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With so many options available, purchasing new body jewelry can be confusing.  What size?  What color?  And what the heck is internally threaded?  Well, internally threaded body jewelry and externally threaded body jewelry are the two basic types, and we’re going to help you sort out which one is right for you.

The more common type of body jewelry is externally threaded.  What it means when you see the phrase “externally threaded barbell” or “externally threaded body jewelry” is that the threads are on the outside.  The ends of the barbell portion of these items look like a screw, and the ball tips have a hole in them and are perfectly round.  To put this type of jewelry on, you have to take hold of the ball, line up the hole with the barbell’s threading, and screw it on.

Internally threaded barbells are exactly the opposite.  For these, it’s the barbell that has an opening in the end, and the ball or removable tip is what looks like a screw.  These items are secured by screwing the ball into the hole in the barbell.

Many people who have piercings in hard to reach places or those that are vertical or difficult to change jewelry out of choose this type of body jewelry because the corresponding threads on the tips and barbells are easier to line up when you can’t see.  Some piercings that commonly come with options for internally threaded barbells or posts include eyebrow piercings, labret or monroe rings, studs that are worn in the helix or tragus of the ear, and barbells for the tongue or industrial piercing.

Externally threaded jewelry is available for all piercings and is still a great option for most piercings of the face, ears, belly, and body. 

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