Buying jewelry for a loved one begs serious consideration. Factors such as style, metal type, quality, and sizing–not to mention finding a jeweler who uses ethically-sourced materials–make shopping for even a simple gold necklace a daunting task.

Buying jewelry for your loved ones with body piercings may seem too difficult to tackle. If you don’t have any piercings yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the body jewelry terminology. However, when you find that perfect piece of jewelry to give your loved one, they’ll love you for going through the effort.

Finding the right body jewelry for someone else is a matter of knowing the right questions to ask. Before you give up on your pierced friends, here is a quick guide to get you started on the process.

What type of piercing do they have?

Although this might seem as easy as noting the location of their piercing (lip, eyebrow, nose, cartilage), there are tons of names for piercings that might sound like gibberish for those outside of the piercing world. (There are 14 different piercing types in the ear alone!)

Before you start looking for the perfect piece of jewelry, make sure that you know the name of the piercing. Sometimes, this is as easy as determining the location of the piercing and looking it up online. Just be sure to get it right; often the piercing types are differentiated by only a few millimeters.

What jewelry type do they wear?

If you’re new to the body piercing world, you might find the unending jewelry types overwhelming. Beyond the aesthetics of the jewelry, there are multiple clasp types and jewelry shapes. For example, nose studs come in L-shaped, twist, bone, and pin varieties. Chances are, your loved one has a style that they prefer.

Check out the jewelry that they already have. Note not only the look of the jewelry, but how the jewelry is inserted into the piercing site. Once you’ve narrowed down the jewelry type, your search for the perfect piece will become much easier.

What size piercing do they have?

You’ve learned the name of your loved one’s piercing, you’ve determined their preferred jewelry style, and you’ve picked out the piece of jewelry that you know they’ll love. Now, you need to size the jewelry.

Many piercing types have a specific size, known as the gauge. Common gauge sizes are 14G, 16G, and 18G. You will also want to determine the length of the bar or hoop that will best fit their piercing. More than likely, this will be information that you will need to get directly from the person you’re buying the jewelry for.

Buying body jewelry for someone else is certainly a challenge, especially if you’re a stranger to body jewelry. The good news? People in the body jewelry world, such as piercers and body jewelry retailers, love to talk about body piercing. Once you’ve done the proper research and answered the three questions outlined above, seek out a professional for guidance. They will be more than happy to help you find the body jewelry that will bring a smile to your favorite person’s face.

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