Jewelry Types and Styles
There is a lot of different shapes and styles of jewelry on the market when it comes to piercing. The piercer has to decide what will work best. Which may not be what the piercee would like to have. Always remember when choosing jewelry style that after the piercing is healed the choice of styles that you can wear will increase. I've listed the most common types.
The following jewelry styles are used for piercing at the Axiom as of the updating of this article in March of 2022.
Threadless Labret Studs:
By far the most common style that we use to pierce most ear piercings and nostril piercings. This is a titanium post with a flat disc on the backside of the piercing and a stylized end on the visible side of the piercing. The post section is an industry standardized hollow post. The end has a wire that is slightly bent and then inserted into the hollow post. The bend of the wire wedges into the stud to ensure that it stays in place.
Threadless Curves work the same way as the Labret style but the post section is a quarter of a full circle curve. They are used to pierce Rooks, Snugs, Daith, Anti-Tragus, Vertical Labret, Eyebrow, and Navel PIercing. There are three styles:
- Standard requiring a threadless end on both sides
- Fixed Ball - One side has a fixed ball that is soldered to the end.
- Floating Navel Curves - one side has a fixed disc.
Threadless Nostril Scews:
A bent piece of wire that is straight where the jewelry passes through the nostril piercing and a curved end that sits inside of the nostril. The only real difference between Threadless and normal Nostril Screws is that instead of a fixed gem or other settings, it is hollow and a threadless end can be inserted.
Threadless Standard Barbell:
A standard straight post with either a fixed end on one side or no fixed ends.
The Advantages of Threadless Jewelry:
- No threading ends to damage the piercing or cause additional trauma during jewelry insertion.
- No threading to strip out or come loose and fall off. This greatly reduces the risk of jewelry loss.
- An extremely large selection of different ends and settings. These ends are all interchangeable regardless of the style and gauge of the post, material, or manufacture. At the time of writing this update, Axiom Body Piercing stocks over 100 different ends. From basic Titanium balls and discs to shaped and gemmed settings to very high-end 14kt designs.
- Since to remove the ends, you simply pull them out, they are much easier to change than threaded jewelry.
- Ends can be used on 20g, 18g, 16g, and 14g jewelry.
- Guide Pins fit easily inside of the hollow posts and make jewelry changes and insertion much easier with reduced risk of damaging the piercing. Axiom Body Piercing currently sells 18g guide pins for those that change their jewelry often.
- Due to the variety of ends and how easy it is to remove the ends, you can change the look of the piercing without completely removing the jewelry.
- Downsizing only requires replacing the post.
All the threaded Jewelry that the Axiom pierces with and sales are internally threaded and Industry Standard Threading. Meaning that the threading is inside of the post and the end has threading that is like a screw. Externally threaded jewelry where the threading is on the post and the ball acts as a nut is of the lowest quality and is an outdated design and we advise against wearing it even in a healed piercing.
Threaded Labret Studs:
A straight post with a fixed disc on one side and a threaded end on the other side. Used mainly for piercings that enter and exit the mouth like Labret, Beauty Marks, and Medusa Piercing and Groupings. The threaded version is used with oral piercings where the ends need to be more secure than a threadless version would be.
Threaded Circular Barbells:
Often called a "Horseshoe", it is a perfect circle but the bottom is missing and two threaded balls are attached to the ends. These are used to pierce Septums to make them easy to flip up and hide if needed and Daith Piercings. Also can be used to pierce a number of female and male genital piercings in place of a Captive Bead Ring.
Threaded Curved Barbells:
Shaped like a banana with two threaded balls on both ends. Used to pierce Rook, Snug, Anti-Tragus, Eyebrow, Vertical Labrets, Navels, Christina, Vertical Clitoral Hood, and Dydoe Piercings.
Threaded Navel Curved Barbells:
Shaped just like a curved barbell but usually has a fixed larger setting on the bottom and a threaded top facing setting on the top. The Axiom also stocks threadless versions also.
Threaded Standard Barbells:
A straight post with two threaded ends. Used to pierce Tongue, NIpple, and Frenum Piercings.
Rings are not the best option for healing most piercings. Though they work well in some areas where a ring will fit better in the area and limit pressure and movement. In the case of lip piercing that are done more outside of the mouth, piercing with a ring can have it's advantages over labret studs but there is also drawbacks.
CAPTIVE BEAD RINGS:
Often referred to as CBR and was at one time the most used style in body piercing. It has since fallen out of favor as better options and styles became available. Now it is only mainly used in genital piercings. Currently, at the Axiom, we only use CBRs on Horizontal Clitoral Hood piercings, Triangle Piercings, Labia Piercings, Prince Albert Piercings, Scrotum Piercings, Lorum Piercings and Guiche Piercings. In some cases, depending on the anatomy of the client a curved or circular barbell may be used.
It is a ring with a bead made of either Implant Grade Steel, Titanium, or a stone that is counter sunk on each side and/or has a hole through it. The tension of the ring locks and holds the bead in place. The main issues with rings are they have a higher profile that increases the amount of contact and increases movement.
BEADED RINGS OR FIXED BEAD RINGS:
Same as the CBR but the bead is made of the same metal and can not be removed. Draw back is that the ring must be pulled apart and then twisted to remove and replace.
The Seamless in most cases is not the best choice for piercing jewelry because many are just ring with blunt ends that are pushed together. If the seam gets into the piercing tunnel there is a chance the body will try to grow tissue through the seam in its attempt to reconnect the skin.
Other Jewelry Styles:
Though we are phasing out nostril screws in favor of Threadless Labret Studs, if requested we will still pierce with nostril screws. They a wire with a fixed end, usually a gem setting, and the wire is bent first at a 90-degree angle and then a curve. The flat part sits inside the piercing with the curved section sitting against the inside of the nose.
The main advantage is that the jewelry can be in some ways easier to remove and change than Threadless Labret Studs. However, the jewelry if caught can easily fall out during healing and be extremely painful and difficult to get back in the healing piercing. Additionally, the end of the curve can tend to hang out of the bottom of the nostril. Especially, if the piercing is placed lower to make it easier to wear rings once the piercing is healed.
L-bend jewelry is not offered at the Axiom but is commonly used to pierce nostrils. Just like a nostril screw but without the curve on the inside of the nose. Instead, it is just a straight post. This makes it much easier to remove and put back in but also a great deal less secure and more prone to fall out.
Though not used as often we do stock and will pierce with septum retainers. They come in two styles the staple style which is shaped like a staple and what we stock which is the omega style which is shaped like the Omega symbol. They are designed to be worn flipped up during the healing. Since there are no ends, they aren't as secure as circular barbells which is a much better option. Plus they look a lot better when you wear them down.
Healed Piercing Jewelry:
A ring with a quarter section that swings out on a hinge and then has a closer with a lead that fits tightly into the ring. It just snaps right in and is very secure. Since the opening is large it is easy to insert the jewelry without the expansion and bend required by seamless rings, fixed bead rings, and captive bead rings. Also, since you are not bending the jewelry, they won't lose their shape and are more durable. Then there is the endless variety of styles from basic plain rings to elaborate gem and bead designs. Whether it be for a septum, a nostril, or a conch piercing there is a design that will fit perfectly and give that piercing a completely new look. The Axiom stocks over 50 designs in various sizes and 18g and 16g. We stock Nickel Free 14kt Gold, 24kt PVD Coated Titanium, and Implant Grade Titanium that we can anodize into 20 different colors.
Clickers have the same type of closer as hinged rings the only difference is that with clickers the hinged section that sits inside the piercing is flat. Great for Septum and Daith piercings but we also stock a few novelty Nipple clickers in Implant Grade Surgical Stainless Steel.
There are those times in life when you can not wear jewelry in your piercings. Whether it be a medical procedure, employment, or a social event, retainers are needed to ensure that your piercings do not close. Though even with retainers your piercing may be noticeable if the retainer is made of a non-metal material like glass, it is safe to wear for most medical procedures. Other than the metal septum retainers mentioned above, all of our retainers at the Axiom are glass from Glasswear Studios. The glass material is high-quality Pyrex also known as Borosilicate or hard glass. It is durable with a smooth finish and safe to wear in a healed or healing piercing and can be sterilized. Glass is also very bio-compatible. They come in clear and flesh tones.
We do not suggest wearing plastics in your piercing regardless of the brand name or how the material is marketed. Long-term exposure may cause health issues. It is unknown because most studies that have been done on the material have not involved the exposure you have inside healing or healed piercings. The other issues are that the roughness of the plastic jewelry can cause trauma and damage to the piercing and you can not sterilize it.
Straight posts with a flared side and an o-ring. Works in most piercings where labret or studs are worn.
Curved post with a flare on one side and an o-ring on the other. Works in most piercings where a curved barbell or ring is normally worn.
Glass Nostril Screws:
Just like a metal nostril screw but it's made of glass.
Usually worn in the Ear and come in a large variety of shapes and materials. Since the weight of CBR and Cir BB can greatly increase when you get into larger gauges, many piercing collectors will wear plugs while stretching. Not to mention how hard it is to get a bead off a 0g CBR. They usually start at 12g and go up to several inches. They are made of metal, Glass, Medical Grade Silicone, and many organic materials like wood, stone, and antler.
A solid cylinder and other shapes that have a number of different ways to keep them in place including flared sides and o-rings. If you are stretching a piercing we suggest not using plugs with flares on both sides. It requires you to stretch the piercing beyond what is needed to get them in. This can damage the piercing. Single flared organic and glass come with an o-ring on the back while some metal plugs have removable threaded flares on one side. The Axiom stocks a few organic plugs and glass plugs from Glasswear Studios and Gorilla Glass and offers stretching kits.
Eyelets also called tunnels are just like plugs except they are hollow. The AxioHangerm at this time stocks a few organic eyelets and Flared Titanium Eyelets with an internally threaded flared on one side from 8g to 1 inch.
Also known as spirals, they are hock with an often larger more decorative side or a spiral. The Axiom stocks a few designs in glass.
Large hanging pieces with a slit that piercing slides into. There are a number of different shapes and designs and materials.
Surface to Surface & Single Point Piercings:
The Axiom does not offer asurface to surface piercing or single-point piercings also known as dermal anchoring. So we do not stock dermal anchors or surface to surface jewelry.
Micro Dermal Anchors
Much like a labret stud but instead, the back or anchor is oval-shaped instead of disc-shaped. Since they are almost exclusively used for Micro Dermal and other forms of surface to surface piercing and pocketing, they are not the best choice for other piercings because the post is too short.
With Dermals the jewelry is designed never to be changed. in some cases, you can change the tops but there are a number of different thread styles and thread sizes. So, you may be unable to find one that works. The post section stays in until you decide to abandon the piercing and can not be replaced without re-doing the procedure.
A flat bar that is bent at a 90-degree angle on each end. Think a very short U. The flat bar is designed to sit under the surface of the skin with the threaded ends only being visible. Like Dermal Anchors, Surface bars can not be replaced however the ends are usually standard threading and can be changed.
Jewelry types that we do not suggest:
A nostril Bone will usually have a setting or ball on one end and then either a cone-shaped ball or a ball on the other. They go in pretty easily because often the ball is the thickness of the most common 18g. The problem is getting them out. Since the post section is often much thinner than the ball, the piercing tunnel conforms to the thickness of the post, and to remove it you either have to pull the larger ball through or have them cut out. As the piercing seasons and the piercing becomes larger, often the jewelry will fall out.
Some times label simply as "nose jewelry" and often has no back or an ear-piercing stud style back. The pins without backs are likely to fall out and the ones with backs tend to want to tighten and can cause the jewelry to impact into the piercing.
Navel Curved Barbells with charms and dangles:
These are basically the same as curved barbells but they have shaped and often really large charms or settings and dangles that hang off the jewelry. Too often even if the jewelry is labeled as Surgical Stainless Steel, Implant Grade Steel, or Titanium, they are only referencing the post of the jewelry. With shaped objects often they are made of substandard metals which could cause a reaction. Also, the sharp points of the shaped charms can cause discomfort. The dangles tend to get caught on everything. Remember that basic jewelry is always the best choice even with a healed piercing.