No matter what material a piece of body jewellery is made from, it must be designed to be comfortable and safe. Due to the wide variety of piercings available there is a wide variety of jewellery styles available. A piercer will help you choose jewellery that you love as well as choosing the correct style and size for your anatomy. No matter the style, all body jewellery should be free from sharp edges facing the body or on the wearable section and a good surface finish.
Ball Closure Rings (BCRs or CBRs) are one of the staples of body jewellery. They feature a ball with dimples drilled into the sides and a ring with a gap that snap together to close. Good designs will have the dimple and the ring fit snugly into each other to minimise any build up of dirt or body secretions, the cross section of the ring will be round rather than oval and the gap in the ring will match the size of the ball so the ring doesn’t become distorted. BCR’s will generally rotate to the point where the ball is at its lowest and then stay there, this can help to minimise motion to aid in healing. A big plus of BCRs is that the ball can be replaced by a wide range of clip in attachments.
Segment Rings are similar to BCRs but instead of a ball they have a piece of the ring which snaps into place. The smaller ring segment will have two prongs which snap into drilled holes in the ends of the smaller ring segment. The join between the two parts should be snug and concentric so that when the ring rotates it does not cut or chafe the piercing channel.
Clickers/Hinged Rings are segment rings where one end of the smaller segment has been fixed to the larger segment using a hinge to form a gate. The gate can be straight or curved depending on the design of the jewellery. The connection between the gate and the ring should be snug and tight, with no sharp sections that could cut or irritate. Clickers are normally quite secure but easy to change. They can become distorted from heavy use but they can be reshaped by a piercer.
Seam/Seamless Rings are circular sections of wire where the ends of the ring meet each other. There is debate over whether the ends should be flat and parallel to each other or if they should be shaped into a ball and cup that match each other, either way the ends should meet snugly and with a small amount of pressure to hold them in place. This style can be easily distorted or damaged during insertion or removal and can be difficult to close .
Labret Studs are one of the other staples of the piercing jewellery world. A labret consists of a straight post with a disc on one end that can be fixed or removable, the other end traditionally has a removable plain ball but this can be swapped for a huge range of different ends. Labret studs that are well designed will be internally threaded or threadless, have a disc that’s weight balances well with the chosen end and have connection point(s) that minimise gaps for debris build up. Labret studs are easy to change yourself and the wide variety of ends available make these one of the most popular jewellery types.
Barbells are straight posts that traditionally have balls on each end. They are very similar to labret studs and follow a lot of the same rules and jewellery styles. The main difference is that a barbell will be used in locations where both ends of the jewellery are visible e.g. bridge, nipple etc or where the range of motion is more 3D than 2D so that the edge of the disc doesn’t cut in.
Curved Barbells/Bananas are barbells where the post has been curved. A quality curve will have a radius rather than a bend to prevent pressure or friction being focused on a single point within the piercing channel. A curved barbell can have the same size ends or different sizes, rooks are an example of symmetric ends and navel curves are an example asymmetric ends.
There are a few other components that you may come across within body jewellery styles but these will generally be pieces chosen by the piercer to help complete your piercing, an example of this would be a microdermal base. Just remember that no matter what the style of jewellery is, if it is going in your body it needs to be a quality item that will leave your piercing safe and happy for its lifetime.
Next weeks blog will be all about surface finish! Talking about polish and coatings. Don’t forget to join our mailing list to get our latest blog straight to your inbox.