Body Jewellery comes in a variety of types such as bars, ball closure rings and studs. It is important to choose the best jewellery for your piercing for comfort and longevity. This is a guide to the main types of Body Jewellery used in Body Piercing. For information about materials or sizing please read our guides, or you can contact us.
Ball Closure Ring- Also known as a BCR. This is a type of body jewellery that is very widely used as it is suitable for a large number of piercings such as the Nipple and most ear, mouth and genital piercings. The ring has a section which is open to allow it to be fitted in the piercing, this is then secured shut by a ball, hence the name ball closure. This type of jewellery is very secure and can be extremely comfortable to wear if the correct size is chosen. It comes in a variety of materials, sizes and gauges making it an extremely versatile type of body jewellery. The ball can be changed whilst the ring remains in the piercing, a wide range of clip in add-on's for BCR's are available such as gem balls and weights.
Segment Rings-This ring is fastened by a smooth segment rather than a ball and this gives a very neat look. Segment rings can come in a variety of gauges but the most common are 1.2mm or 1.6mm gauge but they can come in heavier gauges (2mm+). They come in a variety of internal diameters. For more about sizing click here for our guide. Some piercings in which segment rings are often used are lip piercings, viper bites, snake bites, nose piercings and ear piercings such as the forward pinna.
Straight Barbell- This is a length of metal or bio-flex which has threading on one or both ends to allow the ball to be screwed on and off. This allows the bar to be fitted and means that the balls can be changed for other add-on's, such as cones or gem balls, without the jewellery being removed from the piercing. There are many different variations of the straight barbell; a popular example would be the tongue bar which is used in the Tongue piercing, these alone can come in many different materials and designs. There are also many screw-fit add-on's which can be used to change the look of a plain bar such as cones, gem balls and forward facing gem balls.
Curved Barbell- This is a bar which has a curve in it in order to make it fit more comfortably into a piercing. Examples of piercings which are suitable for curved barbells are the Anti-tragus and Angel Kiss. The bar has threading on each end which means that the ball(s) can be unscrewed in order to allow for fitting or to change the balls for other screw-fit add-on's such as cones or gem balls. Curved barbells can be made from many types of material.
Surface Bars-This is a type of bar which suitable for use in surface piercings such as the Wrist, Nape/neck and the Sternum. There are two main types of surface bar; the curved PTFE or bio-flex bar with Titanium balls, or a surface bar which is straight in the middle with either end bent up at 90 degrees to the rest of the bar, this looks similar in shape to a staple. The only materials we recommend for surface bars are bio-flex (or PTFE plastic) and Titanium because these materials are bio-compatible, although some people can use surgical steel. For more information please read our materials guide. Both types of bars have threaded ends to allow for screw-fit add-ons such as balls and cones to be interchanged, giving the bar a different look.
Navel or Belly (Banana) Bar- This is a type of curved bar used in the Navel (Belly) piercing. The bar can have threading on each end which means that the balls can be unscrewed from each end to allow for fitting or to change the balls for other screw-fit add-on's such as cones or gem balls. Most navel bars have fixed decorations at one end and the other end is threaded to allow the ball to be screwed on and off for fitting into the piercing. Navel bars are always 1.6mm gauge and usually varies in length from 8-12mm. Please read our sizing guide for more info.
Circular Barbell or Horseshoe- This bar is more often referred to as a Horseshoe because of its shape. It is similar in shape to a ring and so is often used instead of a BCR. The main part of the bar is shaped into a circular form and the bar has threading on each end which means that the ball can be unscrewed from each end to allow for fitting or to change the balls for other screw fit add-on's such as cones or gem balls. Circular barbells come in a large range of gauges from 1.2mm to 10mm gauge, for help with sizing please read our guide. They are suitable for a variety of piercings such as the Tragus piercing or the Septum Piercing.
Body Spiral/ Weave-This type of jewellery has a circular section that is offset making it form a spiral. The bar has threading on each end which means that the ball can be unscrewed from each end to allow for fitting or to change the balls. Some ear piercings such as the Auricle or Pinna are suitable for a spiral, navel piercings can also be suitable. The weave is similar to a body spiral but with more twists, it is used for the weave ear piercing. For the weave this one piece of jewellery is worn in three ear piercings simultaneously such as three piercings through the top of the ear cartilage.
Flat Back Stud or Labret Stud- The stud has a flat back and a post. The post has threading on the end which means that the ball can be unscrewed to allow for fitting or to change the ball for other screw-fit add-on's such as cones or gem balls. This jewellery is ideal for mouth piercings such as the Madonna, Devil bites, Medusa and the Labret. For mouth piercings it is often made of bio-plast as this is flexible and reduces damage to the teeth and gums. It is also very comfortable in ear piercings such as the Conch or the Tragus as the flat back minimises the chance of it being caught on hair or clothing. Labret Studs are available in 1.2mm and 1.6mm gauge and in a variety of lengths, usually from 6mm - 14mm. For help with sizing please read our guide.
Nose Stud or Nose Screw- This type of jewellery is for use in the nostril piercing. It is a post which has been curved around to fit in the nose more comfortably. It can be made of many different materials such as surgical steel, titanium or 9ct. gold. It has a small end ball or gem ball which is usually fixed. It is fitted by pushing it into the piercing whilst twisting it, the shape of the jewellery then holds it in place. Nostril studs are usually 1mm - 1.2mm gauge. Click here to read more about gauges.
Clip-in Add-on's-These are balls or weights which are used to secure a ball closure ring shut. They have one dimple on either side of the ball which the sides of the ring sit in, this holds the ball in place. The size of the add-on should match the gap in the ball closure ring. It is best to measure the ball or ring that you have already to ensure you get the correct size. For help about sizing please read our guide.
Screw-Fit Add-on's-These are threaded accessories such as gem balls which can be screwed on to the end of Bars, Studs and Horseshoes. This category also applies to Dermal Anchor/Microdermal and Skin Diver tops. We have a variety of different types of add-on's such as cones, stars, spikes, gem balls, plain balls. Having a variety of add-on's gives you the ability to change the look of your jewellery without removing it from the Piercing. Screw-fit Add-on's come in different gauges and the gauge of the add-on should match the gauge of the body jewellery. For more information about gauges please read our guide.
There are two types of threading for screw-fit add-on's; Internal and External.
Externally threaded add-on's are the most common and have the thread hidden inside the ball or cone and a screw like end showing externally on the end of the bar or stud. The end of the bar or stud fits inside the add-on and the two are rotated until they are securely tightened.
Internally threaded add-on's are usually used in Dermal Anchors and Labret Studs. This type of threading is usually used for very small balls as the threading sticks out of the ball as a small screw and this fits into tube (the post) of the internally threaded jewellery.
Dermal Anchors and Skin Diver-These types of jewellery have a foot/base, a post and a top. The foot/base is what keeps the jewellery in the piercing and it is fixed under the skin but a small section of the post is above the skin and has an internal threading which means that it is smooth on the outside and the thread is inside the tube. The top can then be screwed and unscrewed into the threading of the post. Once a dermal anchor is fitted it remains in the skin so at Shop @ Tattooed Lady we only sell dermal anchor and skin diver tops as the fitting of the base should only be carried out by a qualified piercer. Dermal anchor and skin diver tops are a form of screw-fit add-on which are always made from Titanium as it is bio-compatible. Types of piercings which used dermal anchors and skin divers are surface piercings such as the tear drop, the Nape/neck, the wrist and the sternum.
Some piercings can be stretched to take larger gauge (thickness) of jewellery. The ear lobe is a piercing that is often stretched, for more information visit the Stretched ear lobe page. Other piercings such as some genital piercings can also be stretched. There are two main ways to stretch a piercing, weighting and expanding.
Weighting- This is done using a heavy piece of jewellery such as a Steel Ball closure ring which has a weight instead of a ball fitted or a large ball. This then stretches the piercing as the weight of the jewellery pulls down on it, once the piercing has stretched a larger gauge of jewellery can be fitted and this can then be weighted down again to stretch the piercing more. This must be done slowly and sensibly in order to prevent damage or tearing of the skin. Large or heavy gauge jewellery has a gauge above 2mm.
Expanding- This is done using a family of body jewellery called expanders. These come in many different varieties such as Tapers, Stretching Spirals and Stretching Crescents. These can come in a variety of materials such as Acrylic, Surgical Steel, Horn and Wood. The gauge (thickness) of the expander is larger at one end than the other so the thinnest part of the taper can be slid in to the piercing and then slowly the jewellery is pushed further into the piercing forcing it to widen. This should be done slowly and cautiously using suitable jewellery and with some form of lubricant, such as a water based intimate lubricant, to reduce the friction and stress on the piercing. Tapers are available from 1.6mm gauge - 24mm gauge. For help with sizing please read our guide.
Once the piercing has been stretched a Flesh Tunnel or Flesh Plug may be worn to keep the gauge of the piercing. If the plug or tunnel is made from a heavy material such as steel it can continue to stretch the piercing. In order to maintain the size of the stretch lightweight jewellery such as silicone or acrylic flesh tunnels or flesh plugs should be worn.
Flesh Tunnel- This type of jewellery is a tube of material which is worn in the stretched ear lobe piercing. Flesh tunnels allow you to see through the piercing emphasising the stretched piercing. Tunnels can be one part or two part. One part tunnels have a flared lip to keep them in place and are then secured by a rubber O-ring or they can have a double flare. Two part tunnels can be screwed apart to allow fitting and then a flare on either end of the tunnel holds them securely in place. Tunnels are made from a variety of materials such as steel, acrylic and silicone and are available from 4mm - 50mm gauges, click here for more about gauges.
Flesh Plug- This type of jewellery is a solid cylinder of material which goes through the stretched ear lobe piercing. Plugs can be one part or two part and they come in a variety of shapes. One part plugs can be saddle shaped which means they are wider at either end and so do not require O-rings, straight plugs are a straight cylinder held on by two rubber O-rings and single flare plugs are flared at the front and only require one O-ring to secure the jewellery at the rear. Two part flesh plugs can be screwed apart to allow fitting and then a flare on either end of the plug holds them securely in place. Flesh Plugs are usually made from acrylic, and are available in 2mm - 50mm gauges. For more about gauges please read our guide.