Naval Rings

Naval Rings

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  1. Navel piercing is also called belly button piercing.  It is a type of body piercing that generally heals quickly with little or no problems.  Similar to ear piercing it takes approximately six months to completely heal as long as the piercing site is kept clean.  With navel piercing, the actually navel is not pierced, but rather the upper rim of the navel.


    Almost any kind of bar jewelry is worn in a navel piercing. The piercing of the bellybutton rim is usually done with a barbell and is kept in place until the piercing of the navel rim has fully healed. 

    The barbell navel jewelry is actually a straight (or curved) bar with a head on each end.  One of the heads is removed by unscrewing it so the body jewelry can be removed or replaced.  The name "barbell" comes from its resemblance to barbells used in weightlifting.  There are many kinds of barbell jewelry which include straight, simple curved barbells, dangling pendants and captive bead rings.  The curved barbells, because of their shape are often referred to as "bananabars," or "bananabells."

    The standard barbell is a 14-gauge post and is either 9mm or 11mm in length.  Their silver caps measure about 5mm in diameter for the upper cap and 8mm for the the lower.

    Though the barbell is not technically a "ring," they are referred to as bellybutton rings.

    Internally and Externally Threaded Barbells

    Internally threaded barbells have smooth ends with receiving threads bored inside the bar.  The bead that attached to the end of the barbell has a small machine screw that sticks out of the bead and can be screwed into the receiving threads of the bar.  This type of barbell is much more popular, (though slightly more expensive) because it causes much less irritation than an externally threaded barbell.  Externally threaded barbells have the machine screw on the end of the bar and can damage or irritate the piercing as the threads pass through when being inserted or removed.

    Bead Types

    Most beads on barbells are simple spheres.  However, many shapes and designs exist.  Anything that can be threaded can theoretically be made into a bead.  Many use triangles, or cubes, cylinder or cones, even disk shapes as beads.  The larger gauge barbells, generally used in tongue piercing, are called "smartie beads."  Another popular example are "bondage" beads that have dimples on each side so they can become part of a captive bead ring.

    Captive Bead Rings (CBR)

    Captive bead rings are almost complete rings.  The bead is held "captive" by the pressure of the metal by placing in the missing part of the ring. The ring is inserted into the piercing and the bead squeezed into place, completing the ring shape. To open the CBR, simple hand pressure can release the beads on smaller gauge rings, or a ring opening pliers can be employed for opening rings of larger gauge.  These have become the most popular type of body piercing jewelry.



    Barbells and most other body jewelry are made from most any kind of metal. Flexible jewelry is made from Teflon or tygon tubing.  Since the beads don’t actually penetrate the body so different more decorative materials can be used, such glass or acrylics.   Some of the finest materials to look for are surgical grade stainless steel, sterling silver, solid (14k) gold and solid titanium.


    Who Wears Bellybutton Rings?

    Bellybutton rings didn’t show up in popular culture until 1993 when Christy Turlington revealed her navel piercing at a fashion show.  They really took off after Aerosmith’s music video "Cryin’" featured Alicia Silverstone with a pierced navel. 

    With this introduction, young women across the nation have begun wearing them.  They are easy to keep hidden under clothes, even while they are healing, and can be exposed while on the beach or in casual-wear environments.  They are most often seen on girls between the ages of 12 and 15, although hardly restricted to this age group.

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