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piercings of the upper ear antihelix cartilage

A rook piercing is a piercing of the antihelix of the ear, where it meets the triangular fossa at the inside edge or crus of the helix (the ear’s outer rim).  This is an outcropping of cartilage between the inner and outer conch that sits just above where a daith piercing would rest.  The rook is a contemporary piercing, first appearing in the early 90s, and famous piercing artist Erik Dakota is credited with it’s naming and popularization.

 the popularization of the rook

Like most other ear piercings, the area of the rook is first cleaned and marked for placement.  Some piercers will choose to pierce entirely freehand, while others may prefer to include a needle receiving tube, or even a small pair of forceps, and possibly a cork.  After being pierced, the jewelry will be pushed through and secured, and the ear will then be cleaned again.

Due to its location and the thickness of the cartilage, a rook piercing can take longer than average to fully heal.  Depending upon the aftercare regimen and the individual, initial healing can occur as early as twelve weeks, but may take up to six months, with full healing occurring around the one year mark.

 small curved barbells for rook piercings

Many different types of body jewelry can be worn in a rook, but which will work for the individual ear is often determined by the anatomy.  For some, the cartilaginous ridge will be less defined, and for others it may be pronounced but relatively closed in.  Curved barbells and BCRs are most commonly worn, but straight barbells and star or heart shaped hoops have also been used.

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