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When considering belly button jewelry sizes, there are two basic types, each with varying sizes. The jewelry you'll receive for a first piercing will probably be a barbell -- a tiny stick made of a non-allergenic metal or plastic with two balls screwed onto either end to keep the stick in place. These barbells are sized by thickness and length. If you're not getting a barbell, you'll most likely get a circular ring. The size of rings is determined by diameter and thickness.
Typical lengths include:
Bonus Tip: If you're looking to eventually stretch your piercing, you can begin with the lowest gauge your piercer thinks is best for you. In the long run, it will be easier to gradually increase the size of your piercing.
Keeping in mind that with body piercing, jewelry size is determined by gauge (width) and length, here is a handy chart of typical sizes for the most common types of body piercing jewelry.
Ear: 18-10 gauge, typically 16-14.
Eyebrow: 18 or 16 gauge (the latter is most common). Ring diameters and curved barbell lengths are usually 5/16", 3/8" and 7/16".
Navel: The standard is 14 gauge. The typical jewelry size for a healed navel is 3/8" or 7/16".
Tongue: 14 gauge (most common) and 12 gauge. The most common size for tongue barbells is 5/8".
Nostril: Typically 18 gauge or 16 gauge. Typical nostril jewelry sizes are 5/16", 3/8" (most common), 7/16" and 1/2".
A quick and easy way to change the look of your belly button piercing without removing it is to change the balls at the top and/or bottom of your barbell. These balls are usually sized to fit all standard (14 gauge) belly button barbells. You can purchase them separately or as a barbell set.
If belly rings appeal to you more than barbells, it's best to change those outright. Be careful to choose the same gauge belly ring as your original or your piercing will heal around the new gauge, making the old ring more difficult (or too easy!) to reinsert.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|