Gauges vs Jewelry

Large Gauge JewelryIt’s not uncommon to hear people talk about “ear gauges” or requesting “ear gauge jewelry”. The word “gauge” is often used instead of a correct term for certain jewelry pieces, typically those made for stretched piercings, such as plugs or flesh tunnels. While everybody will understand what you mean when you say “gauge”, it’s important to know what this term truly means and what are common terms used for jewelry pieces made for stretched piercings.

Are Gauges Large Jewelry?

No, “gauges” are not large jewelry. They are not even stretched piercings. Using this word to talk about jewelry or stretched piercings is not correct. This isn’t what the word “gauge” is about. The word itself is not related to stretched piercings or large jewelry pieces alone. In fact, any piercing and any jewelry has their gauge.

A “gauge” is a measurement. It is the size of the piercing hole and also the size of the jewelry. You are pierced with a needle of a particular gauge, and such a needle produces a hole of the same gauge. In order for your jewelry to fit, you need to wear jewelry of the same gauge as your piercing. This is why it’s important to know the gauge you are pierced with, because this is the only way to order jewelry that will fit you perfectly.

There are many different gauges available, because there are different needles. Thin needles produce small holes and in this case you need to wear small gauge (as in: thin) jewelry. Even these small holes and thin jewelry pieces have their own gauge. “Gauge” is not reserved for big piercings alone.

It’s also important to know that “large” and “small” is somewhat counter-intuitive when it comes to gauges. The smallest, thinnest gauges are labeled with the largest number. Bigger, thicker and larger gauges are labeled with a smaller number. For example, gauge 18 and gauge 16 are considered small gauges. Large gauges are labeled as gauge 4, gauge 2 or gauge 0. There are even some very large gauges labeled as gauge 00 or even 000. The smaller the number, the larger the jewelry and gauge in question is.

There are special Gauge Wheels that can help you choose your jewelry or check which gauge your jewelry is. Typically, Gauge Wheels are made for larger gauges only (usually gauge 8 and up), but it’s always important to know the gauge of your piercing because it’s the only way to choose appropriate jewelry.

Stretched Piercings and Their Gauges

What about stretched piercings, then? These piercings have their gauge, just like any other piercing. Typically, piercings are done at a smaller gauge and you stretch them to a larger one once the piercing is fully healed.

Many people decide to stretch their piercings to a larger gauge. If you perform stretching carefully, you can successfully change the gauge of your piercing. After a few weeks, you can try again and stretch to an even larger gauge. Over time, it’s possible to stretch your piercings to very large gauges.

When you stretch your piercings to a larger gauge, it’s important to use jewelry made in that gauge, too. It’s always vital to wear appropriately sized jewelry. Whenever you stretch your piercing hole to a larger gauge, you will also need to wear jewelry of the larger gauge.

There are many jewelry types made in the larger gauges, so chances are that you will find some nice jewelry for your piercing. There are many elegant Captive Bead Rings, Segment and Seamless Rings and Screwball Rings made in all gauges, including the large ones.

Also, there are certain jewelry pieces made for large gauges only. Ear plugs, flesh tunnels, earlets, spirals and other similar jewelry types are made in large gauges only. These jewelry types are specially designed for stretched piercings. When people say “gauges” and think of jewelry, these are the jewelry types they have in mind.

However, referring to jewelry as “gauge” is not correct. Remember: “gauge” is a measurement. Plugs, tunnels and earlets are jewelry. Those are two different concepts altogether and you should not confuse them.

Helix Shields

5 Gem Shield

5 Gem Shield

Helix shields are among the most beautiful jewelry types. They come in many different designs and varieties, so it’s possible to find just the one that suits your needs. Helix shields are unique and truly draw attention to your piercing. They look very attractive so it’s not surprising so many people choose them as their favorite jewelry types.

Choosing the Best Jewelry

While helix piercing is not rare in any way, it’s not the most popular type of piercing either. It means that sometimes, you don’t use jewelry created specially for this kind of piercing. It’s important to remember that the piercing itself is often made with a small gauge needle, so it usually requires small jewelry. For example, small gauge Captive Bead Rings tend to be a common helix jewelry.

However, keep in mind that a helix piercing is done on the helix of the upper ear, which gives certain options when it comes to jewelry. You can go with a simple jewelry type if you like, or you may use something more attractive. This is where helix cuffs and shields come into play.

Using Helix Shields

Helix shields are great because they are specially designed for helix piercings. They will sure make your piercing more attractive and noticeable. These are also made to rest comfortably against the ear to provide the best experience.

Helix jewelry comes in many different types. There are fancy rings you can use, elaborate cuffs or richly detailed shields. Most of these jewelry pieces have additional decoration, such as gems or charms. These fancy jewelry pieces make a great addition to your ear jewelry collection so you can use them in almost any situation.

Plugs and Flesh Tunnels

Straight Amber Plugs

Straight Amber Plugs

Plugs and tunnels are among the most striking pieces of body jewelry. They are usually simple but very effective. These are among the best and most beautiful jewelry styles specially made for stretched piercings. Most often used for ear piercing, these beautiful items can be used for most types of stretched piercings, regardless of body part.

One advantage to plugs and flesh tunnels is that they look very simple and presentable, which makes it easy to wear them in all kinds of situations, including work. As you probably know, professional situations often require special attire and limited types of jewelry. Many times, body piercing and body jewelry are completely forbidden. Yet, plugs and tunnels are often allowed, which makes them very practical and functional. It doesn’t mean they are boring or overly simple: on the contrary, plugs and flesh tunnels are among the most stunning types of body jewelry you can find on the market.

Plugs and Tunnels

A plug is specially designed piece of jewelry made for stretched piercings. Plugs are most often worn in ears, but it’s possible to use them on other body parts. Plugs create a very interesting effect, especially at larger gauges.

One great thing about plugs is that they are made of many different materials not usually used for body piercing. There are many organic materials used, such as wood, glass, precious stone, amber, bone, horn, bamboo, silicone, stone, and other highly effective materials.

A flesh tunnel is a tube shaped, hollow piercing jewelry. The most common flesh tunnels are those used in stretched earlobes but they can be worn in piercings located on other body parts, as long as the piercing itself is stretched to a correct gauge. Other common names for flesh tunnels are earlets, eyelets, spools, fleshy and expanders.

Flesh tunnels are great because they allow you to see through the piercing, which produces unique effects. Another advantage to flesh tunnels is that they are relatively light and they weigh less than plugs, which may be significant at larger gauges. You can wear flesh tunnels with a captive bead ring or another object passed through them.

Choosing the Right Size

Glitter Halo Flesh Tunnel

Glitter Halo Flesh Tunnel

The most important thing when buying plugs and flesh tunnels is to choose the right size. Body jewelry is available in many different diameters, and this is particularly true for plugs, flesh tunnels and other types of jewelry specially made for stretched piercings. It means they are available in many different sizes (gauges), depending on the size of your piercing.

Before making a purchase, it’s vital that you know your size and to order a correct gauge for your piercing. Using only the correct gauge is essential for the best comfort and pain-free experience.

There are many different gauges to choose. Piercings range in size from 20 gauge to 00 and more. Initial piercings are usually done in gauges ranging from 20 to 14 gauge, and it depends on many factors, such as location of the piercing. These initial piercings can be stretched to larger gauges (such as 8 or 0 gauge) using tapers or another stretching method. When choosing plugs or ear tunnels it’s crucial to know your current piercing size and how much stretched your piercing actually is so you can pick the right size.

In case you are not 100% sure about the size, you can order and try a few different sizes to see which one feels the best. The correct gauge will feel the most comfortable and will “sit” well in your piercing. When you find the size that suits you, make sure to remember the gauge so you will know what’s the size of your piercing the next time you decide to purchase plugs or flesh tunnels.

Last Ones – Beaded Arrow Nipple Ring(s)

This is an excellent piece. Is best used for nipple and ear piercings. Off the captive bead is a unique ball formation, decreasing in size, divided by a small bar bell.

Parquet Wood Ear Plugs

Parquet Wood Ear Plugs

This particular exotic wood plug has an amazing pattern of multiple varieties of wood. This plug is tapered in which eliminates the need for o-rings. It is simply a beautiful body jewelry ear plug as well as all organic.

Stretching Nail

Stretching Nail

The Stretching Nail is made using only 316LVM Surgical Grade Steel. This piece will give you a sharp look and can also be used to stretch you’re piercing to a larger gauge. There are tons of places that you can use this piece.

Glass Magma Plug(s)

Glass Magma Plug(s)

The Glass Magma Plug is a very cool piece made from Soda Lime Glass. Soda Lime Glass is a nonporous glass that is easy to clean. So it makes it the perfect material for Body Jewelry.

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