Nifty Visualization Tricks

July 15, 2009


What size jewelry to get? That’s a pretty common question faced by piercees who are looking to replace or upgrade their jewelry.  Unfortunately, it’s a tough question, because:

a) We’ve forgotten what size we had in the first place; and

b) Sizes are complicated, and weird, and in fractions!;  and those little pieces of jewelry are fiddley; and

c) I can’t visualize distances anyway, because I’m a gurrrl.

So, here are a couple of things to try.  First–the humble ruler.  If you can’t remember whether 1/8″ is bigger than 5/16″ –dig your ruler out of your drawer.  Alternatively, most online body jewelry retailers have charts and helpful sizing info, as well as sending you out a handy gauge card with your order.  I keep my gauge card near my computer to make it easier to order jewelry.  (Is that a bad sign?)

plug chart

Here’s a lovely little page I stumbled across on Steel Navel. I think it very clearly shows the difference in gauge (a measurement of thickness based on wire measurement).  For those of us who are spatially challenged, you can find the real page on Steel Navel here.

There’s also the Steel Skin compact disc-calibrated slidey thing. Slidey thing, you say?  (Okay, fine.  “Dynamic Size Chart.”) Check it out here!


December 20, 2008
this wheel's on fire #2
Image by mugley via Flickr

Tonight I am the proud owner of a brand new 8 gauge horizontal nipple piercing;


a pretty faux-opal chest surface anchor.  Woo!!

Beautiful Daughter No. 1 got a Monroe.

More details later–sorry, no profile this week.  I’m tired tonight, but tomorrow will have a full write up of the piercing.

That brings the total number of my current piercings to 13.

But who’s counting!

Bling! Bling!; or whaddya mean I can’t buy my navel ring at the mall?

November 20, 2008
0g Flesh Tunnels

0g Flesh Tunnels,
originally uploaded by califrayray.

Human beings love adorning our bodies. It’s universal. And pierced people have more choices than most. But, as the old knight said, you must choose . . . wisely.

Body Jewelry: The least you need to know–

  • Basic shapes: The most common body jewelry comes in bar style or ring style, with either a screwed on ball or other end(s), or a bead which is held in place by tension.  Many variations of these two patterns are available.
  • Match piercing to jewelry: Your body jewelry must be correctly sized for your anatomy and placed skillfully.  The expertise of a professional piercer is essential.  Jewelry thickness is measured in gauges, like wire.
  • Quality: Good quality body jewelry can make a real difference in the happiness and longevity of your piercing.  Look for quality materials, manufacturing, and finishing. Premium jewelry has threads that fit together and stay together, rings that hold their tension without losing balls, smooth finishing and polishing so there are no little crevices bacteria can hide in, and implant grade metals and other top-notch materials.  Internally threaded barbells are better.
  • Material: Your basic choices for starting jewelry are titanium, stainless steel, and, if you can afford it, gold.  The specific grade of metal and its components is important.  Titanium is a good all around choice for fresh piercings–the quality is a bit more consistent than stainless steel, it’s lightweight, and most people are not allergic to it.
  • Where to Buy: Don’t be cheap! Quality jewelry is bought through your piercer, or online.  It’s unlikely you will find good quality at mall shops, and there are an awful lot of piercing places that stock crap, too.  Look for US or European made brand names.
  • Make a note: Keep track of the gauge, size (length/diameter, material, and manufacturer.  This can become important when it comes time to replace your jewelry.  If you forget the day after your piercing, don’t fret–it happens to all of us.  Look at your receipt, or call the studio, and write it down somewhere.

Ah, so much jewelry, so few holes!