Jewelry Guide

Urban Body Jewelry has been a staple in the body piercing industry since its founding in 2009. With a passion for high-quality body jewelry at an affordable price—and creativity that fuels hundreds of original jewelry designs—UBJ has had its finger on the pulse of piercing and jewelry trends for nearly two decades. That’s a whole lot of expertise under one roof.

Solid Gold Body Jewelry

Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold…it’s hard to go wrong with gold. A precious metal to rule them all, pure gold (24k) is too soft for the durability that body jewelry demands. That’s why we offer 14k and 18k gold options that are mixed with other alloys for strength purposes. While gold jewelry is generally hypoallergenic and comfortable to wear, the added alloys can cause irritation for those with metal allergies or sensitive skin.


Gold won’t oxidize or discolor, giving you all the more reason to take care of it! Keep it as lustrous as the day you bought it by gently scrubbing it with a mixture of warm water and dishsoap. In between cleaning your gold jewelry, you can preserve its luster by buffing out smudges with a dry microfiber cloth and storing it somewhere dry.

Solid Gold Body Jewelry_image

Titanium Body Jewelry

ASTM F-136 titanium is the metal that experts deem the best for body piercings based on its solid reputation in the realm of surgical implants. It’s also the grade of titanium we use at UBJ. Because it’s lightweight and naturally biocompatible, titanium is optimal for initial piercings and those who have metal allergies or sensitive skin. Titanium can also be anodized to any color in the spectrum, making it an incredibly versatile and attractive jewelry option.


Cleaning and caring for your titanium jewelry is simple. Fill a shallow bowl with dishsoap and warm water and soak the jewelry for a couple minutes. Use a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush to scrub away dirt and grime. For titanium jewelry that has gemstones or pearls, avoid submerging it. Instead, spot clean the jewelry by dipping a cloth or brush into soapy water and gently scrubbing the jewelry as needed. Rinse the jewelry with clean water and use a different cloth to polish if desired.

Titanium Body Jewelry_image

Stainless Steel Body Jewelry

Not all stainless steel is created equal, and that’s why we offer body jewelry made from 316L stainless steel, one of the only acceptable grades for this use. While it’s one of the more common metals used in body jewelry, stainless steel can contain a small amount of nickel that can be irritating to those with metal allergies or sensitive skin. For others, however, stainless steel is a durable and hypoallergenic option.


While stainless steel doesn’t tarnish, it can still lose its luster through built-up residue from sweat and other hygiene products. Fortunately, all you need to clean stainless steel is dishsoap, warm water, and a microfiber cloth and/or soft-bristled brush. For jewelry that’s totally stainless steel, soak your jewelry in soapy water for a couple minutes and use the microfiber or brush to scrub away impurities For stainless steel jewelry with gemstones or pearls, avoid submerging it. Instead, spot clean the jewelry by dipping a cloth or brush into soapy water and gently scrubbing as needed. Rinse the jewelry with clean water and use a different cloth to polish if desired.

Stainless Steel Body Jewelry_image

Niobium Body Jewelry

Niobium is a relatively new metal in the piercing scene. Comparable to titanium, niobium is completely nickel-free, making it biocompatible and great for those with sensitive skin. It can also be anodized into different colors like titanium. A key difference between the two is that niobium is a pure metal (look for element 41 on the Periodic Table!) that doesn’t need extra alloys to improve its durability. However, niobium may be more expensive because it’s a specialty metal that makes welding a pain and manufacturing a challenge. Also note that niobium is heavier than titanium which is important for those looking for bigger jewelry like plugs or tunnels.


Like stainless steel, a benefit to niobium is that it doesn’t tarnish. To care for your niobium jewelry, simply fill a shallow bowl with dishsoap and warm water. For jewelry that’s fully niobium, soak it in the soapy water for a couple minutes and use the microfiber or soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt and grime. For niobium jewelry that includes gemstones or pearls, avoid submerging it. Instead, spot clean the jewelry by dipping a cloth or brush into soapy water and gently scrubbing the jewelry as needed. Rinse the jewelry with clean water and use a different cloth to polish if desired.

Niobium Body Jewelry_image


Important note

While this size guide can point you in the right direction, it’s always best to consult with a professional piercer first. They’ll take measurements and/or assess your piercing so you can find the right jewelry fit for your needs.

When it comes to piercings, body jewelry is typically measured in two sizes:

01Gauge (“g”)

02Millimeter (“mm")

Keep in mind that in the United States, gauge measurements are preferred over milimeter measurements. If you need to convert from g to mm, or vice versa, here’s a handy chart:

  • GAUGE 20g /18g /16g /14g
  • MILIMETERS 0.8 m /1.0 mm /1.2 mm /1.4 mm
Common Piercing Jewelry Sizes
  • Helix

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") Labrets & Barbells.

    18G (5/16"), 18G (3/8") - Rings/Hoops

  • Rook

    16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") - Curved Barbells.

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") - Rings/Hoops

  • Daith

    16G (5/16"), 16G (3/8") - Curved Barbells.

    16G (5/16"), 16G (3/8") - Rings/Hoops

  • Tragus

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") Labrets & Barbells.

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") - Rings/Hoops

  • Conch

    16G (5/16"), 14G (5/16") Labrets & Barbells.

    16G (3/8"), 16G (7/16") - Rings/Hoops

  • Ear Lobes

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") Labrets & Barbells.

    18G (5/16"), 18G (3/8"), 16G (5/16"), 16G (3/8") and up Rings/Hoops

  • Forward Helix

    18G (1/4"), 18G (5/16") Labrets.

    20G (1/4"), 18G (1/4") - Rings/Hoops

  • Flat

    16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") Labrets

  • Snug

    16G (1/4"), 16G (5/16") Curved Barbells

  • Industrial

    14G (1 & 1/4"), 14G (1 & 3/8"), 14G (1 & 1/2")

  • Septum

    20G (5/16"), 18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16"), 16G (3/8")

  • Nose Rings

    20G (9/32"), 20G (5/16"), 18G (9/32"), 18G (5/16")

  • Eyebrow

    16G (5/16"), 16G (3/8")

  • Tongue

    14G (1/2"), 14G (5/8"), 12G (1/2"), 12G (5/8")

  • Nipple

    14G (1/2"), 14G (9/16"), 14G (5/8"), 12G (1/2"), 12G (5/8")

  • Belly

    14G (3/8")

  • Labret

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Snakebites

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Angel Bites

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Philtrum

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Madonna

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Monroe

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

  • Ashley

    18G (5/16"), 16G (5/16")

Personalize Your Piercing

UBJ believes that body piercings should be safe for and accessible to everyone. That starts with providing valuable insights that can help you make informed decisions to enhance your self expression. Since all bodies are different, use this ear piercings guide to plan for your next body mod or care for your most recent one.

  • ALobes
  • BStacked Lobe
  • CAnti tragus
  • DTragus
  • EDaith
  • FForward Helix
  • GIndustrial
  • HFlats
  • IHelix
  • JSnug
  • KConch
  • LRook

Body Jewelry Glossary

Types of Body Jewelry
  • Backing/Posts

    The part of a piercing stud that holds the jewelry in place, commonly known as a labret. It is the female part of the earring that the post fits inside. The back is typically a disk that lays flat against your lobe to accommodate for any swelling.

  • Barbell

    One of the more common body jewelry options, a barbell is comprised of a metal bar with two “ends” on either side that screw on/off. These “ends” are typically balls but can come in seemingly endless variations of shape, size, and/or gemstones. Barbells can be internally or externally threaded, and they come in three main configurations: straight, curved, and circular.

  • Straight Barbell

    The simplest kind of barbell—it’s a straight bar with two balls on either side. A straight barbell can be worn in a myriad of different piercings from head to toe, but namely the tongue, nipples, and industrial.

  • Curved Barbell

    Most similar to the straight barbell, the only difference is that the bar in the middle is curved to accommodate piercings located along the body’s natural curves. Curved barbells are extremely versatile, most often worn in the eyebrow, navel, and several ear cartilage piercings.

  • Circular Barbell

    This type of barbell follows the same convention as the others, but the bar is curved into a “U” shape with balls on both ends. Circular barbells are often called “horseshoe barbells” for this reason. These are most commonly worn for septum piercings, but you can also see them in the nipples and ears, too. 

  • Captive Bead Rings

    Also known as captive rings or CBRs. Unlike seamless hoops and hinged/segment rings, captive bead rings have a “ball” or bead in the center that screws on/off for installation and removal. This bead can come in many styles and variations, making it a versatile option.

  • Charms

    While charms aren’t used directly in a piercing, they can hang from any kind of cartilage hoop ring. Charms give you the opportunity to express yourself through body jewelry without the hassle of getting a brand-new piercing.

  • Cuffs

    A cuff is a great alternative to a conch or helix piercing. Cuffs simply slip onto the ear, no piercing required, and can be tightened by gently pinching them closed.

  • Ear Weights

    Another type of jewelry specific to those with stretched or gauged ears. This jewelry slides through the gauged lobe to weigh it down, leaving a space between the top of your gauge and the jewelry itself. Choosing ear weights over tunnels or plugs is purely based on personal style preferences. They are NOT to be used as a stretching tool! Ear weights also aren’t meant to be worn permanently and are often made of brass or silver—two materials that aren’t suitable for new piercings or extended wear.

  • Hinged/Segment Rings

    A hinge ring, also called a hinged segment ring, is most commonly worn in the ear and nose. It uses a micro hinge that easily opens and closes a segment of the piercing, adding to its seamless look. Typically, hinge rings are very dainty and thin.

  • Hoops

    These circular, dangly earrings come in a myriad of sizes and styles. They’re typically seen as a “dressier” earring option, especially if the hoop is large.

  • Huggies

    This type of hoop earring “hugs” the ear, leaving little-to-no space between the jewelry and skin. While regular hoops might sway when you move, huggies are meant to stay in place. They typically use a small hinge to secure the jewelry in place.

  • Labret

    This type of body jewelry is akin to a stud. Labrets can be both threaded and threadless, depending on your preference. Regardless, labrets have two parts: the decorative post and the backing. On the end of the backing is a disc that lays flush to the body. Labrets can be used all over in just about any piercing.

  • Nose Rings

    The term used for any body jewelry worn in the nostril…not just rings! Several jewelry options found in this glossary can be used in a nostril piercing, such as captive bead rings, seamless hoops, segment rings, and others. The following configurations are specific to nostril piercings: nose screw, l bend, and nosebone.

  • Nose Screw

    Most commonly worn in fresh nose piercings. Nose screws have a gem or “end” on one side with a pre-bent post on the other. The bend sits snuggly in your nostril and can be bent or re-shaped for a better fit, if needed. The benefit of nose screws is how easy they are to install and remove. If you’re constantly switching up your style, nose screws are the way to go.

  • L Bend

    Similar to a nose screw, the L bend is a piece of nostril piercing jewelry with a pre-bent post on one side and an “end” on the other. The difference is that a nose screw has a curve in its bend, while an L bend has a 90-degree “L” shape. L bends are less intuitive, as you need to know the exact length in order for the jewelry to fit properly.

  • Nosebone

    Also called a “stud,” a nosebone is simple and doesn’t use a backing. Instead, nosebones have a ball at one end that’s slightly larger than your piercing’s gauge. This keeps the jewelry in place, just like the flares on a double-flare plug. Like all other nose rings, nosebones come with a decorative end.

  • Mini Disc Labret

    Functioning just like a regular labret, a mini disc labret is self explanatory. The disc attached to the backing is simply smaller than a standard labret disc in order to accommodate tight piercing spaces, like nostrils. Typically, mini disc labrets are internally threaded or threadless and come with some sort of gemstone on the end.

  • Piercing Studs

    Contrary to popular belief, piercing studs and regular studs are very different. A piercing stud (labret) is made for use in fresh piercings. Instead of a butterfly back, piercing studs have a flat back and a longer post to accommodate the healing process.

  • Plugs

    This jewelry is specific to individuals with stretched piercings  also known as gauges. Plugs can be a great option, but it’s important to note that they get heavier as you go up in size because they are solid all the way through. Plugs come in three primary variations: no flare, single flare, and double flare.

  • No-Flare Plugs

    These plugs are flat across the entire plug. They are more high-maintenance because you must use an "O" ring on both sides of the plug to keep it in place. Otherwise, you risk losing a plug (or two!). Single-flare plugs On this type of plug, only one side is flared. That means that the end of the plug is flared out, making it wider than the center wearable part. This flare helps keep the plug in place, along with an "O" ring to secure the backside. People tend to choose single-flare plugs after recently stretching their ears because they accommodate the healing process while keeping the popular look-and-feel of a double-flare plug.

  • Double-Flare Plugs

    No "O" ring required. As the name suggests, this plug is flared on both sides. There is generally less worry about double-flare plugs falling out thanks to the flares keeping them secure. That is the primary reason users will opt for double-flare as opposed to other plug types.

  • "O" Ring

    The small rubber band that comes with no-flare or single-flare plugs. They slide on to the backside (and front, too, if you’re rocking no-flare) of your plug to keep it from falling out of your ear.

  • Plug Hoops

    Known by several aliases, like eyelet hoops or tunnel hoops. These are big hoop-style earrings that are designed to be worn through a tunnel. Plug hoops are elaborately designed and afford the user with plenty of options to showcase their personal style. For those without gauged ears, these can be worn as normal earrings in a lobe piercing.

  • Seamless Hoops

    This type of jewelry avoids an open/close mechanism altogether. Instead, it opens through gently twisting (not pulling) the two ends of the ring away from one another. Once successfully installed in your piercing, the user can secure the jewelry in place by twisting the same two ends toward one another until they meet.

    Note: It’s important not to pull the ring fully open. This can permanently change the shape of the ring, or worse: it can weaken the metal and cause it to break.

  • Stud(s)

    A common earring with a butterfly backing that slides onto the post and secures the jewelry in place. Can be sold in pairs or as individuals. Studs are typically worn in earlobe piercings.

  • Tunnels

    Also known as “eyelets,” this is another type of jewelry that is specific to those with gauges. Tunnels are hollow in the middle so you can see through to the other side as opposed to a solid plug. Tunnels are ideal for those with larger stretched ears because they tend to be lightweight and comfortable, even when you go up in size.

More Terms
  • Body Jewelry

    This umbrella term refers to any piercing jewelry worn on the body: mouth, lips, nose, face, ears, navel, and so on. Body jewelry affords several shapes, sizes, lengths, styles, and configurations, creating near-endless options.

  • Butterfly Backing

    Used in traditional stud earrings. As the name suggests, the backing is shaped like a butterfly and easly slides onto the post to keep the earring in place. This is the most common backing for regular studs.

  • Gauge

    The word “gauge” describes how thick something is. The larger the gauge number, the thinner the jewelry, and vice versa. To keep your piercing healthy and comfortable, it’s important to pick the correct gauge for your piercing.

  • Flatback

    Any jewelry that has a flat disc as its backing (as opposed to a butterfly backing). It’s typically preferred for new piercings because the flat disc tolerates any swelling. Flatbacks are known for being super secure and comfortable to wear.

  • Internally Threaded

    Any type of body jewelry where the “threads” (or grooves that will connect the two pieces of the jewelry) are located inside the “end” of the jewelry. In most cases, the “end” will be a ball. This way, the base (or backing) of the jewelry screws into the “end” to secure it in place.

  • Externally Threaded

    Any type of body jewelry where the “threads” (or grooves that will connect the two pieces of the jewelry) are located on the base (or backing) of the jewelry. In this case, the “end” will screw on to the post to secure it in place.

  • Threadless/Pushpin

    Similar to the backing of a piercing stud, a threadless earring has two parts: the top post and the backing with a flat end. The backing is first inserted through the back of the piercing so that the flat end is flush with your ear. From the front of the piercing, the top post is then pushed snuggly into the backing. To secure the jewelry, you must gently and slightly bend the top downward.

  • Tops/Ends

    The main part of the earring that is visible when worn. It’s attached to the post that pierces through the ear. Tops are sold individually without any kind of backing, since backing types are typically a matter of personal preference.