Recommended Gauges For Body Jewelry

By: Lina Lambert


The body jewelry industry is growing constantly and with the increasing demand for heavy gauge body piercings and the desire of many enthusiasts to go bigger with the jewelry they wear, many now ask what the ideal gauges for various body piercings are.

Ultimately, the size of the body jewelry people want to wear depends on their individual preference here is a list of the average body piercing gauges for each body locations.

Belly Button (navel) Piercing
For navel piercings, 14 gauges (1.6 mm) are usually considered the norm. Because mostly available navel rings have a 14 gauges, it is not advisable to pierce the navel with either larger or smaller gauge as finding body jewelry that can fit the hole might become a challenge.

When it comes to the length of the piercing, it will depend on the size of the person being pierced. There are belly rings ranging from 5/16" (8mm) up to 5/8" (16mm). Usually, the most appropriate sizes are either 3/8" (9 - 10mm) or 7/16" (11mm) as most belly rings come in these sizes.

Eyebrow Piercing
16 or 18 gauges are the most common and recommended when it comes to initial eyebrow piercings. Though 14 gauges eyebrow piercings are increasing in popularity, the majority of eyebrow jewelry still has 16-18 gauges.

Nose (nostril) Piercing
Commonly, nose piercing is done in either 18 gauges or 20 gauges. Either of these sizes gives people a wide variety of very nice nose studs or nose screws to choose from. Never let a piercer use a gun when getting a nose piercing. There are still a few piercing shops that use 20 gauges gun but due to the trauma that this tool can inflict to the body, it is never recommended for nose piercing.

Septum Piercing
For septum piercings through the septum bridge between the nostril openings, the 14 gauges is commonly used though many also prefer to use larger gauges like 12 or 10 gauges.

Tongue Piercing
It is recommended to have an initial tongue piercing in 14 gauges because it is easy to stretch if desired. The range for tongue piercings can start from 14 up to 2 gauges due to a wide variety of barbells available.

The length of barbell can vary based on the thickness of the tongue, but 3/4" (19mm) is usually a good size to give room for the expected swelling that occurs after the piercing. Once healed, 5/8" (16mm) is the most common length.

Labret Piercing
Labret piercings, also more popularly known as Monroe piercings, are usually done in 18 gauges, 16 gauges, or 14 gauges. It is recommended having the piercing done at 16 gauges because it gives more freedom when selecting body jewelry. There a lot of great 14 gauges labret jewelry available today and it is relatively easy and painless to stretch your piercing from 16 gauges.

Remember that these are just recommended gauges or sizes for initial piercing based on popular feedback and number of body jewelry available in the market. At the end, the decision on how big or how small the piercing and body jewelry you wear will be up to you.

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