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Body Piercing Jewellery: Measuring

Jewellery Size

Thickness / Gauge

The thickness of any piece of jewellery that we have available on our website can either be measured in millimetres or imperial gauge size. A comparison chart for metric (mm) to imperial (ga) sizes can be found below:

mm gauge
1.0 18ga
1.2 16ga
1.6 14ga
2.0 12ga
2.4 10ga
3.2 8ga
4.0 6ga
5.0 4ga
6.0 2ga
8.0 0ga
10.0 00ga

 

Length / Diameter

The length or diameter (whichever is appropriate to the particular piece of jewellery) is usually measured in millimetres.

Initial Piercing Gauges

Different piercings are initially carried out at different gauges that correspond directly to the thickness of the jewellery that is being placed in the piercing. The most popular gauges for initial piercings are 1.0mm, 1.2mm and 1.6mm. (18ga, 16ga and 14ga). If you are unsure of the thickness of jewellery that you had installed when the initial piercing was carried out, a simple call or e-mail to your piercer should answer this question. The list below should give you a good idea of the gauge used for your piercing although different piercers may use slightly different gauges, this is a simple matter of personal preference and should cause you no problems:

piercing 1.0mm (18ga) 1.2mm (16ga) 1.6mm (14ga) 2.4mm (10ga)
Ear Lobe  
Ear Rim, Inner Helix, Tragus, Rook    
Conch, Anti-Tragus, Snug, Diath    
Orbital    
Industrial, Traverse Earlobe      
Lip, Labret, Madonna, Medusa    
Snake Bites, Spider Bites    
Tongue      
Venom    
Smiley    
Cheek      
Nostril    
Septum    
Earl (Bridge of Nose)    
Eyebrow    
Nipple      
Navel      
Prince Albert      
Inner Labia, Outer Labia, Clitoral Hood      
Foreskin, Frenum, Pubic, Scrotum, Guiche      

Measuring Jewellery

It is common for most jewellery to be described first by gauge (thickness) and then by either length or internal diameter depending on the piece of jewellery. The thickness of the jewellery is usually presented in both millimetres and its imperial equivalent gauge size. For example, a fairly average sized Nipple Barbell might be given as 1.6mm (14ga) x 14mm, i.e. 1.6mm thick (14 gauge) and 14mm long and similarly a Ball Closure Ring for a Tragus might be given as 1.2mm (16ga) x 7mm. Exceptions to this include Plugs, Tunnels, Eyelets and Tubes which tend only to be represented by their gauge/thickness (in this case as measure by their outside diameter). A comparison chart for metric (mm) to imperial (ga) sizes can be found above

Ball Closure Rings

Ball Closure Rings are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their internal diameter.

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measuring ball closure rings

Straight Barbells

Straight Barbells are measured by gauge (thickness) and length. The length is measured as the inside distance between the balls at each end and equates to the width of the piercing that the jewellery is to be fitted into.

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measuring straight Barbells

Navel Barbells

Navel Barbells are measured by gauge (thickness) and length. Due to having a curve in the bar, it's important to measure the shortest distance between the ends of the barbell at the points where they make contact with the balls. A common mistake is to measure the shortest distance between the balls themselves.

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measuring navel barbells

Circular Barbells (Horseshoes)

Circular Barbells are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their internal diameter.

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measuring circular barbells

Eyebrow Barbells

Eyebrow Barbells are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their length. Due to having a slight curve in the bar, it's important to measure the shortest distance between the ends of the barbell at the points where they make contact with the balls.

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measuring eyebrow barbells

Segment Rings

Segment Rings are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their internal diameter.

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measuring segment rings

Tunnels

Usually only the external diameter is shown for Tunnels, but on some occasions the width of the tunnel may also be available. Care should be taken when purchasing the jewellery to make sure that the diameter of the chosen item corresponds to the size of the piercing.

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measuring flesh tunnels

Eyelets

Usually only the external diameter is shown for Eyelets, but on some occasions the width of the eyelet may also be available. Care should be taken when purchasing the jewellery to make sure that the diameter of the chosen item corresponds to the size of the piercing.

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measuring eyelets & tubes

Plugs

Usually only the external diameter is shown for Plugs, but on some occasions the width of the plug may also be available. Care should be taken when purchasing the jewellery to make sure that the diameter of the chosen item corresponds to the size of the piercing.

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measuring plugs

Spirals

Spirals are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their internal diameter.

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measuring spirals

Nose Studs

Nose Studs are usually measured by the gauge (thickness) of their shaft only.

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measuring nose studs

Bar Closure Rings

Bar Closure Rings are measured by their gauge (thickness) followed by their internal diameter.

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measuring bar closure rings

Labret Studs

Labret Studs are measured by gauge (thickness) and length. The length is measured along the jewellery shaft between the fixed back plate and the removable ball. Labret and Lip piercings are commonly carried out at both 1.2mm and 1.6mm thickness so please take care to order the correct gauge of jewellery.

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measuring labret studs

Clip-In Balls

Clip-In Balls are measure by their diameter only.

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measuring clip in balls

Screw-On Balls

Screw-On Balls are measured firstly by thread size (gauge) of the jewellery that the ball is to be fitted to e.g 1.2mm, 1.6mm etc and secondly, the diameter of the ball itself. An example would be: 1.6mm (14ga) threaded 4mm Pink Titanium Ball. It is absolutely essential to get the initial gauge size correct or it will prove impossible to fit to the desired Barbell or Horseshoe.

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measuring screw-on balls
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