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What are Piercing Gauges?

by Hadas Milrod on February 26, 2024

Jewelry gauges, often referred to as wire gauges or piercing gauges, are a measurement system used to determine the thickness of jewelry such as earrings, rings, and body piercing jewelry. Gauges are typically expressed as a numerical value, with smaller numbers representing thicker gauges and larger numbers representing thinner gauges.

In the United States, the most common gauge system for jewelry is the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system, which ranges from 20 gauge (thicker) to 00 gauge (thinner). In other parts of the world, such as Europe, the metric system is often used, with measurements in millimeters.

For example, a typical ear piercing might be done with a 20 or 18 gauge needle, while larger body piercings, such as those for belly button rings or nipple piercings, might use thicker gauges like 14 or 12 gauge. Thinner gauges, such as 20 or 22 gauge, are often used for delicate jewelry like nose studs or earrings.