Tag Archives: Body Jewelry Designs

How to Measure Body Jewelry

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.
2B.1 Jewelry Sizes

Jewelry is measured by gauge (thickness) and width. Rings are measured
by the inside diameter. Straight and curved barbells are measured by
the linear width from ball to ball. Most manufacturers offer widths in
1/16″ increments.

2B.1a Gauges And Equivalents

Most jewelry manufactured in the US is gauged according to the Brown & Sharpe system. Most jewelry from the UK and Europe is manufactured by metric gauge.

A visual representation of gauges and diameters is available at

Brown and Sharpe Gauges (used by most American manufacturers)

gauge inches   millimeters
20    0.032    0.812
18    0.040    1.024
16    0.051    1.291
14    0.064    1.628
12    0.081    2.053
10    0.102    2.588
8     0.128    3.264
6     0.162    4.115
4     0.204    5.189
2     0.258    6.544
0     0.325    8.251
00    0.365    9.266

Body Jewelry Sizes and Designs

2B Jewelry Sizes And Designs

Jewelry designed for ear piercings is not appropriate for wear in body
piercings. Ear jewelry is designed to fit the thickness of the average
earlobe; most body piercings are wider than the thickness of the
earlobe. Ear jewelry is too thin to be safely worn in body
piercings. Rings and hoops designed for ear piercings often have
hinges, hooked ends or overlapping hollow tubes with rough edges which
easily irritate the piercing. Ear piercing studs are difficult to
clean. The butterfly clip backing can become clogged with discharge,
dirt, and bacteria. Ear jewelry is usually made of silver or of a
lesser grade of steel or is plated, all unsuitable materials for wear
in body piercings.

Sewing needles and safety pins are made of a lesser grade of steel and
are usually nickel-plated. Wearing sewing needles and safety pins can
cause a severe allergic reaction and lifelong sensitivity to nickel.

Body Jewelry Material – Bamboo

This article is from the Piercing FAQ, by Anne Greenblatt with numerous contributions by others.

2A.3b Bamboo

Bamboo is not a wood but a grass. Several thousand different species
exist, ranging from tiny plants to huge towering trees. Many species
are light yellow, tan, or green; some can be purplish or black. Most
species are solid in color; some can be striped or spotted.

Bamboo stalks are hollow and segmented with solid portions of culm.
Bamboo is lightweight; its cross-section may be round, oval, or
slightly cardioid (heart-shaped). The outside of the bamboo is
naturally smooth and protective and should not be removed to make
plugs. The inside is normally whitish and may have a papery lining
which is usually removed or is shed over time.