Ear PiercingPiercing Guide

Is 16 Gauge Normal For Ear Piercing? Quick Guide

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For some of the people choosing a new earring set can be a little complicated in case if they are considering choosing a new size of the gauge. You should always look for the new pair of jewelry for your ears or any other part of the body if you are clear in your mind about the difference of most common gauge sizes just like 18 gauge or 16 gauge piercing in mm.

Many people do want to know that is 16 gauge is the normal size for the ear-piercing! Well, we will be having a complete guide about 16 gauge ear piercing right here for the readers!

Two types of methods for Measuring Gauge

It might sound an unnecessary logic to you but earrings or other jewelry gauze sizes get bigger as you will select the lower number of the gauge. 18 gauge is the most smaller sizing of the gauge as compared to 16 gauge earring using largest gauges as being 0, 00, and 000 gauge jewelry. Normally the gauge size of the jewelry is converted from two different methods in which we have US gauge conversion and metric gauge conversion.

S. Gauge Conversion

Unlike the rest of the countries, the US measures the gauge in inches,  In the US, around 16 gauge earrings are measuring approximately 5/128-inch whereas on other 16 gauge earrings is measuring almost 3/64-inch. This brings about the difference between 1/128-inch or even 0.0078 inches.

Metric Gauge Conversion

Next, we have metric gauge conversion in which all the sizes of the gauge are listed as in millimetres for the sake of simpler measurement standards. A piece of 18 gauge earring is measuring almost 1.0 mm whereas on the other 16 gauge earring has a measurement of around 1.2 mm. This brings a difference of around 0.2 mm.

Hence the overall sizing difference between 16 and 18 gauge standard earring size mm earring has been quite negligible, but it is always recommended to take help from an experienced piercer to make the selection of right sizing for your piercing for accurate results.

All the jewelry items including earrings are available in various lengths so try to look for the suitable length and gauge to pick the comfortable piercing for yourself. Hence 16 or 18 gauge has always remained one of the favorite choices when it comes to lip, ear, eyebrow, or nose piercing. You can also sue 16 gauge vs 18 gauge piercing for the septum or the genital piercings.

Is 16 Gauge Normal for Ear Piercing?

If in case your piercing has a stud, then its gauze size is 14g.  But if in case you are using a sleeper ring, then it should have a gauge size of an 18 or either 16 gauge piercing jewelry.  Besides if your piercing is included with captive bead rings, then its sizing has to be around 12-18g which is completely depending on the choice of the client.

Depending on the area where you are having a surface piercing positioned on your body, the fantastic starting dimension will vary.  You should always remember the fact that as much higher the number will be, the smaller the jewelry piece will be.

Why Do Guys Wear Earrings in Their Left Ear?

A Quick Overview on Body Piercing Charts-Jewelry Sizes, Ears, Gauge Details 

Type of Piercing Gauge Size Standard Length
Belly / Navel Ring 14G  3/8″ | 7/8″
Nose Piercing 20G | 18G 1/4″ | 5/16″
Tongue Piercing 14G 5/8″
Cartilage Piercing 16G | 18G 3/16″ | 1/4″ | 5/16″
Eyebrow Piercing 16G (14G is also commonly used) 1/4″ | 5/16″ | 3/8″
Industrial Barbell 14G (16G is also commonly used) 1 1/2″ (varies)
Labret Lip Rings 14G | 16G 1/4″ | 5/16″| 3/8″
Monroe Piercing 16G 1/4″ | 5/16″ | 3/8″
Nipple Piercing 14G 3/8″ , 1/2″
Tragus / Helix / Rook / Conch / Daith 16G | 18G 3/16″| 1/4″ | 5/16″ | 3/8″
Septum Piercing 14G (16G is also commonly used) 3/8″ | 7/16″ | 1/2″ | 5/8″
Ear Piercing 20G | 18G

There have been different types of ear piercings that you can choose for yourself based on your comfort level. But sometimes, remembering the sizes and names of the piercing can be quite a lot overwhelming for the people.

Therefore, it is extremely important to get a quick idea about different types of piercings and their approximate gauge size for your convenience.  Let’s help you a bit and guide you about different types of piercings and their standard size gauge to let you know which one is appropriate for you.

Bridge Piercing

Bridge piercingsare normally performed in one such area of the body which is not too fleshy.  So for the bridge piercing, we will be mentioning 18g as the perfect and ideal size for you.

This is because it is quite alto heavy to reduce the migration risk and is also small enough to easily get fitted into the specific limited space. You can even opt for 16g only if your piercer is recommending it to you. 16g is selected if enough skin is already available for the slightly larger barbell.

Cartilage bridge piercing

16 gauge cartilage earrings piercing is normally done using an 18g needle.  But most of the time, a piercing expert will be using a small needle which is around 22g or even 16g large. It is your choice whether you ask the piercer to start with a heavy gauge needle.

When Can I Change My Cartilage Piercing?

But, we won’t recommend you start with the needle which is more than 12g.  At an average level, cartilage piercing will take almost 6-8 months in terms of healing. It is extremely sensitive therefore wearing any heavy-gauge jewelry can increase the level of pain and discomfort.

Cheek Piercing

Cheek piercings are normally done by using a 16g or a 12g needle that is additionally followed by the labrets of a similar size.

Dermal Piercing

Dermal piercings are normally performed by using smaller sized needles. This can be either 16g or 18g.  You can even check out some options of 12g or 14g dermal as well. Hence the suggested size of the dermal starter jewelry will be depending on the required location of the dermal piercing.

For the facial dermal piercing, you will need a piece of small jewelry which is around 18g. But if the dermal piercing has been placed on top of your chest, then it will be a little larger as around 14g.

Earlobe Piercing

Most of the earlobe piercing starts from 20g and ends at 16 gauge lobe earrings. Occasionally, all the piercing experts make the use of a 22g needle in which standard stud earrings are around 20g in sizing. If you are considering starting your earlobe piercing at a little higher gauge, then it is recommended to look for the heavier gauge needle besides having the earlobe being punched by using a dermal punch.

As you will be using a dermal punch, the piercing tissue is completely removed permanently.

Eyebrow Piercing

For the eyebrow piercing 18g and 16g sizes are the most common ones.  Eyebrow piercing can somehow be much prone to the migration but this entire problem can be minimized by using a heavy gauge eyebrow rings. If you are having fine features or small face shape, you should avoid using 20g jewelry size.

Frenum Piercing

Frenum piercings are one such piercing in which the expert will be using a heavier piece of gauge needle as well asa straight barbell. 12g is an excellent standard size but most of the clients request in between the 8g or 14g or even the larger one.

It is recommended to always opt for the moderate sizes which can be 12g. Later on, you can stretch yourself to any large size once you get a feeling that you are comfortable in your frenum piercing during intercourse.

Industrial Starter Jewelry

14g is one of the most common sizes for industrial starter jewelry.  Some of the people do choose to wear a little smaller jewelry in which we have 16 gauge piercing earrings, whereas others look for the larger size in which we have 12g. Most of the industrial piercing barbells are accessible in the size range of 14g, but you can even search for some other options as well.

Lip Piercing

For the lip piercing, the size of the jewelry will be depending according to the type or kind of piercing you are choosing.  Monroe, Labret, and Medusa lip piercing are done with either 18 or 16g of labret stud.

If still, you are in want to have something extra delicate for the Monroe piercing, you should look for 20g stud.  For the horizontal lip piercing, you can pick 14g or can also choose a 12g captive bead ring as well as a circular barbell.

Nipple Piercing

In the nipple piercing, one of the most common sizes is 12g and 14g. Based on the surface piercings, as much higher the nipple jewelry gauge will be, the less likely it will bring the risk for rejection or migration.

One of the most desirable rings or nipple barbells are available in both 12g and 14g which will probably not be bothering you in case if you want to get started with the larger size.  Besides, you can also make an effort in which you can match all your basic nipple barbells with different threaded ends.

Nostril Piercing

For the nostril piercings, 18g and 20g are the most ordinary choices to make right now. 16 gauge piercing needle is the most recommended one if you are performing the nose piercing for the first time.

What is the standard gauge size for additional Genital Piercings?

20 gauge = 0.812mm

18 gauge = 1.024mm

16 gauge = 1.291mm

14 gauge = 1.628mm

12 gauge = 2.053mm

10 gauge = 2.588mm

8 gauge = 3.264mm

6 gauge = 4.115mm

4 gauge = 5.189mm

2 gauge = 6.544mm

0 gauge = 8.251mm

00 gauge = 9.266mm

Standard sizes for the starter jewelry which is to be used for both male and female genital piercings will be depending largely on the type and anatomy of the piercing. Most of the piercing experts will recommend you to choose only 16 gauge septum piercing for all types of jewelry pieces. But for various make genital piercings, our recommendation would be to choose 16g-12g.

Prince Albert is also known as PA piercing. It is one of the most common types of piercings which is available in different sizes in between the 10g and 6g. You should always remember the fact that as much higher the number will be, the smaller the jewelry piece will be.

You will also view that most of the PA wants are accessible in the larger sizes just like 6g. But if you are considering having any captive bead rings, then you need to start from 8g to 10g ring.

Piercing Jewellery Gauge | Piercing Gauge Chart

piercing jewellery gauge

The piercing gauge chart actual size is basically the broadness of the piercing bar that goes through your skin. In other words, it’s the barbell’s thickness. Note that the thicker the barbell, they actually lower down the gauge size. So a 12 gauge  barbell is much thicker than a 20 gauge barbell.

Length of Piercing Jewelry

length of piercing jewelry

The length of your piercing jewelry refers to the wearable length of the gold barbell that pass through your piercing mostly ear piercing. It is measured from the top side till bottom of the straight barbell and does not include the balls or charms.

Jewelry Diameter Chart

jewelry diameter chart

Diameter is used to measure the size of round barbells like hoops, captives, and circulars. It is measured from the inner and widest point of the circle.

Is 16 Gauge Normal for Septum Piercing?

For the septum piercing, 16g and 18g are the two most common forms of gauge sizes.  But for the septum piercing, we will recommend you with 14g size.  Some of the people might even stretch their piercing to a larger size after they have completely healed themselves. But starting with the heavier gauge is the best option for you as a beginner.

For the tongue piercing, 14g is considered to be the most common sizes but for the starters, 12g is highly recommended. Hence, all in all, you should always look for a larger gauge and not less than 14g.

What Does a Septum Piercing Say About You?

Most of the people are also curious about to know the tongue web piercing gauge sizes!  Tongue web piercing is normally performed in the middle of the gums and lip area which is a little delicate.  Therefore, for the oral web piercing, the starting ideal size would be 20g.

Every single woman has an anatomy that is quite a lot unique and HCH and VCH piercing have the sizes which are different from one another. For the female genital piercings, fine gauge based needles are used for the delicate areas.

For instance, 18g or 20g captive rings are used for the horizontal clitoral hood piercings, or either 18g curved barbells can be used for the vertical clitoral hood piercings.


To sum up the whole discussion, we would say that no matter whatsoever type of piercing you are carrying out, always take specific guidelines and precautionary tips from your piercing experts. They can carefully measure your piercing area and based on the location measurement, they will recommend you with the particular size jewelry in which you are fully comfortable.

We have covered a few basic surface piercings in this whole article, so endure in the idea that these kinds of piercings have an excessive risk of migration and rejection if your starter 16 gauge earrings are too small.

Depending on the area where you are having a surface piercing positioned on your body, the fantastic starting dimension will vary. Most surface piercing barbells are accessible in 12g, 14g, or 16g; some large sizes like 10g are additionally reachable as starter jewelry. On average, 14g tends to be the most frequent starting measurement for any surface piercing.

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Jasmin Piterson

Hi i am Dr. Jasmin Piterson an Sole owner and editor of The Piercing Home. I works with expert piercer and writes original content based on their recommendations. Previously, I have done my doctorate from the University of California. I covered all kind of stuff related to piercing. My favorite things include Eyebro piercing, septum piercing and all kind of piercing for both male and female

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