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What You Need to Know About Gauges Before You Get Pierced

Body Piercing Gauges

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Unlike traditional earrings that are made with a thin wire, body jewelry comes in all different sizes. The size of body jewelry is calculated by measuring the diameter of the material that fits directly inside the piercing site. If your piercing is less than 9mm thick, there will be a corresponding gauge size. The gauge measurement system, which was originally formulated for wire, helps standardize body piercing sizes. By converting the gauge into millimeters or inches, it is easy to figure out approximate desired sizes with a simple tape measure. This slideshow will walk you through the relationship between thickness and gauge, as well as talk about body jewelry sizes that are even larger than 00g. 

Up Next: Body Jewelry Gauge Thickness Conversion Chart



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Body Jewelry Gauge Thickness Chart

Body Jewelry Gauge Chart

Ageless Heirlooms

The chart here demonstrates the relationship between thickness and gauge. As the thickness of a piece of wire or jewelry increases, the gauge value decreases. If you want to convert a gauge you are interested into either millimeters or inches, use the reference below. If you are looking for ear plug sizes that measure larger than gauges, check out our complete printable gauge conversion chart. 

Body Jewelry Size Conversion from Small to Large

Gauge | Millimeter | Inch

  • 18g | 1mm | 1/25"
  • 16g | 1.3mm | 3/64”
  • 14g | 1.6mm | 1/16”
  • 12g | 2mm | 5/64”
  • 10g | 2.5mm | 3/32”
  • 8g | 3mm | 1/8”
  • 6g | 4mm | 5/32”
  • 4g | 5mm | 3/16”
  • 2g | 6mm | 1/4”
  • 0g | 8mm | 5/16”
  • 00g | 9mm | 3/8”

Some piercing, especially ear plugs, involve sizes that are much bigger than the gauges used for standard body piercings. Learn more about those measurements on the next couple slides. 


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How to Determine Piercing Size for Your Ears

Ear Piercing Gauge Chart

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Ear piercings are the most commonly stretched piercings that would require jewelry that measures larger than your standard gauge measurements. You might also find larger piercings in the lip, nasal septum and tongue. Even though the final piercing result will stretch beyond a gauge measurement, it is important to be familiar with all gauge sizes because stretching doesn't happen overnight, and you're going to have to start somewhere. If you have a regular piercing that has fully healed, your next step would be to start with an earring that is either 16 or 14 gauge. One important thing to remember is that if you stretch your ears beyond 2g or 0g, there is a chance your ears will never fully close on their own. Do you know how large you want your piercing to be? Find the size you're looking for on the next slide. 

Up Next: Round Ear Piercing Chart, from Small to Large

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How Body Jewelry is Measured

Body Jewelry and Earring Gauge Chart

Ageless Heirlooms

This chart has all the standard conversion sizes for gauged piercings as well as larger sizes that are used in tapers, plugs, and other larger style body piercings. Not only are gauge and millimeter sizes used for piercings, they are also used for bead and wire sizes. If you make jewelry, this chart may be a helpful visualization and conversion tool.

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