If you currently have (or have ever had) a nipple piercing, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a wide variety of jewelry with all sorts of sizing measurements. It can definitely be a little bit confusing. So to make sure that you always get a jewelry item that fits, here are a few little pointers to take out some of the guess work:
First off, it’s always a good idea to have your piercer write down for you the exact sizes of the jewelry you already wear. It’s advisable to do this only after your piercing has healed, because the numbers might be different once any initial swelling has gone down, and chances are you’re going back to have your jewelry switched out anyways. Keep in mind that it’s completely normal for those who have a set of piercings to show slightly different numbers from one side to the other. Everybody heals differently, and the general anatomy makes it easy for slight deviations to occur.
Once you have your numbers, purchasing new jewelry will definitely be easier, so now it’s time to cover the basic styles of nipple jewelry. For our purposes we’ll cover the most common styles here: the barbell, circular, dangle nipple ring, and nipple shield.
Most initial piercings are performed using either a standard barbell or captive ring, so getting a new version of the same type of simple jewelry will be easiest. For a barbell, you’ll need to know just gauge size and barbell length, and for a captive ring or horseshoe you’ll want to know the gauge size and diameter. This is always measured as internal diameter, or the distance between the two inside edges of the curve at the widest point.
To purchase a nipple shield, you’re going to be looking at both gauge and barbell length, as well as internal diameter of the decorative “shield” portion. If you’ve never warn this type of jewelry before, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that internal diameter of the shield is about as wide as your regular barbell is long. In many cases this works quite well, but it depends on how you like your jewelry to fit, and recommendations from a piercer will always be better than guess work.
Last but not least, for dangle nipple rings, you’ll need to pay very close attention to all listed measurements. Those items that have simple chain dangles will only need basic barbell measurements (gauge and length), but there are some pieces that have a “fixed” or rigid dangle. For those you’ll be using the same set of measurements you would for a shield.
So now that we’ve got that all sorted out, it’s time to go shopping!