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Published Monday, March 27, 2023

What You Need To Know About Body Jewelry Gauge Size


You’ve been waiting patiently for months for your piercing to heal. Now, it’s finally time to start shopping for new jewelry. As you browse around, you see the word gauge everywhere. What does it mean?

Body jewelry comes in different sizes and if you’re new to body jewelry, the gauge size can be a little confusing. Don’t worry, we’ll go over some gauge basics, so you can find the right jewelry for your piercing.

What is a jewelry’s gauge?

The gauge refers to the thickness of the body jewelry piece. When you see the size, it will have the number followed by the word gauge or its abbreviation “g”. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the jewelry will be. We know it’s confusing and counterintuitive, so check out the image below to get a better idea of what that looks like. You can see that 0g is much thicker than an 8g.

While we use the gauge system to measure body jewelry, there is no universal standard size measuring system for jewelry. In the US, we measure in inches, but international countries will measure in millimeters. Jewelry size for gauge ranges from 22g-00g. After 00g, jewelry will be measured in inches in the US and in millimeters internationally.  To make it easier to compare between gauge, inches and millimeters, check out our handy conversion chart below. To see larger sizes on the chart, click here.

Gauge Millimeter Inch
20g .81mm  
18g 1mm  
16g 1.2mm 3/64"
14g 1.6mm 1/16"
12g 2mm 5/64"
10g 2.4mm 3/32"
9g 2.7mm  
8g 3.2mm 1/8"
7g 3.5mm  
6g 4mm 5/32"
4g 5mm 3/16"
5g 4.5mm  
2g 6mm 1/4"
1g 7mm  
0g 8mm 5/16"
00g 9mm to 10mm 3/8"
  11mm 7/16"
  13mm 1/2"
  14mm 9/16"
  16mm 5/8"
  19mm 3/4"
  22mm 7/8"
  25mm 1"


If the gauge is a measurement size, then what are gauges?

You’ve probably heard the word “gauges” or “gauged ears” being used. This comes from a misunderstanding or confusion of what the word gauge means. As we explained above, gauge refers to the thickness of the jewelry. When someone uses the word gauges, they’re probably referring to plugs or tunnels—the type of jewelry used in stretched lobes. If someone uses “gauged ears”, they’re probably referring to stretched lobes. While these terms have been used interchangeably in recent years, knowing exactly what they mean helps avoid confusion and makes it easier to find the jewelry you need.

Why is knowing the gauge of my piercing important?

Jewelry comes in all sizes and gauges. Knowing your gauge is important because it helps you find the right type of jewelry for your piercing and it helps keep your piercing safe. Knowing your gauge size is like knowing your shoe size. If you get ill-fitting shoes, it can be uncomfortable, painful and it even cause long-term effects. The same applies to jewelry. Wearing jewelry with the wrong gauge can be painful and can damage your piercing.

How do I know what gauge my body piercing is?

Everyone's anatomy is different, so the gauge you are pierced at will depend on what your piercer recommends. However, there are standard gauges for body piercings.  Check out our chart below:
Piercing Type Standard Gauge
Belly button / Navel 14g, 12g
Bridge 18g, 16g
Cheek 16g-12g
Nostril 20g, 18g
Tongue 14g or 12g
Dermal 18g, 16g
Cartilage 18g, 16g
Eyebrow 18g, 16g or even 14g
Frenum 14g, 12g
Industrial Barbell 14g, but 16g is also used
Labret Lip Rings 14g or 16g
Monroe Piercing 18g, 16g
Nipple 14g, 12g
Tragus / Helix / Rook / Conch 16g, 18g
Septum 14g, but 16g is also used
Earlobe 20g and 18g
Genitals Ask your piercer

The chart above is a reference for the standard body piercings gauges, but your gauge might be different. When you’re getting pierced, be sure to ask your piercer what gauge your piercing jewelry is. If you know this information, you can shop for the right jewelry. On our site, you can filter your search by the gauge size. It’s that easy! If you don’t know what gauge size you are, you can use the gauge card included for free with each order (see the image below) or you download the gauge card here, to measure the gauge of your jewelry piece. You can align the jewelry piece along the gauge measurements found on the top or bottom of the card to see what gauge the jewelry piece is. If you have a caliper, you can also measure the gauge with it as well. Calipers are very handy and easy to use. We recommend adding a caliper to your body jewelry essentials. You can purchase calipers here. To learn more about measuring different types of jewelry, check out our complete measuring guide here.