What gauge is a navel piercing
Ever since the supermodel Christy Turlington showed off her navel piercing on fashion show catwalk in 1993, the trend of having a belly button ornament has spread like wildfire all over the globe, and now most cities in the world have at least once parlor where piercings are done by experienced professionals. Though it is a relatively minor procedure, it makes sense to have a thorough knowledge of all the facts before going in for a navel piercing yourself.
The Culture of Holesomeness
There is a whole subculture that has sprung up around the business of piercing, and like every subculture piercing too has its own jargon, its own heroes and its own legends. Like for example things like horizontal navel piercing, rejected navel piercing or double navel piercing are terms whose exact meaning would be hard for the average person to figure out, but within the subculture they are commonplace references. One thing that is universally known within this cultural group, but mostly unknown outside it, is the concept of the gauge.
The Gauge of Small Things
While there is a mind-boggling variety of bars, pins, rings, barbells and items of jewelry that are used in piercing, they are all measured against one common standard: the thickness or gauge. This denotes the thickness or diameter of the part of the piece of metal that will be inserted into the pierced skin. While there is a sub-subculture that wants constantly increasing gauges to deliberately stretch their piercings, most are just aware of their gauge for when they want to buy a new piece of jewelry to replace the old one.
Some common gauge sizes are:
· 14 gauge for navel piercing,
· 16-18 gauge for eyebrow piercing,
· 18 or 20 for nose piercings.
These can vary according to personal preference, the size or age of the piercing itself, and whether or not the wearer wants to move on to a smaller or bigger gauge.
When measuring rings, the diameter of the inner part is taken into account, while in straight bars or pins it is the length of the bar itself, minus the two balls or the bits at both ends, that is measured. The gauge is always the thickness of the wire. But there is a peculiarity that you have to be aware of – the higher the gauge of a piece of jewelry, the thinner it is.
There are two different systems for measuring gauges currently in use. There is the American Wire Gauge (AWG) and the Standard Wire Gauge (SWG). Though the AWG is now more prevalent across the world, there are still some adherents of the SWG system.
Gauge in Navel Piercing
In navel piercing, where the variety and styles of jewelry used can be vast, the gauge is usually kept to more or less 14. This is because the belly button offers less flexibility when compared to other parts of the body like earlobes or nostrils. However, 16 or 12 gauges are also common, though the initial piercing is mostly fitted with the 14 barbell. This can be changed after the wound has healed, depending on the size and weight of the jewelry that is desired. The initial barbell (literally a bar with two bells on either end) is also generally longer in length (or greater in diameter) that what you may eventually go in for.
It is best to consult with your piercer beforehand regarding the kind of
look you want from your navel piercing,
whether you want a minimalist barbell or the more flamboyant types of jewelry
with glittering stones or dangling bits. He or she will then advice you on the
gauge you should go for. But still, it is better to go in armed with at least
the basics of the subject you are going to be discussing, and we trust we have
given you a solid grounding about the ‘gauge.’
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