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Published Friday, May 26, 2023

Body Jewelry Measuring Systems: Metric, Imperial, and Gauges


Body jewelry measuring systems: Metric, Imperial, and Gauges    

When looking for jewelry, you’ve probably seen multiple measurement styles all over the place. Inches, millimeters, gauge sizes, it can get overwhelming! But fear not.

Let’s start with the metric system

This system of measurement is used in most parts of the world, and its increments are based on the meter for length and the gram for mass. Its units are derived from multiples of the base units by 10, and you will see things measured with millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers, making the system very straight forward and standardized.


The Imperial system of measurement...

also known as the customary system, is in much more limited use; but it remains the main form of measurement in the United States, and sees partial use in places like the UK and Canada as supplementary measurements alongside the more standardized metric system.

This system of measurement was originally standardized in Imperial Britain, but has roots as far back as the Roman empire. This system is more often based on fractions, usually ½, ¼, and 1/8th, and measurement units less standardized, and include inches, feet, and miles to measure length, and ounces and pounds to measure weight.


Finally, there’s gauge sizing...

most often used to measure the diameter of wire, metal bars and, of course, your body jewelry. Gauge measurements date back to wire production during the industrial revolution. Wire was produced by drawing the wire material through increasingly smaller and smaller holes, thus narrowing its diameter with each draw. Manufacturers used the number of draws as their unit of measurement, which explains why the higher the gauge number, the smaller the gauge size is, as a wire pulled through 12 holes would be smaller than one only pulled through 4.

The gauge system was never meant to measure larger sizes, and is why jewelry larger than 00g is measured in millimeters and inches.

The world of body jewelry commonly uses all three of these systems, which can understandably be a little overwhelming. While conversions between these systems are not straightforward, Bodyartforms has sizing and measurement resources to help you figure out what size you need regardless of which method you are most familiar with.

Every product page links to our sizing guide. Just look for the box in the description labeled “Resources & Information”. You can also find this link on our FAQ page under the “About body jewelry” section.

If you need any further help in converting these systems or finding out what size you need, feel free to reach out! 
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