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getting parts that fit

If you’ve ever lost a body jewelry ball or had your favorite barbell chip, then chances are you’re familiar with body jewelry replacement parts.  But how do you know exactly what to get to give you the same look?  Follow these few tips and you’ll be good to go:


Knowing the gauge size (thickness) of the item in question is essential, even if what you need is a ball rather than a barbell or post.  Because balls have a hollow portion that screws onto a barbell, you need one that’s made to fit onto the exact size barbell you have.  All balls and posts that are sold separately as parts will be clearly labeled with the gauge size that they fit.

 gauge sizing for replacement barbells


For posts or barbells, you’ll also need to know the length you require for your piercing, or for circular barbells, the diameter of the hoop.  When in doubt, you can always get another piece of jewelry that you know fits you measured.  Piercers can do this for you, and many of them don’t charge.


When replacing balls, spikes, or decorative tips, you’ll need to be sure that you get the right type of item.  Captive ring replacement balls have no holes or threads, only dents that allow the edges of a ring to be held in place.  If you need a captive ring ball, regular threaded tips won’t work, and if you need a screw on ball, captive balls won’t fit the bill.  The same goes for items that are internally threaded, but don’t sweat it because the type of ball will always be listed, so there isn’t any guesswork.

 captive vs screw-on

Ball Size

The last thing to be aware of before grabbing a replacement ball is the size of the ball itself.  Replacement pieces often come in multiple sizes to accommodate a range of different piercings, so if you’re set on creating the same exact look, you’ll need a ball that’s the same diameter size.  There are always exceptions to every rule, but for the most part the common sizes here hold true:

standard jewelry ball sizing

So now you know exactly what you need to get.  It’s time to take the replacement plunge.  Go for it!

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