After size 00 ear gauges are expressed as fractions of an inch, or whole inches, such as one-half, three-quarters and one inch. Typically, gauges past 00 are plugs for stretching existing piercings.Know More
Earrings and piercing tools measure in gauge sizes that correspond to actual measurements; gauge sizes are always even numbers. Most earlobe piercings use size 18 or 20 needles and jewelry. A 20-gauge piercing is approximately 0.03 inch and an 18-gauge is 0.04 inch. For cartilage piercings, such as the helix or tragus, a 16-gauge, or 0.05-inch, piercing is common. An industrial piercing, a long barbell stretching through two holes across the top of the ear cartilage, is most commonly a 14-gauge, or 0.06-inch, piercing. Most often, the intent of jewelry beyond 14- or 12-gauge is to stretch an existing earlobe piercing through the insertion of gradually larger pieces of jewelry. The final gauge size is usually 00, or 0.375 inch, after which jewelry goes by size in inches.
Stretching is a way to accommodate larger pieces of jewelry without starting with a large hole that could damage tissue and prevent downsizing in the future. Stretching is a slow process and each new stressing must heal before a new one begins; healing times vary from weeks to months, and stretching too quickly causes scar tissue. With proper care and attention, people achieve stretchings up to a full inch or more.Learn More
Regular earrings are generally 20 gauge, which is 0.0320 inches or 0.812 millimeters in diameter. The needle that does the actual piercing is typically a 14 gauge. In body jewelry, the larger the gauge, the smaller the diameter. Earrings worn on the cartilage of the ear are commonly 16 gauge.Full Answer >
The smallest gauge available for a nose stud is 20 gauge though the slightly larger 18 gauge is more common. With body jewelry, the larger the number, the smaller it is.Full Answer >
The most common needle gauge for a nose piercing is 18. Twenty or 22 gauge is for individuals who want smaller holes. Typically, 16 is the largest gauge used for nose piercings, though jewelry for this size is not common.Full Answer >
According to the New York Times, in the 1960s, gay men often pierced only their right ear as a covert statement of sexual preference. However, by 1991, ear piercing was so common for men that it had ceased to have any relationship to sexual orientation.Full Answer >