When you hear the word “conch,” what do you picture? Many probably think of the big, beautiful, swirly seashells found on tropical beaches. But it’s possible you thought of the ever-popular ear cartilage piercing, the conch, instead.
Arguably just as popular as its seashell namesake, conch piercings are beloved in the piercing community for several reasons, but two in particular: unique placement and fun jewelry options. These two benefits work together to offer something truly unique and eye-catching that can enhance your overall style. But did you know it can enhance your ear’s anatomy, too?
In this blog, we’ll go over the details of a conch piercing, its history, showstopping jewelry styles, and other considerations for the piercing.
Understanding Conch Piercings
Your ears, like a conch shell, have intricate folds, caverns, and ridges. That’s where the piercing’s name comes from!
The conch piercing is located in the middle of the deepest part of your ear cartilage. It’s pierced all the way through to the back of your ear, making it one of the thickest cartilage piercings. While that may sound daunting, the style of the conch piercing is totally worth it.
It’s important to mention that there are two kinds: an inner conch piercing and outer conch piercing. The inner conch piercing is near the snug and closer to the top of your ear, while the outer conch is near the anti-tragus and closer to your earlobe.
Regardless of which conch placement you choose, the healing process will be the same as any other ear cartilage piercing. On average, cartilage piercings take 2-3 months to fully heal, no sooner. However, your healing process may take longer, depending on your anatomy and lifestyle.
Going 2-3 weeks without any discharge, crustiness, or soreness is a tell-tale sign that your cartilage piercing is fully healed. And that means one thing: it’s time to swap your jewelry!
Choosing The Right Jewelry for Your Conch Piercing
When you first get your conch pierced, your piercer will probably use a 16G, 12mm barbell to ensure ample room for healing. That means when you start looking for new jewelry, you should look for anything 16G (unless your anatomy or piercer says otherwise). Moreover, your choice of conch piercings relies on your own personal style. Not only can it enhance the overall look of your ear, but it can also draw attention to your ear as a focal point. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through elegant, sophisticated conch jewelry.
Types of Jewelry For Conch Piercings
There are 4 primary types of jewelry for conch piercings, each boasting their own taste:
Labrets (Stud earrings)
A typical conch stud, or labrets, have a ball (or some sort of “end”) on one end and a flat back on the other. The flat back sits flush against the back of your ear, leaving the “end” visible on the other side.
Studs like this clear CZ titanium threadless labret are unique because both ends are different: one side has a shining cubic zirconium gem, while the other is a flower-shaped disk.
However, if this isn’t your style, a classic labret may be the way to go, showing a ball on either end. And if you really want to play up the elegance, an opal or iridescent gemstone fits perfectly into conch jewelry, making it a true centerpiece of the ear.
Wearing a conch hoop or ring is the most popular jewelry style you could choose. That’s because the ring is so large—in order to accommodate wrapping around your whole outer ear—you seriously can’t miss it! And that’s precisely why there are so many options.
For starters, a seamless or continuous hoop is a go-to option for those with a more reserved style, but still want to add some shine and elegance to their jewelry repertoire. These hoops are one continuous piece of metal that you simply twist open and pinch close. They’re very easy to install and remove!
Captive bead rings (CBRs) are different in that you must pull out the ball in order to remove the ring. This makes for several different jewelry options, like this black aurora CZ cluster titanium captive ring, which is the perfectly elegant addition to your personal style.
Lastly, there are hinged hoops or “clickers” as they’re commonly called. These are similar to a seamless hoop, except that it uses a tiny hinge to open and close the jewelry. These are popular for their ease of use and their sleek look-and-feel.
Barbells are the most common type of body jewelry. There are straight barbells and curved barbells, both able to accommodate the conch piercing.
Contrary to popular belief, straight barbells can be quite exciting and boast several options to choose from. This descend clear CZ titanium threadless cartilage barbell showcases a cluster of gems on one end, shaped similar to the curve of your ear, and a silver ball on the other. This will give the gem cluster the illusion of floating, which makes it an extra elegant piece.
Curved barbells are similar in that each end can screw on and off, except the middle bar is curved slightly to accommodate some piercings like eyebrows or rooks. These can also come with unique ends, such as gemstones and other appliques.
Ear Jackets and Climbers
This style of jewelry fits into the barbell or labret categories, but what makes it different is the elaborate “end” that follow the contour of your inner ear, giving it a “climbing” effect. These intricate designs can include gemstones, beads, chains, and more.
This gold PVD anadem CZ threadless titanium labret is a great example of a climber. The long array of cubic zirconium gems climbs the inner ridge of your ear for added opulence.
Create Your Look With a Conch Piercing
With so many styles to choose from, who wouldn’t rock a conch piercing? Ranging from subtle to in-your-face, finding the right conch piercing jewelry for you is an unforgettable experience. It gives you the ability to create your own look, and we are here for that. And when it’s time to choose that next piece of showstopping conch jewelry, look no further than Urban Body Jewelry.