Body Jewelry Gauge/Length Inch to Millimeter Conversion Charts
Body jewelry is usually measured in both inches and millimeters, as well as a commonly-used term called a “gauge” which is a measure of the thickness of the jewelry. The step from one gauge to the next isn’t the exact same each time. The higher the number, the smaller the piercing thickness will be.
The charts below show the various gauges and lengths in both inches and millimeters when you’re choosing the right jewelry thickness, length, accessory or ball size, or if you’re looking to stretch up to the next size.
|Gauge (ga)||Inches (in)||Millimeters (mm)|
Gauges will often be written in shorthand like any other unit of measurement (e.g. 10 millimeters = 10mm). If you see 16G, 16g or 16 ga, these are all the same.
|Inches (in)||Decimal inches (in)||Millimeters (mm)|
Common piercing sizes
For those with a more common introductory level piercing, we’ve compiled this list to help you get more familiar with the world of body jewelry.
Ear: If you got your ear(s) pierced by a gun (which we HIGHLY oppose) and you’ve never stretched your hole(s), your jewelry gauge is 20 or 18. With a little antibacterial soap and water, massaging 16 gauge body jewelry into the hole shouldn’t be a problem. DO NOT attempt to go any thicker than 16 gauge if you currently have a 20 or 18 post! If you were pierced with a needle the gauges most commonly range from 18-10, most likely being 16 and 14. Intricate piercings like the tragus and rook typically hold jewelry 5/16″, 3/8″, or 7/16″ in size. However, jewelry for the lobes can be just about any size from huggies to pirate rings. For information on stretching your lobes, see our Stretching Guide.
Eyebrow: The most common gauges for an eyebrow piercing are either 18ga or 16ga, with 16ga being the most common. Typical ring diameters and curved barbell lengths are 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″.
Labret: The most common gauges for a labret piercing are 14ga and 12ga. Depending on the thickness of your lip, the most common flat back post lengths are 5/16″, 3/8″, or 7/16″ with 3/8″ being the most common. Remember, you are pierced with a longer post to allow for swelling. To avoid damaging teeth and gums, you must switch to shorter length piece when the swelling goes down.
Lip: Like the Labret, typical lip jewelry is either 14ga or 12ga gauge. Again, the size of the jewelry depends on the thickness of your lips, most frequently 5/16″, 3/8″, and 7/16″.
Navel: The standard navel jewelry is 14 gauge. Very few piercers will pierce a navel with a 12 gauge needle unless requested. The most frequent size jewelry for a healed navel is 3/8″ or 7/16″. The next size up is 1/2″ if you prefer something larger, and 5/16″ is shorter.
Tongue: The two most common gauges for a tongue piecing are 14ga and 12ga (most are 14ga). Regardless, the tongue is usually well-behaved enough to interchange either gauge jewelry. The most common size for tongue barbells is 5/8″. If for any reason you feel your tongue jewelry creates too much friction with your gums or teeth, IMMEDIATELY replace your jewelry with something shorter. Remember, you are pierced with a longer post to allow for swelling. To avoid damaging teeth and gums, you must switch to shorter length barbell when the swelling goes down. The price you pay for smaller jewelry will be a lot less than new teeth!
Nipple: Nipples are most frequently pierced at 14ga or 12ga. For females, common replacement sizes include 9/16″ and 5/8″ for barbells or 5/8″ and 3/4″ for rings. For males, common replacement sizes include 7/16″, 1/2″, and 5/8″ for both barbells and rings.
Nostril: If you got your nostril pierced with a gun, your hole is 20ga. Otherwise, it is probably 18ga or 16ga. Typical sizes for this jewelry include 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, and 1/2″ (with 3/8″ being most common). Pre-bent nostril screws fit nearly everyone, but an unbent nostril screw is best for the pickier piercee (no pun intended). A quick stop to the jeweler to bend your post is probably your best bet with a precious stone and metal screw.
Septum: If you can’t remember your body jewelry stats because you were too busy listening to the bells ringing in your ears, your jewelry is probably 14 gauge. Common lengths for the septum include 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, and 5/8″ (AKA “The Bullring”).
Genitals: If you went ahead and got your genitals pierced, we hope that you are familiar with the gauge and size of the jewelry. Many genital piercings, especially male ones, are pierced at around 12G or sometimes higher as it’s a high-movement area and thicker jewelry can prevent migrations.