The gauge is how thick your jewelry is - the smaller the number, the thicker the post. For example, an 18 gauge nose stud is thicker than a 22 gauge nose stud. You will see gauge written like this: 16G, 16g, and 16 gauge. 

Wearable length is the part of the post that is actually inside your piercing. This is different from the total length of the post.  

The inner diameter of a hoop refers to the measurement that is taken in a straight line from inside edge to inside edge.  

Sure you can! As long as you are wearing the correct gauge of jewelry in your piercing, just use a caliper to measure how thick (big around) your jewelry is. For reference, a "normal" ear lobe piercing that has not been stretched (especially if it was done with a piercing gun) is 20 gauge.

AWG (American Wire Gauge) Measurements: 22 gauge = 0.64mm; 20 gauge = 0.81mm; 18 gauge = 1.02mm; 16 gauge = 1.30mm; 14 gauge = 1.63mm; 12 gauge = 2.06mm; 10 gauge = 2.59mm; 8 gauge = 3.25mm.

The millimeter measurement that corresponds with each gauge can vary slightly depending on the manufacturer (usually +/- 0.5mm). For example, you may find that your 16 gauge helix stud measures 1.2mm.  

To ensure you get a proper fit, I highly recommend measuring your piercing. The measurement you need is the distance from the piercing hole to the edge of your nose - this will be the smallest inner diameter that you can wear and will fit snugly. If you prefer a looser fit, add 1-2mm to that measurement. 

Don't forget - if you're purchasing a beaded nose ring from me, then you need to add 1mm to the measurement that you obtain in order to accommodate the size of the beads that I use!   

The backing size options for the earrings are listed like this: 16g 6mm Steel Labret. This means that the backing is 16 gauge (thickness), has a 6mm long wearable length, and is made out of 316L steel. 

Please see this page for detailed information: Buying a Nose Stud from Metal Lotus  


My current fabrication time is 7-10 business days. Business days are Monday-Friday, weekends excluded. All gold items have a fabrication time of 10 business days.  

For the safety of all my customers, returns are not accepted on piercing jewelry. This is a standard policy in the body jewelry industry that protects the health of the consumer. I only sell completely new, unworn pieces.

I want you to love your new jewelry just as much as I love making it, so please get in touch and ask all questions about sizing prior to purchasing if you are unsure what size will fit you. If you have ordered the wrong size, I'm happy to send you a 15% off coupon should you decide to reorder the correct size.

Full Return Policy  

Yes! Your item will be shipped first class using USPS in a small gift box, and I include a tracking # for all purchases.   

Typically, USPS first class mail takes 3-5 business days to arrive. However, delays are always possible and sometimes packages take up to 2 weeks to arrive - especially when the busy holiday season during November-December rolls around. You will receive a tracking # with your shipment confirmation that allows you to check on the status of your package.   

On average, international packages take 3-6 weeks to arrive, although some take much longer - I do not consider packages lost until 8 full weeks have passed from the date I shipped the package. Thank you for your understanding!   


Yes, I do accept a limited number of customs orders when I have the time. Feel free to get in touch so we can discuss your idea! Please note, I cannot make you symbols, characters, or logos that are trademarked (nothing from movies, TV shows, sports teams, etc). If it didn't come from your imagination or mine, I will not be able to make the project for you. 

I'm always happy to take requests for animal designs, I keep a running to-do list of all the animals people have asked for. 

Payment for custom orders is expected upfront prior to beginning the project. Thank you for your understanding!  


I use Argentium® silver, which is recycled, 93.5% silver, tarnish resistant due to the added germanium, and does not contain nickel. Invisible to the naked eye, the transparent layer of germanium oxide that forms on the surface is what allows pieces made from Argentium® silver to resist tarnish so well.   

Nope! I use Argentium® silver, which is recycled, 93.5% silver, tarnish resistant due to the added germanium, and does not contain nickel. It is an alloy of silver, copper and germanium.   

Yes, nose studs and earrings made out of Argentium® silver are safe to wear in fully healed piercings as long as you are not sensitive to the metals in the alloy. Argentium® sterling silver is an alloy of silver, copper, and germanium. 

However, it is important to note that sterling silver jewelry is intended for short term wear because it does tarnish. You will need to take your jewelry out often to clean it. Never wear sterling silver in an a new unhealed piercing or in an established one that is irritated.  

I use grade-2 pure unalloyed niobium, which is considered a safe metal for those with metal sensitivities and will not corrode or tarnish. I use it in its natural state, which is a dark grey color, and I also heat treat some of my niobium jewelry pieces which lends a rich black color to the metal that will not wear off.

All of the niobium jewelry I make is nickel-free.   

I use Grade-1 commercially pure titanium, which is made in the USA and not an alloy. All of the titanium jewelry that I make is nickel-free.   

No, they are not. The sterling silver I use (Argentium) is completely nickel free. However, the tiny screw that is on the back side of the design is made out of 316L surgical steel, which does contain nickel.

If I didn't cover a specific question that you have about the metals I use, please feel free to get in touch! I have more information about each metal on this page: About the Metals. I keep the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) on hand for each metal I work with, as well.   


No, you will need to wait until your piercer tells you that your piercing is fully healed. All of my jewelry is intended for wear in fully healed piercings only.  

No, I only sell my jewelry online. I don't offer in person pickups on orders, and I don't have inventory for you to browse (everything is made to order).

Possibly! The threading on the back of my tops is compatible with standard 18 gauge and 16 gauge body jewelry that has a 0.9mm thread pattern.

No, I'm sorry. At this time I don't offer the threaded tops alone because I want to make sure you have a compatible backing to use. 

 Yup! When I first started selling online I was making hand sculpted polymer clay items, mostly caterpillars, hence the shop name Caterpillar Arts :)

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