Types of Cartilage Piercings and Jewelry Sizing

So you’ve decided to get a cartilage piercing done. Not only is there a wide array of options available to you as far as the choice of piercing, but also a huge selection of types of jewelry you can use. It can be confusing. Just because an earring says it’s for cartilage piercings, doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit for you, or fit in your type of piercing. This guide should help you better determine the type of jewelry and sizes you should be looking for.

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Jewelry Type: Ring or Barbell
Gauge: 22 or 20 gauge if done at a piercing kiosk, 18-14 gauge if done by a piercer in a shop
Ring Diameter: 5/16″ – 1/2″
Barbell: 5/16″ – 3/8″

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Jewelry Type: Ring or Barbell
Gauge: 18 or 16 (14 for larger ears)
Diameter: 3/8″ (Could be as small as 5/16″ or big as 7/16″ depending on anatomy)

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Jewelry Type: Straight barbell (A captive ring can be used, depending on ear size)
Gauge: 14 or 12
Diameter: 1/2″ – 5/8″
Length: 5/16″ – 7/16″

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Jewelry Type: Curved barbell or ring
Gauge: 18 or 16
Diameter: 5/16″ – 3/8″
Length: 1/4″ – 5/16″

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Jewelry Type: Ring or barbell (curved may be more comfortable)
Gauge: 18 or 16
Diameter: 5/16″ – 3/8″

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Jewelry Type: Ring, barbell, curved barbell
Gauge: 18 or 14
Diameter: 3/8″ (5/16″ for smaller anatomy, 7/16″ for larger)

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Jewelry Type: Ring, or curved barbell
Gauge: 16 or 14 (18 sometimes used for smaller anatomy)
Diameter: 3/8″

Keep in mind that individual anatomy and comfort does play into this decision. Something that fits comfortably in your friend’s ear may not work for you. When it doubt, check with your piercer. They’ll be able to tell you the exact gauge you were pierced at, and measure to give you a good idea what length/diameter jewelry will fit you best!

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