The burden of jewelry


I own 3 pieces of jewelry that hold some monetary value: one diamond solitaire ring, one opal solitaire ring, and a gold bracelet. The latter 2 being quite delicate.

I’m not a jewelry person, and I definitely don’t plan on wearing these objects while travelling. Keeping them on my person is also not comfortable, as they could get damaged, lost, or stolen.

Now that we’re downsizing, what do I do with my jewelry?

Selling them is an option, but as they were gifts from family and hold some sentimental value, I kind of feel obligated to keep them or at least give them to my Mom.

My Mom is in Toronto though, and I’m not planning to go to Toronto until next summer.

So it looks like I’ll end up carrying relatively high-value, useless items around with me throughout South East Asia. Not only that, I’ll have to think about them, guard them, and look after them. Which is kind of a drag.

While there is some sentimental value, I don’t get so sentimental about things. Is my sentimentality so strong that I can’t trade them in for cold hard cash? I don’t think so. Overall I view these jewels as hindering my freedom.

This is totally a ‘first world problem’, so I’m not crying poor-me. But I am reflecting on how I’m moving in the direction of not wanting to own anything that doesn’t serve me. Especially status symbol items.

The only status I want to show the world is that I’m VEGAN, because I want my life to be about effecting positive, social change, not reinforcing consumerism or complacency.

What would you do?



  1. // Reply

    Actually, I had the same discussion with Mrs W couple of weeks ago before we left Germany for our 4 months travel. Since we have a teannant for this period, we put all our personal stuff in boxes and all valuable things were given to friends for storage.
    I never wear my wedding ring. Just bothers me. She has only 2-3 pieces of jewlery she feels attached to. But we have some other shit that we got from family or found. I call it shit, because jewlery has absolutely no value for me and I find it completely unnecessary. I want to get rid of most of our jewlery asap. Just sell it. But keep those 2-3 pieces that Mrs W wants to keep. I still have to have some serious conversationa bout my wedding ring with the Mrs. If I could decide, I would jsut sell it.
    So to answer your question: if I were you, I would sell everything that you don’t feel attached to. Then you have a few months to think about whether you really need to keep stuff just because somebody gave them to you. Then, just before I would leave , I would sell everything. Or just leave those pieces with martins parents.
    I completely share your opinion about jewlery and traveling. Extra worries. Do we really need that? Do they make us happy? Would we miss them?

    1. // Reply

      It will be very freeing to both you and Mrs. W to get rid of the ‘shit’ jewelry that no one has attachments to. Sometimes I think people pass down jewelry to family just so they don’t have to deal with it themselves! That’s how I ended up with a diamond ring from my Grandma. No one thinks of it as a burden in the moment.

      The only thing about my jewelry is that I don’t feel I have ownership of these pieces. Like they are not really MINE to sell. What I think I’ll do is find out how much I can sell them for, and then present that number to my Mom. I’ll ask her if she wants me to sell it for those prices, or would she prefer me trekking it around SE Asia before I give them to her. I don’t feel like leaving it in Germany because I ultimately want to get RID of them, and getting rid of them at the moment feels like giving it to my Mom.

  2. // Reply

    I know exactly how you feel. Actually, a couple of the pieces of jewellery that Mr W says I feel attached to are actually things I would never wear, but since they are earrings and a necklace made with rubies from my grandma’s engagement ring I feel like I should hold on to them. Something in my head says it would be wrong to sell them. I already got rid of a lot of crappy jewellery but the stuff that’s left is more difficult to decide about. I’m not selling my wedding ring though, and I’m still not happy with the idea of Mr W selling his.

    1. // Reply

      Eeek, the Grandma sentiment is the hardest one to break imo! But it sounds like you’ve pared down by a lot already, and what you have identified as important doesn’t seem to take up much space.

      I’ve only narrowed down the above 3 jewellery items that are sentimental and have monetary value. But I have a lot of other jewellery pieces that I like that aren’t worth anything! Like a very pretty pressed aluminium necklace, or a fake gold arrow pendant and necklace. These are things I would wear, but not while being a nomad.

      My wedding ring was lost 3 weeks after getting married, so I don’t have that problem! It was a handmade ring made out of olive wood. 🙂

      1. // Reply

        That’s sad that you lost your wedding ring. My wedding and engagement rings are the only pieces of jewellery I own that I really really want to keep, not that I feel obligated to keep. How did you lose it?

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