Body jewelry for ears is worn in an opening in the earlobe or cartilage created by stretching the skin to a desired point. Ear jewelry is available in many different shapes, sizes and colors. The basic materials used in this type of body jewelry are; metals, semi-precious stones, bone, woods, and plastics. The most popular styles of body jewelry for ears are; plugs (that are solid throughout), tunnels (that feature see-through openings in the center), tapers (also called stretchers that are elongated and feature increasing gradations of thickness for stretching) and other non ear-specific jewelry (like captive bead rings, bars and horseshoe barbells).
Double flared ear jewelry feature outer edges that are larger in diameter than the center, or ‘flared’, and may require stretching during placement. Single flared plugs allow for easier insertion since they do not require stretching and include rubber rings (known as ‘O’ rings) to hold the pieces in place. Screw-on ear tunnels (see photo) are double-flared but un-screw at one end to allow the benefits of single-flared plugs without the need of an ‘O’ ring. Most people that stretch their ears own several types of ear jewelry, allowing for frequent rotation.