Ball closure rings are perhaps the most popular piece of piercing jewellery and they can be worn in almost any piercing. These piercing rings consist of a ring that closes with a captive ball. The ball has a tiny dimple on either side, which the ends of the ring fit into. The pressure of the ring keeps the ball in place, making ball closure rings (BCRs) one of the most secure types of jewellery. With their simple shape, ball closure rings are endlessly versatile. They come in a huge choice of diameters and gauges to fit almost any body piercing, from ear piercings to lips, navels, septums and many more.
Ball closure rings can be made from any material with sufficient rigidity to hold the ball in place. They are usually made from titanium, surgical steel, gold and Blackline. BCRs can also be made from PMMA acrylic but due to the softness of acrylic it works better in large gauge ball closure rings.
Ball closure rings rely on the tension of the ring to keep the ball in place and can be quite difficult to open. They are simple to open but many people find it difficult at first. To open a ball closure ring you must pop the ball out and to close it the ball must be replaced. It is possible to do this with your bare hands but if you wear a lot of ball closure rings or change your jewellery often we recommend using a set of ring opening pliers.
Ring opening pliers are used to gently open the ring, allowing the ball to fall out. Despite their name, ring opening pliers can also be used to close the BCR - simply open the ring a little, so that you can replace the ball.
Ball closure rings come in a wide range of sizes and it is important to find the right size for your piercings. Wearing the wrong size BCR can damage the piercing, causing it to migrate, reject or fail to heal. There are two basic measurements on a BCR - the gauge and the internal diameter. The gauge refers to the thickness of the ring and is measured in millimetres or using the gauge system. BCRs are sold by their internal diameter. To find out what diameter you need measure the distance straight across between the two holes of your piercing. To prevent the BCR feeling tight, add a couple of millimetres to this measurement.
If you wish to use a ball closure ring in a fresh piercing, you will need to have enough room for swelling. Most piercings swell straight after they are done and will go down over the next few days. If there is not enough room it can cause major problems in healing the piercing. You body piercer will be able to advise you on the correct BCR for your new piercing but typically a new piercing will require a significantly bigger BCR than a healed piercing. Once the piercing is healed you can downsize to a smaller ball closure ring.
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