if it’s a new piercing, have you chosen a suitable material?
For lots more helpful information about body piercing, including advice on stretching, we recommend you read our Health and Safety page.
There’s a whole section on aftercare and some useful links to other other great sites.
So there you have it – all the knowledge you need to be able to work out what size piece of body jewelry to order.
You select the gauge, and/or diameter and/or length from the drop-down menus right next to the main product image.
Please Contact Us if you’re still unsure about anything and we’ll do our best to un-confuse you…
All the best from SPEEDY BODY JEWELRY