Jewelry sizing for the body piercing industry is actually pretty simple. There are three types of measurements to determine the size of a piece of jewelry. You have gauges, inches, and metric units. I plan to break down all three of these methods of measuring your jewelry and hopefully it should all make a little more sense when we’re all done here.
First, let’s talk about plugs. You will usually find plugs measured in gauges up to a 00 gauge. Then the measurements will switch over to inches. Every gauge size is 1/16th of an inch. When measuring a plug, 12 gauge, or so, is the smallest size they start at. Every once in a while you’ll find some 14 gauge plugs. Then as the plugs get bigger the gauge size gets smaller, all the way up to 0 gauge. Every gauge size being a 1/16th of an inch jump in size. 00 gauge is after 0 gauge and is the last size a plug is measured in for gauges before switching over to inches. A gauge size is always an even number, although rarely odd numbered gauge sizes do exist (such as the 1G). After 00 gauge, your measurements are going to switch over to inches starting at 7/16” which is 1/16th bigger then 00g (3/8”). From 7/16” your sizing goes up with every 1/16” of an inch.
Now another way you’ll see plugs measured is in millimeters. Most jewelry made overseas will use millimeters to measure jewelry size. While most jewelry measured in inches is made here in the United States. Either form of measurement is fine, both can be easily converted from one to the other. At the end of this article I’ll include a conversion chart converting gauges and inches to millimeters.
When it comes to jewelry the sizing is also similar to plugs. The only difference is that with rings and barbells you have two measurements. One being the thickness and the other being the length or diameter. With a barbell the gauge is going to be the thickness of the jewelry. And the length is going to be the distance from ball to ball which is the measurement following the gauge and it is usually in inches. For example 14g, ½”. Meaning the barbell is 14 gauge thick and the wearing surface is ½” long. Now for a ring you have the gauge, which once again is the thickness of the ring, and the diameter which is the inside measurement of the ring. So, if you have an 18g, 3/8” ring, then the ring is 18 gauge thick, and the distance from one side of the inside of the ring to the other is 3/8” of an inch wide.Read More