Current Fabrication Time: Approx. 4 Weeks

How do I measure my conch piercing?

How do I measure my conch piercing?

If you’ve never worn a hoop in your conch piercing, or this is the first time that you’re changing your jewelry out, you are not alone! Buying body jewelry online can be daunting because of the potential to waste money when you don’t know which size you wear.

It’s easy to measure your conch piercing at home with simple tools, even if you’ve never worn a hoop before. You will need a piece of paper, a ruler, a pen, and a mirror (or a friend). The measurement that you will be taking is the distance from your conch piercing to the edge of your ear in either a straight line or at an angle. The angle at which you measure will determine how loosely the jewelry will fit. Alternatively, if you don’t want to measure your actual piercing, then you can opt to use a hoop that already fits you well. To measure the inner diameter of a conch ring that you have just put the jewelry on top of a ruler and count how many millimeters are inside of the hoop.

What is the standard size for a conch piercing?

Most conch piercings are done at 14 gauge. It’s also possible to have a 16 gauge conch. If you had the piercing done professionally, then it’s highly unlikely that they used anything smaller than 16G. Conch ring inner diameters usually range from 10mm-15mm, depending on how far the piercing was placed from the edge of the ear. 

I don’t give out standard recommended size for my jewelry because I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach. You need to measure to ensure you’re going to get a good fit. Keep in mind that the jewelry you were initially pierced with will always be bigger (if it was a hoop) or longer (if it was a stud) than necessary to accommodate the swelling that a healing piercing goes through.

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Check out these nickel-free designs! The hoop is made out of pure niobium and the captive bead is made out of tarnish-resistant silver or solid gold. 

How big of a hoop do you need for a conch piercing?

The size of the hoop will depend on how deep the piercing was placed inside your ear. The closer the piercing is to the edge of your ear the smaller the hoop will have to be, whereas deeper placements will require larger inner diameters. It’s important to keep in mind that the size of your ear does not determine what size hoop you need. 

You can have a small ear but still need a large inner diameter because the piercing was placed further into your ear. The same is true for a large ear. You can have a large ear but wear a small hoop inner diameter because the piercing was placed closer to the edge of the ear.

How do I know what gauge my conch piercing is?

If you don’t know what gauge your conch piercing is, then you will either have to measure your jewelry or ask your piercer. Gauge is the thickness of the jewelry, and you can measure that using a caliper or a micrometer. You cannot use a ruler to measure gauge. A ruler is not accurate enough to pick up the small differences between the gauges used for body jewelry. If your jewelry is 14 gauge, then it will measure approximately 1.6mm thick. A piece of 16 gauge jewelry will be approximately 1.2mm thick. Although you most likely do not wear 18 gauge in your conch, if you do the jewelry will measure 1.0mm thick.

Different gauges of wire from 12G-22G (left to right).

Tools that can measure the gauge of body jewelry.

How do I know what size conch ring I wear?

Aside from asking your piercing the only reliable way to know what size hoop you wear in your conch is to measure the actual piercing or a piece of jewelry that you already have. The measurement that you need to take is the distance from the piercing hole to the edge of your ear. If you take this in a straight horizontal line, then this number will be the smallest inner diameter of jewelry that you can wear without it being too tight. Do not take this measurement by holding a ruler up to your ear. Instead, use a piece of paper then measure the paper against a ruler.

If you already have a hoop that you wear comfortably but have forgotten the gauge, then that’s easy to measure at home. Just take the hoop and place it on top of a ruler that is marked with millimeters. Then, count the millimeters that are inside of the hoop from one inside edge to the other inside edge. Make sure that you’re only counting the marks on the ruler that are inside of the ring. Do not count from outside edge to the other outside edge.

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All of the earrings I make are completely nickel-free. I make the hoops out of niobium and the designs are made out of solid silver or gold.

How do I make my conch ring fit snugly?

You will need to measure your piercing in a straight line to make sure that you’re buying a hoop that will fit your conch snugly. Take a strip of paper and line it up with the piercing. Make sure that the paper is going directly to the edge of your ear in a straight, horizontal line - don’t angle it downwards. Then, use a fine-tip marker to mark where the edge of your ear is on the paper. Once you’ve done this you can hold the paper up to a ruler and count how many millimeters away the marked line is from the edge of the paper. You can get a more accurate measurement by using a caliper to measure the distance.

Measure in a straight, horizontal line to get a snug hoop.

This is what the hoop will look like if you measure in a straight line.

If you would prefer to have a loose-fitting ring, then all you have to do is measure your conch at an angle. Alternatively, you can also just add 1mm or 2mm to the size you got using the straight measuring method above.

Measure at a downward angle to get a loose fitting hoop.

This is what the hoop would look like if you measure at an angle.

My octopus earring design with a close fit (this is a 10mm hoop)

My octopus earring design with a loose fit (this is a 12mm hoop).

How do I know if my conch hoop is too tight?

If your conch ring is fitting too tightly, then your ear will feel uncomfortable while wearing the jewelry. You will notice the hoop digging into the side of your ear and the skin may get red. Avoid getting a hoop that is too small for your conch by measuring your piercing. When you measure, make sure that you always round up if you measure in between sizes. For example, if your conch measures 10.5mm don’t buy a 10mm hoop. Instead, round up and purchase an 11mm inner diameter.

How do I make my conch hoop smaller?

You cannot safely make your conch jewelry smaller at home. Even if you have the tools to clip the hoop ends off and you’re able to squeeze the hoop smaller without it losing shape, you will still be left with sharp ends that aren’t safe to insert into your piercing. A nail file will not adequately smooth the ends, they need to be rounded and polished.

What kind of jewelry goes in a conch piercing?

You can wear a variety of jewelry types in your conch. Labret studs and barbells with a ball on the backside are two of the most popular types of jewelry used. Almost any type of hoop is suitable for a conch piercing as long as it comes in the correct gauge and a large enough inner diameter. For example, you can use clickers, captive bead rings, horseshoes, segment rings, and seamless hoops. 

What is the best metal for a conch piercing?

The best metals for the jewelry that actually goes through your conch piercing are ones that do not tarnish, are not plated or coated, and do not contain nickel. Two great options include niobium and titanium, which are two closely related metals. Solid gold (14-karat and above) and platinum also make great metals for piercing jewelry. Sterling silver isn’t a good metal for the part of the jewelry that is inside of the piercing because it will need to be frequently polished to remain shiny, which means you would constantly be taking the jewelry out to clean it. This is why all of my captive hoops are only offered in niobium or solid gold.

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