Find Your Fit: A Sizing Guide for Captive Rings

by Ann P

Captive rings come in so many different sizes that there are very few piercings in which they cannot be worn. To size a captive ring, two measurements are needed: the gauge size and the diameter of the ring.

captive ring dimension gauge size

The gauge size is the thickness of the ring itself (the part that actually goes in your piercing), and the diameter is found by measuring across the widest part of the ring from one inside edge to the other.

Captive rings are most commonly found in a range of 18 gauge (the size of the average nostril piercing) to 00 gauge (10mm thick), but specialty sizes can be found if need be.

captive ring gauge size

The most common measurements for captive rings’ diameters start at around 1/4″ (6mm) and go up from there. The more abundantly stocked diameter lengths include 5/16″ (8mm), 3/8″ (10mm), 7/16″ (11mm), 1/2″ (12mm), and 3/4″ (19mm).

captive ring diameter size

Small to Medium Diameter:

1/4″ (6mm) – This is a small diameter and can only be made from a small gauge (such as 20, 18. 16, and 14). This is a good size for tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, and upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix).

5/16″ (8mm) – septum piercings, tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix), lip piercings, ear lobe piercings, and eyebrow piercings.

3/8″ (10mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings (labret, monroe, etc.), and nipple piercings.

Medium to Large Diameter:

7/16″ (11mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, and nipple piercings.

1/2″ (12mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, nipple piercings, and intimate piercings.

3/4″ (19mm) – This large diameter size can be made from many different gauge sizes, but it is most frequently made with larger gauges such as 2, 0, and 00. This is a good size for stretched holes and piercing locations that require a little more girth.

Remember that this information is what is regarded as the standard sizing for captive rings and their accompanying piercings; every body is different and your piercing may differ from the standard. Always be sure to measure accurately to get the right size, and if you can, visit your local piercer to get first-hand assistance in finding the right size diameter for your particular piercing before purchasing your new captive ring.

captive ring lip ring septum ring piercing

Want More Information?

We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog’s BCR category for more information on this type of body jewelry and keep your eyes out for future blog posts regarding style and frustration-free use of these versatile rings.

Know your size but not sure about your style? Check out our post on finding the right style captive ring for your piercing!

Or if you already know what you’re looking for, browse our latest styles in circular barbells and captive rings to pick out the best way to express yourself!

shop captive ring body jewelry

Still have questions? Contact our customer service team via phone (toll-free: 1-800-694-1426 or internationally: 716-650-2999) or by e-mail ( during our normal business hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm EST Monday through Friday. They’re always happy to help and have extensive knowledge on body jewelry to help you choose the best style and size for you and your piercing.


by Ann P

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  • A

    Alley (Body Candy Team)

    Hi Alicia!

    There are lots of helpful tips for measuring the gauge and diameter of your jewelry in the blog up above.

    If you’re still having trouble measuring the gauge/diameter of your earring, visit a professional piercer. They’ll be able to help you find jewelry that’s right for you!

  • a

    alicia flores

    I am struggling with what exactly size is my earring for my top of ear. I wanted to order a stainless steel with fixed ball. I wasn’t sure what size before I order some more online. I have the current one on top of left ear. Its the perfect size I want and its getting wear and tear now. I need to order some more new ones like it.

  • Q


    How do I put in a faux hoop L shaped piercing? I think the diameter might be too small

  • R


    I got my conch pierced about 4 months ago, my piercer wrote 4mm CH 16g 5/16" ti(AB

    does anyone know what this means? the 4mm threw me off so i have no idea what my measurements are in order to order a ring

  • M


    I have a conch piercing, it was pierced with a 16 gauge needle. I’m not sure what size ring I need to purchase. It’s still in healing process. It’s been pierced about a month now.

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