Buyer’s Guide to Common Body Jewelry Types


Common Body Jewelry TypesThere are many different body jewelry types and styles you can use for your piercings. Generally speaking, the jewelry type will depend on the piercing in question, as well as your preferences. It is very important to wear only jewelry types suitable for your piercing to ensure comfort and safety.

At the same time, there are certain jewelry types that are very popular and widely used for many different piercing types. These general jewelry types can be used for many piercings and can be worn on different body parts. These are usually rings and barbells, but some other jewelry types can also be used for numerous piercing types.

On the other hand, some popular jewelry types are specially designed for certain piercing types and not the others, so this is something to pay attention to when choosing the best jewelry for your piercing.

Here are some of the most popular jewelry types you can use for your piercings:

Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Rings (CBR) are probably the most common body jewelry types. They are so common that some people refer to any jewelry type as “rings”. CBR jewelry can be used for a wide range of piercings and they can be found on almost all body parts, from earlobes to genital piercings.

Captive Bead Rings have a specific design: these rings are kept closed by a bead inserted between two ends of a CBR. The bead of a Captive Bead Ring is dimpled so it sits nicely between two ends of the ring and is kept securely in place.

Other Types of Rings

Generally speaking, Captive Bead Rings are the most popular ring types used for piercings, but there are other ring types that are commonly used. Usually, whenever you can use a CBR you can also use a different ring type, so it all comes down to personal preferences and comfort. However, sometimes certain ring types work better than others for some piercings, so this is something to keep in mind.

Other common ring types include:

  • Screwball Rings. These rings are very similar to Captive Bead Rings but the difference is in the way the bead fits the ring. Screwball rings have threaded beads that attach to the ring itself so it is difficult to lose the bead.
  • Fixed Rings. These rings resemble Captive Bead Rings, but the main difference is that the bead is permanently fixed to one side of the ring. This way, it is difficult to lose the bead so these rings may be easier to use when you don’t have to worry about the bead itself.
  • Seamless and Segment Rings. These rings make a bit of a different design since they don’t have a bead or a gem. Instead, they consist of segments that fit nicely together. These rings tend to be more elegant because they have a seamless design without a ball. These seamless rings are often more comfortable so they may be a good choice for sensitive body parts. On the other hand, keep in mind that they may be more difficult to open and close.


Titanium Double Gem Set Curved Barbell

Titanium Double Gem Set Curved Barbell

Barbells are among the most popular body jewelry pieces, along with Captive Bead Rings. Unlike Captive Bead Rings, barbells are more varied: they come in several common designs. Oftentimes, barbells are great for specific piercing types and not the others, so this is something you should keep in mind.

The basic barbell design is simple: they consist of a shaft and two balls (beads), one on the each end. The balls (beads) are generally attached to the barbell shaft using threading. There are two common types of barbells when it comes to threading: internally threaded barbells and externally threaded barbells. They both refer to the threading on the shaft, and not the balls. Thus, internally threaded barbells have threading inside the shaft and a threaded post on the bead. Externally threaded barbells are those that have a threaded post on the shaft and a hole in the bead. Internally threaded jewelry is considered better, safer and of higher quality because it does not hurt the tissue when inserted. This is particularly important for fresh, new piercings. During the procedure, the jewelry you receive should always be internally threaded so it doesn’t disturb your new piercing.

Beads on the barbells are typically made to be round, though other styles are possible. Some barbells have plain, smooth beads while other have more decorated beads with gems or other decorative elements.

Common types of barbells include:

  • Straight barbells. These are basic types of barbells. They have a straight shaft with one ball on the each end.
  • Curved barbells. These barbells have a curved shaft with one ball on the each end.
  • Circular barbells. These barbells have a circular shaft with a ball on the each end.
  • Spiral barbells. These barbells have a spiral shaft with a ball on the each end.

Straight Barbells

Straight barbells are often considered the “basic” type of barbells. They have a straight shaft with a ball (bead) on the each end. The length of the shaft can be very short or very long, depending on the intended piercing.

Some straight barbells have very long shafts. These are used for long piercings, such as Industrial Piercings. The length of the shaft should be such to accommodate the whole length of the piercing, so shorter piercings generally use shorter straight barbells and long ones use longer. In practice, there are two lengths of the straight barbells: standard and long. Your piercer will choose the best one for you depending on the piercing length. If you feel like the beads are digging into the tissue you may need to switch to a longer barbell. This is something you need to pay attention to in order to keep your piercing healthy and problem-free.

Straight barbells can be used for many different piercing types, such as tongue piercing, nipple piercing and many types of male genital piercings, such as Apadravya and Ampallang.

Curved Barbells

Curved barbells resemble the basic design of a straight barbell, only the shaft is curved. There are many different ways to curve a barbell so some curved barbells have a shaft that is more curved than some others. Many of them resemble elongated semi-circles though a standard curved barbell tends to be curved less than this.

The curvature of the barbell is made to follow the body’s natural curves and to sit well on the skin. These jewelry types are made to achieve a better comfort for some piercings. In some cases, piercers choose to pierce with a curved needle so the shape of the hole inside the tissue follows the curved shape, which matches the curved barbell perfectly.

There is also a special type of a curved barbell, known as the “J-bar” or “banana barbell”. These barbells have only a slight curve and a bend near one end. The bend is very dramatic, sometimes done at the 90 degrees. This jewelry type is specially designed to accommodate navel piercings, though regular types of curved barbells are also used for this piercing type.

Just like straight barbells, curved barbells also come in internally threaded and externally threaded variants. Internally threaded barbells are much safer so these should be used, particularly as initial piercing jewelry.

Curved barbells are commonly used for navel piercings and some other piercing types, such as eyebrows (here, shorter curved barbells are used), as well as some genital piercings such as PA piercing and vertical clitoral hood piercing.

Circular Barbells

14k Double Gem Side Set Circular Barbell

14k Double Gem Side Set Circular Barbell

Circular barbells resemble rings in many ways, but with one major difference: they are never full circles and have an open end. This jewelry type is actually a variant of a barbell design, in which the shaft is curved so dramatically that it’s circular. However, the ends of the barbell do not touch each other to form a full circle. Instead, there is a gap and each end of the barbell has a bead attached to it.

Typical circular barbell makes about three quarters of a circle while the remaining quarter is the gap.

This design resembles a horseshoe, so this is why these barbells are also known as the “horseshoe barbells”. Usually, circular barbells form a perfect open circle, though some are more elliptical in their shape.

Circular barbells are popular jewelry types for certain piercings, such as septum piercing, nipple piercing and many female genital piercings.

Spiral Barbells

Unlike the other barbell types mentioned above, spiral barbells are considered rarer and are not used as typical jewelry types. Instead, they are usually sued to make a piercing more attractive and decorative. They are still very good jewelry types so you may use them in all piercings that can accommodate them and make for a comfortable jewelry piece.

Spiral barbells have a spiral shaft and a bead on the each end. The spiral on the shaft can be of different designs, from a small half-loop to a full spiral or a more complex spiral. The complexity of the spiral will make for different visual effects. Sometimes, the ends of a spiral barbell overlap but they can always be easily separated so the jewelry can be inserted easily.

Labret Studs

Labret studs are special jewelry pieces made for lip piercings. Some of these can also be used for other piercing types, such as nostril piercings or ear piercings. Typically, however, this is a lip jewelry types.

This jewelry type consists of a straight, relatively short barbell with a bead on one end and a flat ending on the other side. Some labret studs have a smaller ball on the other end but it is never made to be decorative in the way that beads are in barbell jewelry styles. This is because labret studs have only one end visible outside the body while the other end (the one with the flat ending or a small ball) is made to sit inside the mouth.

Labret studs are used for many different lip jewelry types, from labret piercings to Madonna, Monroe and many others. They are sometimes used for nostril piercings, inner conch or handweb piercings.

Nostril Jewelry

14K Gold Heart Outline Nostril Piece

14K Gold Heart Outline Nostril Piece

There are many different nostril jewelry styles you can choose from. Nostril piercings are typically done at smaller gauges and require light, discreet jewelry styles. There are some jewelry styles specially made for nostril piercings, though it’s possible to wear some general jewelry types, such as Captive Bead Rings or even labret studs.

Most popular nostril jewelry include:

  • These are straight nostril jewelry pieces that resemble small labret studs. They have a short post and a decorative bead or a gem on the top. The bottom side is shaped as a small ball that is only slightly wider than the shaft of the Nose Bone. This small ball should be inserted through the nostril piercing so the decorative bead with a gem stays outside.
  • Nose Screws. These are jewelry pieces with a curved body. The body is actually made into a semi circle and then bent. This is done so the jewelry can stay in place when inserted though the nostril. The other side of the jewelry has a decorative bead or a gem. There are two variants of the Nose Screws, depending on the side in which the post is bent: left and right, so they can be used for either left or right nostril.
  • L-Bars. These are a bit rarer nostril jewelry pieces made in the shape of the letter L. These jewelry pieces have a shaft that is curved at an angle so it resembles the letter L. The tip of the jewelry piece has a decorative bead or a gem.
  • Fishtails. These are very long jewelry pieces with a straight body. They have a decorative bead or a gem on top. The shaft of a Fishtail is customizable, because you can bend it and cut it exactly how you need it for your piercing. This is a good way to have a nostril jewelry piece of a perfect length and curved at just the right angle you need for your nostril.
About Donna:
Donna Carlson is a staff writer for TheChainGang. She combines her love for body piercings with adult fun, such as sex toys, BDSM and other forms of pleasure. She says: “Piercings and sex toys often complement each other in the most sensual ways. I am happy to help you discover new ways to pleasure yourself and your partner. With a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to enhance their love life. And with a bit of courage, anyone can enjoy body piercings”. In addition to intimate piercings and adult toys, Donna also writes about body jewelry and other piercing adornments.

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