Choosing nose ornament

Greetings, and Happy New Year to you all!

One of my daughters has decided she wants to get her nose pierced to
wear a tiny ornament, and I have offered to make it for her. I see
from looking around online that there seem to be three basic styles
for the inside: a small bulb-shape, a right-angle L-shape, and a
curved hook-shape.

Can anyone tell me anything about how to choose among these? Or what
restrictions there might be on materials? If it is up to me, I’d go
with high-carat gold (no nickel) because the environment is moist,
etc. New territory for both of us! After reading about copper and
silver being anti-microbial, I’m thinking silver might actually be

So thanks for any help!

My daughter uses a small spiral of Sterling Silver with a small stone
or glass or cz (she doesn’t know, and I’m not taking a stone that
small out in that cheap a setting). Anything other than SS inflames
her nose and she can’t wear it.

John Atwell Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Geologist and Gemologist
Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry

You might also look at Niobium, it’s supposed to be hypoallergenic
and it’s rather easy to work (I have some 1/4" round stock, but I
have not had a play with it as yet) from what I read. Namely it can
be reduced in cross section by ~80% without annealing (IIRC annealing
should be done under a high vacuum 1x10^-6 torrs, so something to be
a avoided if possible) doesn’t corrode (similar process to aluminium
and titanium) etc… Surface oxides can be rather hard on tools like
with Tantalum (which I have worked with) and I think gumming might be
an issue if filing it. OH yeah it can be anodised to some really wild
colours too.

Just another option, but personally I’d go with high karat gold and
possibly the hook or small bulb as cleaning is a serious issue.

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.

I had a customer recently that also wanted custom made nose"
ornaments"- It turned out that these were to be used in place of
wedding rings!-The couple wanted Todd Reed like raw diamonds in
cubic settings in high karat gold ( they settled on 22kt orange-red
gold and cognac coloured diamonds) arranged in a triangular
pattern. After getting the design approved the fabrication was
underway- I recommended surgical steel posts for their durability and
strength over fine silver because of its malleability even after work
hardening the silver ( which I tried first as they wanted to" keep
the costs down as much as possible" !!). I laser welded the steel
posts to backing plates of the gold that held the diamond cubes on
the outside of the nose and threaded the posts to accept a closed
gold tube- more like a half capsule ( of the same colour) that held
it securely against the skin… It has worked out thus far with no
complaints from the couple. Keeping the post and tube clean is up to
the wearer and should be mentioned in delivering the piece to your
client, in this case your daughter.I would definitely avoid alloys
that are high in copper, opting for fine silver, gold, surgical
steel or titanium for the part that is inside the nose.balance is an
other issue.In the case of my piece it was top heavy with the first
fine silver closure.When I tried it with the steel in a heavier gauge
( i used a 22g post in the end, with the closed tube acting as a
counter weight to help the piece avoid sagging downward -placement of
the initial piercing is a factor to consider if it has not been done
already, and just above the flare of ther nostril seems most logical
and supportive from a practical viewpoint.

That’s my experience with custom nose jewelry…and so far no one out
of maybe 6 custom pieces has had problems with infections,or the
jewelry itself failing…the other pieces were mostly uniquely shaped
heavy gold wires that were threaded and just sort of hung there and
two were stud type stone set pieces ( both trillions as it turned
out) in addition to this, the heaviest of all as I described above
due to the plate (which was fabricated from a 28 g piece of sheet-30
was too thin without doming, or spring hardening).


Please do not use silver or copper especially if this is a new
piercing for your daughter. Industry standard is 18k gold (or
better), inplant grade stainless, and implant grade titanium for
fresh piercings. If you go with white gold, make sure there is no
nickle content in it. Palladium and Platinum are acceptable but are
fairly new to the industry. The jewelry your referring to are called
nostril screws and are fabricated with the ornament side to be a
closed setting if your using a gem, or simply a ball on the end of
the wire. 20ga - 18 ga. is the appropriate size, with a stem length
that varies from 5/8" to 1". Leave the stem straight as the piercer
will bend to fit. Talk with the piercer before hand, they might
preferr one stem length vs another. If you have any other questions
feel free to email me off list.


I have my nose pierced, and have tried all three options for
’studs’. I personally prefer the small bulb at the end. It has been
the best in comfort, convenience, and reliability (it won’t fall

I have only made one of these for a customer who had worn a silver L-
shape for years. She wanted to upgrade to a 14K white gold, with a
small bezel set diamond. I believe it was 20 gauge and she never had
any problems with the silver one or the new white gold one. But she
definitely preferred the L-shape.

Good luck.