19 Different Types of Nose Rings (Plus Interesting Facts)

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A close up shot of a man with a nose piercing.


Nose rings are part of an age-old tradition and have been worn by people all over the world in different cultures for religious, cultural, and aesthetic reasons. South Africa’s Berber and Beja tribe wore nose jewels to indicate their wealth. The larger the nose jewel, the wealthier the family.

In ancient India, nose rings were worn as early as 6,000 years ago. According to Ayurvedic medicine, wearing them can help alleviate the pains of childbirth as well as menstruation. Indian brides also wear them as part of their bridal costumes. Their nose rings are usually made of gold or silver and embellished with jewels, pearls, fish, and birds.  It’s even been suggested that nose rings can be a wedding ring alternative.

Types of Nose Rings

Captive Bead and Bar Closure Nose Rings

A captive bead nose ring made of Sterling Silver.Source: Amazon

If you prefer a circular ring in your nose, you have two basic choices. The first, a captive bead ring, has a small ball held in place using the ring’s tension. The other, the bar closure nose ring, looks like it is a solid ring, but, in fact, a small piece of the ring comes out to allow you to insert it. This type of ring can rotate an entire 360 degrees, which makes cleaning it a lot easier. With both of these rings, ring-opening pliers may be necessary to insert them properly.

Fake Nose Ring

A set of stainless fake nose rings in different colors.

Source: Amazon

As the name implies, these are rings that you can insert, even when your nose isn’t pierced. More often than not, they are hoop nose rings and fit rather tight, making it simple to fit one in your nose properly. In fact, some fake nose rings have a little bit of flexibility, allowing you to squeeze them and make them a little tighter if you like. Fake nose rings are sometimes hard to distinguish from the real ones because, nowadays, the companies that make them do such a great job. If you’re considering getting your nose pierced, but you aren’t sure that it’s right for you, or, even if you would never pierce your nose, wearing a fake nose ring for a bit is a lot of fun.

Fishtail Nose Ring

Silver Titanium fishtail ring.Source: Amazon

If you want a custom-designed nose ring, choose the fishtail nose ring. It starts out as a long bar, usually around 19 mm in length, and you simply take it to your favorite piercer so that they can prepare it for you. The piercer will use a special device to measure your nose, and he or she will bend the metal bar to fit your nostril based on these measurements. Best of all, these rings come in dozens of designs, including those with gemstones, balls, and even different shapes at the tip. As a result, you’ll not only get a nose ring that fits perfectly, but also one that looks great.

Gemstone Nose Ring

Yellow gold nose ring with an Aquamarine gemstone.Source: Amazon

Although gemstone nose rings are available in various styles and designs, they all have one thing in common: each one contains a beautiful gemstone. The gemstone can be anything, including the wearer’s birthstone, favorite color, or simply a diamond or opal to match everything he or she wears. Whatever the case, gemstone nose rings add some class and flare to that area of your face every time you wear them.

Hoop Nose Ring

6 pieces of stainless, hoop nose rings.Source: Amazon

This is a very popular type of nose ring, because, as with other types of earrings, hoops are always extremely trendy and a favorite for most. They come in metallic colors such as silver and gold, as well as many other colors, and they are available in many different sizes and designs. In fact, the makers of nose rings are getting more creative day after day with this type of nose ring. If you want something that calls a bit of attention to yourself, but still matches everything in your wardrobe, and, especially if you don’t want to take your nose ring out every day and replace it with another one, you will want to choose a nice gold or silver hoop nose ring.

Labret Nose Ring

Labret nose rings made of stainless steel and acrylic with a heart-shaped design.Source: Amazon

A labret consists of a stud with a flat disk on one end and a removable gemstone or ball on the other. These are not always common in nose piercings, but many people do use them as a nose ring. The removable end usually either screws into the post, or it easily pops into place. Labrets were not designed specifically for nose piercings, but they are easy to wear and very popular. In addition, they are a great choice if the wearer has more than one piercing on the same side of the nostril. Labrets have to be inserted from the back side, and they usually start at around 18-gauge. If you want to make it easier to insert your labret, use an insertion pin for assistance, or visit the person who gave you the piercing for additional help.

L-Shaped Nose Ring


Gold-colored, stainless L-shaped nose rings with different designs.

Source: Amazon

Just as the name implies, these nose rings are shaped like the uppercase “L,” and they are made at a 90-degree angle. These nose rings tend to fit more securely than others, and they are a great option. In addition, it is easier to insert them than it is many other types of nose rings. They are usually no more than 7 millimeters from top to bottom, and, in many cases, they can be much shorter. In addition to their perfect fit, their wide variety of styles and designs, and their ease of insertion, L-shaped nose rings also have left and right versions, making them accommodating for all wearers.

Nose Bone Ring

Surgical steel, nose bone ring with a wide option of gemstones. Source: Amazon

Nose bone rings are actually studs made straight, and they are flared slightly at one end so that they form a small ball that is used to keep the ring from falling out. If your nose piercing has already healed, you can wear a nose bone ring; otherwise, it is best not to wear them. The flared end is sometimes one gauge larger than the post, which can cause irritation in a new or unhealed piercing. The benefit of using a nose bone in a piercing that is already healed is that it is extremely easy to pop it in and out.

Nose Stud

Simple yet elegant-looking nose studs in stainless steel.Source: Amazon

These nose rings have a single stud on the tip that shows on the outside of the nostril. Most nose studs are basic silver or gold in color, although they can be diamonds and other gemstones, as well. This is an attractive yet unique look that many women adore, and, much like other types of nose rings, they are perfect for people who wish to wear a nose ring that matches everything in their wardrobe. If you have a nose piercing but wish to wear a ring that is elegant and classic, the nose stud is perfect for you.

Nostril Screw Nose Ring

Nostril screw ring with a flower design.Source: Amazon

This is one of the most popular types of nose rings, and it consists of posts that are approximately one-inch long and bent to form a C-curve. Inserted with a twisting motion, this type of ring is inserted as if the jewelry is actually being screwed into your nose. Nostril screws can even be purchased pre-bent, and they are available with a straight post that is bent for a more secure and custom fit, as well.

Septum Clickers

A set of vintage, septum clickers that comes in different designs.Source: Amazon

Septum clickers are very innovative, and they present a great alternative to the traditional types of nose rings, such as the circular barbell rings and the traditional curved nose rings that were once used for septum piercings. They come in one piece, and they generally consist of a straight bar at the top, which is the part that is inserted through the septum part of your nose, as well as a circular hoop at the bottom, which is the part that shows after you insert it.

Septum clickers are easy to insert and very safe to wear, and they can save you a lot of time when you put them on because you will not need to remove small beads or studs as you do with other types of nose rings. Better yet, the hoop part can be as decorative as you wish, and they come in a wide variety of both standard and off-the-wall, fancy designs to satisfy your preferences and tastes.

Materials

Acrylic

Bendable, acrylic nose studs with different designs. Source: Amazon

Acrylic is a hard, clear, plastic-like material that is made from the polymers of either acrylates or acrylic acid. It is often made of synthetic resins and other materials, and the main advantage of using acrylic for nose rings is its strength and durability. In fact, if you choose any type of jewelry made of acrylic, it is likely to last forever. It is difficult to damage or destroy it, as well. This makes it the perfect material when you’re searching for a piece of jewelry that is attractive, practically indestructible, and inexpensive.

Bioplast

Pink nose stud made of bioplast.

Source: Amazon

The term “bioplast” comes from two words: biological and plastic. As you probably imagine, jewelry, including nose rings, made out of bioplast is jewelry that is compatible with the body. In other words, bioplast nose rings are much less likely to irritate your skin or cause any type of allergic reaction. In addition to nose rings, bioplast is also used in jewelry made for eyebrows, lips, nipples, and navels, among others. Furthermore, bioplast is easy to sterilize, making it great for initial piercings, and it can even enable nose rings and other jewelry to heal the skin around it a lot more quickly, which is perfect regardless of where your piercing is found.

Glass

A glass nose bone that is wearable and hypoallergenic. Source: Amazon

Although this material is rare, some nose rings are made of glass. For obvious reasons, glass jewelry is very expensive, and it should be worn with caution because of the possibility of it breaking. Of course, the manufacturers of glass nose rings make them very sturdy, and they even come in a variety of colors, such as yellow, red, and blue. Glass nose rings are smooth and very comfortable, and they are great for wearers who are sensitive to some types of gold, or those who are prone to skin irritations. They fit perfectly, and, because of the way they are made, a lot of wearers claim they are unable to feel them in their nostril. This is a definite plus.

Platinum

A shiny, platinum nose ring. Source: Amazon

Platinum is a beautiful silver colored metal that is used in a lot of jewelry, including nose rings. There are numerous advantages to choosing platinum nose rings, and they include:

  • It is a beautiful, shiny, and smooth type of metal
  • It is hypoallergenic and will never cause a rash or any type of skin irritation
  • It is intended to last for a lifetime
  • It is very low-maintenance, and it only needs an occasional steaming at the jeweler’s
  • It is a metal that is rare and valuable

Stainless Steel


15 pieces of stainless steel nose rings of different styles and sizes.

Source: Amazon

Stainless steel is one metal that is extremely durable, and nose rings made of stainless steel can withstand the wear and tear associated with everyday activities. It is a hard metal that is scratch- and corrosion-resistant, thanks to an invisible layer of chromium which prevents any type of oxidation from occurring. Stainless steel is not a precious metal like gold or bronze, which is why it is so affordable and more easily obtained by those wearers who are on a budget.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver nose studs in clear, light pink and faded violet tones.Source: Amazon

Sterling silver is an alloy made up of over 92% pure silver, with the rest being made from a combination of one or more other metals. The most common metal added to the silver is copper, and this creates the sterling alloy. The alloy, in turn, strengthens and hardens the silver. Sterling silver is also beautiful, and it is highly popular with jeweler-lovers, including those who wish to purchase nose rings. Sterling silver jewelry has a beautiful luster, never tarnishes, and keeps its value over time, making it the perfect material to use for nose rings and other types of jewelry.

Titanium

Titanium nose ring with a crystal gem.Source: Amazon

Titanium is a chemical element and is perfect for jewelry, including nose rings, because it is lustrous, very strong, and has both low density and a beautiful silver color. It is also resistant to corrosion, even if you place it in seawater or chlorine, which means you can swim without worry when you are wearing a titanium nose ring. In addition, titanium nose rings are extremely comfortable. They give the rings a certain amount of style, they are very affordable, and some people believe they even have some health benefits, including pain relief and restoration of the body’s balance.

White or Yellow Gold

Yellow gold nose ring with a diamond stud.Source: Amazon

Both yellow and white gold are available from 10 karats up to 24 karats, and every option presents you with a strong, attractive, and long-lasting type of metal for your nose ring. One of the biggest advantages of this type of metal, regardless of what it is used to make, is its health benefits. Particularly, when purchased in 24-karat, gold is said to help you relax, heal wounds, control infections, improve blood circulation, regulate the body’s temperature, and even relieve pain. Some types of gold can be a bit more expensive, but it is always worth the cost because it will last for a lifetime. These are but a few of the reasons why yellow and white gold is likely never to decrease in popularity.

Nose Ring Symbols

Beauty

Even though many American women may not understand this practice, in Asia, it is common for women to have their noses pierced before their wedding takes place. These rings are considered very fashionable and attractive, and people in this area of the world consider it a good way to elevate a woman’s beauty and make her more desirable.

Marriage

For more than 4,000 years, the women in the Middle East have received nose rings as wedding gifts. They were usually made of gold and were very ornate, and the ring represented the woman’s status of marriage to the world. This custom has since spread to various parts of Africa, and it has often been considered a type of insurance for the woman if she should ever become divorced. The use of a nose ring as a wedding gift is even mentioned in the Old Testament, when Abraham presents his daughter-in-law with a gold nose ring prior to her marriage to his son, Isaac. It is also thought of just as a wedding ring is today, and, as such, married women in the Middle East, India, and Africa usually do not ever take out their nose piercings, as long as they remain married.

Special Meaning in India

Because the left nostril is thought to be the area associated with childbearing, many women in India have their left nostril pierced before or right after their wedding ceremony. The Indian medical practice known as Ayurveda claims that this type of piercing can make childbearing a lot easier and a lot less painful. In addition, a piercing of the left nostril is directly linked not just to childbearing, but also to fertility and overall sexual health. It is thought by many experts that having this type of piercing can ease menstrual pain and even increase a woman’s sexual pleasure. When it comes to sex and reproduction, they believe that left-nostril piercings do it all.

Today’s Symbolism

In the United States, nose rings first appeared in the 1960s, and they were mostly worn by hippies who had visited India and brought the tradition back home with them. Their popularity eventually declined, but in the 1970s, it returned, largely as a result of the punk movement. People began to use them as a symbol against conservative values. The stigma remains today in many groups of people, including conservatives, teachers, and many employers. Of course, their popularity hasn’t gone away completely, because nowadays many celebrities are choosing to pierce their noses.

Wealth

Many tribes in Africa, including the Berber tribe, use nose rings to represent wealth. In fact, in places such as this, the bigger the ring is, the more prominent and wealthy the wearer is. Often wearing this nose ring is interwoven with the marriage ritual. As a result, the groom often presents his bride with the nose ring to symbolize his wealth, and the practice continues even today.

Top Reasons to Get a Nose Ring

It’s Beauty

Yes, nose rings are beautiful, particularly nowadays, because jewelry designers are continuously coming out with more beautiful and unique designs for people to enjoy. When you wish to adorn your body with something that is eye-catching and attractive, a nose ring is a perfect choice.

Express Your Individuality

All body piercings, including nose piercings, are a great way to express your individuality and “customize” your body. Because you have so many choices in nose rings, you can easily express yourself in many different ways. For this reason, it is the perfect addition to your wardrobe.

Cultural Significance

Although not as significant in the United States, the women in India and parts of South Asia get their noses pierced for cultural reasons. These women are even turning more towards larger nose rings in place of nose studs, which at one time was all they wore. This allows these women, too, a chance to express themselves.

A Right of Passage

Teenagers and other young people always want to mark certain events and become their own person through body piercings. The great thing about a nose ring is that if they decide later in life that they no longer wish to wear it, all they have to do is remove the ring and let the hole close up on its own.

A Subtle Choice

For those who consider this aspect important, nose rings can be very subtle. If you have a conservative job, and you choose a stud for your nose ring, it is quite possible that your boss will permit you to keep the ring in. Many nose rings are also practically invisible or easy to hide, making this a great option for older people who desire to wear nose rings.

Presents a Certain Image

Especially when you choose a septum clicker, wearing a nose ring presents a certain tough, even ferocious, image. In fact, if you want to portray a tougher or more self-confident image, choosing to pierce your nose will work perfectly. Many cultures in areas such as New Guinea choose nose piercings for that exact reason, and they even include nose rings as part of their tribal cultural practices. Nothing says “I am my own person, and I can take what comes my way” like a nose ring, which is but one of the many reasons for its popularity.





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