When you think about jewelry, the most common styles of jewelry are necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets. However, there are other types of jewelry worn on different parts of the body such as toe rings, belly rings, toe rings, and nose rings. The broad term for these ornaments is body jewelry, and they can be worn by both men and women of all ages. Here is a detailed look at different types of body jewelry and the part of the body it is worn on.
Because ear piercings are very popular, jewelry for the ear is very common. There are different types of ear jewelry to match the various piercings that can be done on this part of the body. Here is a look at different ear piercings and its corresponding jewelry.
Below are the different parts of the ear that can be pierced:
- Earlobe, also known as the lobule, this is the most common placement for ear piercings. Both men and women can have a single piercing on the lobe. However, 2, 3 or more lobe piercings in a row are a common sight today.
- Helix is the outer rim of the ear. Some people opt for a single or double helix piercings. The double piercing on the Helix is commonly referred to as a scaffold or industrial piercing. At the point where the helix touches the head, a forward helix piercing can be placed. To make it an industrial piercing, the other piercing is done on the back side of the helix, further from the head. Then, a barbell is inserted from the back side of the ear, through the second piercing across the front side of the upper cartilage and fastened at the forward helix piercing.
- Crus of Helix is the small ridge of the cartilage positioned above the Tragus. A daith ear piercing is done here.
- Crura of Antihelix is the depression of cartilage appearing above the Crus of Helix. A rook piercing is placed here.
- Tragus is the lower edge of the cartilage connecting the ear to the head. The tragus piercing appears at the center of this part of the ear.
- Auricular Tubercle is the edge of the external part of the ear, the auricle, between the earlobe and the helix. This is where the ear cuff piercing is placed. Several piercings on the auricular tubercle are popular.
- Concha is the scooped area inside the ear’s cartilage. Two piercings, the inner and outer conch piercing are positioned here. Neighboring to the ear canal is a cup-shaped portion of the concha where the inner conch piercing is placed. The outer conch piercing is done on the flat area of the ear cartilage between the ear’s anti-helix and helix.
The style of jewelry used on different ear piercings is limited to the wearer’s imagination. However, there are some basic designs for different piercings mentioned above. Below are different types of ear jewelry:
Ear cuffs are commonly used for non-pierced ears. Ear cuffs are sometimes chained to a lobe piercing. However, when there is no such piercing, they simply encircle the outer cartilage.
This type of ear jewelry appears like it is floating on the earlobe with no visible point of connection. The design of a stud earring features an ornament such as a gemstone attached to a long pin-like post. The post penetrates the pierced part of the ear and is fastened at the back with a removable clutch.
Studs can flatter almost all face shapes and are suitable for different occasions. They could feature diamonds, plastics, pearls, and precious metals, thus making them suitable earrings for formal, semi-formal, and casual wear. Studs are great to wear if you like to wear your earrings all the time and never take them off.
Captive Bead Rings (CBR)
This is a body piercing jewelry that can also be used as earrings. Also known as closure rings, CBRs are characteristically 360 degree rings with a small opening used for insertion. They come with a small bead for closing the insertion gap and it is fastened by the ring’s tension.
Hoop earrings are similar to a ring but larger in size. They could be circular or semi-circular in structure. Generally, they are a loop of wire or metal tubing fixed with a small attachment that can be opened to go through the ear piercing.
Just like their name, barbell earrings resemble a barbell – the gym equipment. Barbell earrings are characterized by two spherical objects attached on either side of a metallic bar. One of these spherical objects is attached, while the other is removable so that the wearer can use this end to insert the barbell into the ear piercing. There are straight and curved angled barbells, depending on the shape of the metal bar.
A drop earring is designed with an ornament like a gemstone or beads hanging on a chain, hoop or another object attached to the earlobe. A drop earring can be short or extremely long depending on the taste of a wearer. They could also be referred to as pendant, dangle, or droplet earrings. This group of earrings also covers chandelier types which are characterized by multi-level pendants.
Casually termed as huggies, these are varieties of earrings whose setting hugs the wearer’s earlobe. They exist in various shapes and sizes, including rectangles, hearts, and circles, among others.
There are different types of nose piercings, classified according to where the hole appears. Nostril and septum nose piercings are the most popular. Since nose piercings are common, the range of nose jewelry you can find in the market is broad.
Nose rings are a type of nose jewelry worn either through the septum, center, or one side of the nose. They are common among men and women. Nose rings have been used for centuries. In the Middle East and Africa, men gave their new wives nose rings to indicate the woman’s new status and bar other men from showing romantic interest in the wearer. In these regions, the size of nostril rings was associated with the wealth in a family. In South and Central America, septum piercings were worn as a symbol of status.
Today, about 15 percent of US men and 19 percent of US women have nose piercings. This makes nose jewelry a popular type of body jewelry. Nose jewelry can also be varied. Ideally, what should be referred to as a nose ring includes loops, circular barbells, and hoops.
A nose screw is a short, hooked post that the wearer can twist through a nostril piercing. They can be left-bend or right-bend, depending on the side of nostril the screw is designed for.
Studs, such as labret studs, are common pieces for piercings in different parts of the body, including the nose. The beauty with labret studs is that they come with different tops, all bejeweled to make your nose jewel appear more glamorous.
It involves a short post with an embellished top that lies on the nostril and is fastened inside the nostril by a spherical bottom.
This is a common jewelry choice for people with septum piercings and, in certain cases, a bridge piercing. It is designed like a straight taper with pointed ends. A spike should be worn across the piercing with its pointed ends sticking out.
The most common type of belly jewelry today is belly chains and belly button rings, also known as naval rings.
Belly Button/Naval Rings
Naval rings have been around for centuries. It is believed that belly piercings and jewelry resulted from an ancient Egyptian ritual where piercing your belly would free your spirit from the world of the living and connect you with the world of eternity. Another school of thought attributes these kinds of piercings with the need to show courage or manliness.
Today, there are different styles of belly piercings. The way you pierce your belly depends on your creativity. Some people combine their naval piercing with a tattoo for an elegant, unique look. Just like the styles of the piercings are varied, so are the belly jewelry choices. Designs like hoops and loops, studs, barbells and others for belly button rings exist.
Naval rings can be worn together with a belly chain to make it more appealing. A belly chain is a body ornament worn around the waist. The trend is common in India and Arabic countries where belly dancers wore such chains around their waist. The chain is designed to make the belly piercing more noticeable. Belly chains are commonly made of gold or silver.
The most common type of tongue jewelry is a barbell style of the jewel, usually worn on a piercing appearing in the center of the tongue. To enhance the styles of tongue jewelry, the ends of barbells are designed into different shapes. This way, you can find flat tongue stud barbells, tongue ticklers, picture tongue bars, BioFlex barbells with balls and others. Some of these barbell ends and bars are jeweled too.
There are people who undertake several tongue piercings, arranged in a triangle or diamond shape. Another kind of tongue piercing is referred to as a snake bite, which is created when the piercer makes holes on both sides of the center of the tongue, near the tip.
Barbells or the bars for tongue piercings can be made of stainless steel, high carbon plastics, titanium, and niobium, among other materials. The material for tongue jewelry is chosen keenly to make sure it doesn’t irritate the mouth or cause infections.
Eyebrow jewelry refers to the kind of ornaments worn on piercings appearing on the outer periphery of the eyebrow. Some common eyebrow jewelry includes curved barbells, plain barbells, and rings, among others. The rings and barbells come in different shapes, colors and sizes. This makes it possible for wearers to find designs suitable for different occasions. These jewels are mostly made of metals and adorned with crystals, glass, and gemstones.
The fantasy bra is a brassiere bejeweled with precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, and others. For over two decades, the lingerie brand, Victoria’s Secret, has been designing fantasy bras and showcasing them each year at their annual fashion show. The gemstones are worth millions of dollars, making the fantasy bra the most expensive bras ever made.
The Red Hot Fantasy Bra and panties worn by Gisele Bündchen in 2000 won a place in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive lingerie ever designed. Appraised for $15 million, the design contained over 1,300 precious stones, including Thai rubies. It is still the priciest item Victoria’s Secret has ever designed.
Many people will grab any chance they get to walk on bare feet or in sandals or flip flops. The cool air on your feet is refreshing. Bare feet with polished toenails is a thing of beauty for women. You can even attract more attention to your feet by adorning them with jewelry. The common types of foot jewelry are ankle bracelets, toe rings, and feet chains.
In various parts of the world, toe rings have been a popular accessory. In fact, such rings have a cultural significance in certain countries. An example is the toe ring worn by the married Hindu women of India. In some countries, however, toe rings are a modern fashion accessory. In the United States, toe rings were not popular until the 1990s.
Toe rings come in a wide range of styles, materials, and colors. Some general designs include metal closed loop (usually gold or iron molded into a solid ring), metal open-loop (gold, iron, or silver) and elastic. Elastic toe rings have a stretchy band that is decorated with materials like beads, jewels or an attractive object attached to it such as a tiny flip-flop or a butterfly.
Just like wrist bracelets, these can be found in various designs. Popularly known as an anklet, ankle chain, or ankle string, an ankle bracelet is an ornament used to adorn the foot’s ankle. Historically, barefoot anklets have been worn by Indian women and girls for centuries. Today, anklets are a significant accessory in Indian marriages.
Egyptian women have worn anklets since prehistoric periods. In the U.S., casual and formal anklets rocked the market in the 1930’s and late 20th century. These ornaments are a common sight on barefoot women, but men also wear casual anklets made of leather.
Formal ankle bracelets are made of beads or metals such as gold and silver. It can be worn on either ankle, but in India and most Eastern cultures, women wear anklets on both legs. In Western cultures, they are mostly worn by women as fashion jewelry.
An ankle bracelet can be a simple design or one that contains a charm, pendant or both. It is only logical to pair an anklet with attire and shoes that expose its beauty.
Barefoot sandals are also considered foot jewelry because their main purpose is to decorate the feet. They do not have any bottom or sole that could protect the feet.
Barefoot sandals are a combination of a toe ring and an ankle bracelet, adorning one’s feet. They are commonly worn when the wearer needs to walk barefoot, like on a beach, a pool party, a boat cruise, or during religious festivities such as weddings. They are commonly made of beads, fabrics and crocheted rope with relevant accents.
Wedding jewelry refers to the kind of ornaments worn by couples during their marriage ceremony. For most cultures around the world, rings are the must-have jewelry for a wedding. However, there are other regions with specific ornaments for different parts of the body which are of significance in marriage ceremonies.
One peculiar aspect of wedding jewelry is that each piece has a significant meaning. For instance, a wedding ring or wedding band is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. It is supposed to signify the vow to eternal love to the person receiving the ring.
Some traditions still hold to some rules when it comes to the specifics of the ring. For instance, a Jewish wedding ring should be made of gold, without decorations or blemishes, to symbolize the beautiful simple marriage the newlyweds will have. However, most regions have broken from the practice and now accept rings that are decorated with gemstones or made of different metals. In fact, many couples are integrating their religious commitment into their wedding jewelry, by weaving crosses, the Star of David, or rosaries into their magnificent wedding bands.
There are also other ornaments used in weddings depending on the region. For instance, Indians wear nose rings, toe rings, and anklets to signify different statuses of a woman or man in regard to marriage. All these items have some religious and cultural significance in the union of marriage.
An armband is a large band that is sometimes worn on top of the sleeve of one’s clothing. The most common types of armband jewelry is worn around the lower arm, including armlets, bracelets, and bangles.
There are many different kinds of nail jewelry available in the market today. Some of them are affixed onto the nails as “polish secure” with nail art that involves sticking tiny ornaments on wet varnish. The gems held on with nail polish must be light and minuscule, unless you want to stick them with glue. These gems are reusable, since all you need is to rub your nails with a nail varnish remover.
Pendants, studs, and rings are also other types of nail jewelry worn on a small piercing on the white part of the nail that protrudes from the finger. The nail piercing can appear on the edge or atop the nail plate. The common jewelry worn on nail piercing may look like small chains (usually called nail charms), or hoop earrings that dangle off the tip of the nail. The nail jewels are made of different materials like metals, gemstones or crystals, and can feature various designs including crosses, a palm tree, dolphin, hearts, and butterflies.
Shoe jewelry encompasses shoe add-ons such as charm bracelets, chains, and clips worn on or around the shoe to enhance its appearance or draw attention. These accessories can transform any basic shoe into fashionable dazzling chic shoes, suitable for different occasions.
Shoe clips can be attached to the vamp, quarter or any other part of the shoe depending on its design or wearer’s preference. They come in different designs featuring chandeliers, bowknot, flowers and others. They are also adorned with different ornaments such as crystals, rhinestones, pearls and precious metals. They are often worn to make a shoe even fancier for parties or wedding ceremonies.
Shoe chains come in different designs. From single strands to layered designs, and made of metals and decorated with gemstones, pearls, and beads, among other materials. One can wear these chains around the ankle when dressing in high heels.
Shoe charms or Jibbitz come in various colors and designs. All you need is to pin the different shapes on your shoe laces, holes of Crocs, the front upper or any other side of the shoes, in an arrangement of your choice. They are beautiful accessories for livening up an old pair of sneakers, kids’ shoes, Crocs and other types of shoes. Charms are removable and transferable to other pairs of shoes.
This is another trendy accessory that involves a network of chains adorning the leg. One chain, usually the base, can be worn loosely around the knee. Then, there will be several attachments that fall over the leg in a waterfall-like pattern.
Another version of such chains involves a garter-type base worn around the thigh to hold the other leg chains. There are designs of leg jewelry that use belly chains or belts to hold the accessories up.
Leg jewelry is an awesome sight when it peeps out from the edge of a short skirt or cocktail dress. Leg chains are a bold statement, and for this reason, you do not want to accessorize a lot if you have such ornaments on.
Other than necklaces and leg chains, there are other designs of chains used to encircle the upper part of the body. They could begin from the shoulders, run through the back or tummy, wrap around the waistline, and finally fall over or sit on the torso. Some common types of body chains include belly chains, vest chains, harnesses and hip chains, among others.
Body chains can appear elegant either adorned over a blouse, simple camisoles, or underneath a skirt as well as a mini dress.
Clearly, there are numerous types of body jewelry. Most of these are worn as fashion accessories. However, in some regions of the world, certain jewelry has religious and cultural significance. Whether you wear your ornaments for fashion or spiritual reasons, body jewelry is without a doubt a subtle item for boosting appearance and enhancing personality.