There are many different piercing jewelry sizes to choose from, with several weird terms, so it can be really confusing to figure out what size you need for a specific piercing! This blog will hopefully shed some light on why it is so difficult, and give you a few different options to be able to get your sizing down for each of your piercings.
First and foremost, you need to know what the different jewelry terms are. You will see jewelry sized listed on our site like this: 16 gauge (1.2mm) and 5/16" (8mm) long or 14 gauge (1.6mm) with a 3/8" (10mm) internal diameter.
In these descriptions, the first portion [ 16 gauge (1.2mm) ] represents the thickness of the metal that will actually be inside of the piercing itself. The second half [ 5/16" (8mm) ] represents either the length of the jewelry if it is a barbell/labret, or the internal diameter of the jewelry if it is a hoop/clicker.
Both of these measurements are extremely important.
If your jewelry is too large of a gauge, you will not be able to get it into the piercing at all, unless you choose to increase the gauge size of your piercing. If the gauge is too small, you'll be able to get the jewelry in- but your piercing will shrink down to that gauge making that the largest size you can wear from that point on unless you stretch it back up a gauge.
If the length of your jewelry is too long, you will have issues with it getting snagged on everything, ultimately causing harm. If it's too short you won't be able to get the jewelry in! The same goes with the diameter. Too small = won't fir and too large = complications.
Don't worry- this sounds like a lot but its super easy once you get an understanding of your piercings!
METHODS OF SIZING YOUR JEWELRY
There is no industry standard for the gauge that your piercer has to use for a certain piercing. This means that person A may have an 18 gauge cartilage piercing while person B has a 14 gauge cartilage piercing, and that person C has all 20 gauge piercings and person D could have one 16 gauge, one 14 gauge, and three 20 gauge.
This is the root cause of most confusion while purchasing body jewelry!
To accurately buy jewelry, you need to know what gauge each of your piercings are. We recommend that every time you get a new piercing, write it down in a note on your phone with the piercing name and the gauge that the piercer used so that you can reference it later.
If you do not know the gauge that was used, here are a few methods to find out.
1. By far the easiest and (usually) most reliable way to find out what gauge your piercings are is to ask your piercer what gauge they used to pierce you! They may have to see you in person to be able to tell you this, but I promise knowing will make your life so. much. easier!
2. You CAN measure your jewelry yourself, but unless you have a digital caliper, this can be very difficult to eyeball.
3. Trial and error is the last option to figure out what gauge your piercings are. I suggest finding a cheaper jewelry just to use for sizing purchases, before spending money on the good stuff!
Once you know the gauge of each of your piercings, you then have to figure out the correct length barbell/labret or diameter hoop/clicker.
Trial and error is going to be your best friend for this- sheerly because everyones anatomy is SO different! Person A may need a 10mm labret for their healed conch, whereas person B may only need a 4mm labret. This part of the sizing is 100% dependent on the size of your ear and the exact location of your piercing. There are recommended or general sizing guides available, but you need to go into it knowing that a certain length/diameter *may* not work for your anatomy!
We do carry labret sizing kits that come with several different lengths so that you can see what length works best for each of your piercings. As for hoops, our Dainty Minimalist Seam Rings make for great test hoops, and you can get 30% off of them at any time by using the code TEST30 during checkout!
Once you figure out the length/diameter that you like, and that works for your piercings, write this down in your note where you put the gauges of each piercing. Then you just reference that every time you buy new jewelry. After the initial testing, there will be no more guessing and you'll be able to buy perfect jewelry every time! You can find the size of all of our jewelry by reading the descriptions on each items page.
I wish that there was a specific size that I could give you all for each piercing, but we are all so unique that it simply is not possible. I hope that this blog has shed some light and explained why it is difficult to size piercing jewelry as well as provided you with a few viable options to make it easier for you in the future.
Until next week,