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Converting Millimeters to Gauge or Inches for Piercing and Body Jewelry

Converting Millimeters to Gauges for Piercing and Body Jewelry Plus inches to millimeters.

When it comes to piercing and body jewelry, understanding the sizing system is crucial. The two most common units of measurement are millimeters (mm) and gauges (g). While millimeters are a straightforward metric unit, gauges can be a bit confusing, especially since the gauge size decreases as the number increases. This guide will help you understand how to convert between millimeters and gauges for various types of body jewelry, including tunnels and ear weights.

Understanding the Gauge System

The gauge system originated from wire-making, where thinner wires were given higher numbers. For body jewelry, this means that a 20-gauge (20g) piece of jewelry is thinner than a 10-gauge (10g) one. Here’s a basic chart to help you visualize the conversion:

Gauge (g) Millimeters (mm)
20g 0.8mm
18g 1.0mm
16g 1.2mm
14g 1.6mm
12g 2.0mm
10g 2.4mm
8g 3.2mm
6g 4.0mm
4g 5.0mm
2g 6.0mm
0g 8.0mm
00g 9.5mm - 10.0mm

Converting Millimeters to Gauges

To convert millimeters to gauges, you can use the above chart as a reference. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Measure the Jewelry: Use a caliper to measure the diameter of your jewelry in millimeters. This is especially useful for tunnels, plugs, and ear weights where precise measurements are essential.
  2. Refer to the Chart: Find the corresponding gauge size for the measured millimeter size. For example, if your jewelry measures 2.0mm, it corresponds to a 12-gauge.
  3. Consider Intermediate Sizes: For sizes not listed on the basic chart, you might need a more detailed conversion chart or a specialized tool to ensure accuracy.

 Size chart showing various dimensions for ear piercings, helping you choose the perfect fit.

Additional Sizes Conversion

Here are some additional sizes converted from inches to millimeters:

Inches Millimeters (mm)
7/16" 11.1mm
1/2" 12.7mm
9/16" 14.3mm
5/8" 15.9mm
43/64" 17.1mm
11/16" 17.5mm
3/4" 19.0mm
13/16" 20.6mm
7/8" 22.2mm
15/16" 23.8mm
1" 25.4mm

Why Conversion Matters

Understanding the conversion between millimeters and gauges is important for several reasons:

  • Proper Fit: Ensuring your jewelry fits correctly prevents discomfort and potential injury. An incorrect size can cause stretching or tearing of the piercing site.
  • Safe Stretching: When stretching your ears or other piercings, knowing the exact size helps you progress gradually and safely. Stretching too quickly can lead to complications like blowouts or infections.
  • Jewelry Compatibility: If you’re purchasing jewelry online or from different manufacturers, they might list sizes differently. Knowing how to convert between mm and gauges ensures you get the right size every time.

Tips for Accurate Measurement

  • Use Quality Tools: Invest in a good pair of calipers or a gauge wheel. These tools provide precise measurements, helping you avoid errors.
  • Measure Multiple Times: Take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy. Small differences can affect comfort and fit, especially with larger sizes.
  • Consult Professionals: If you’re unsure about sizing or conversions, consult a professional piercer. They can provide accurate measurements and recommendations.

Common Questions

  • What is the smallest gauge size? The smallest common gauge size is 20g, which is 0.8mm. This is typically used for standard ear piercings.
  • How do gauges and millimeters relate as sizes increase? As the gauge number decreases, the size increases. For example, 0g (8.0mm) is larger than 2g (6.0mm).
  • Can I use household tools to measure my jewelry? While you can use a ruler or tape measure in a pinch, calipers provide the most accurate measurements.


Converting between millimeters and gauges is essential for anyone involved in body modification. Whether you’re stretching your ears or simply selecting new jewelry, understanding these conversions ensures a safe and comfortable experience. Keep a conversion chart handy, invest in quality measuring tools, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice when needed. By doing so, you can enjoy your body jewelry with confidence and style.

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