What Kind of Jewelry Do Pirates Wear?

What do you think when we talk about pirates. Skull? Ships? Or swords? Or uncle Depp? I'm sure you've seen Pirates of the Caribbean. The style of painting and decoration in the film is very shocking. Today, let's talk about what kind of jewelry pirates wear.

The reasons why we wear jewelry

People are not satisfied with the beauty of nature. Therefore, every effort is made to dress up with the help of grooming -- from simple makeup to exquisite jewelry, to make the body perfect day by day.

But in the case of man's dull-witted ancestors, animal teeth, plant fruits, and processed wood and stone were worn mainly to protect them from natural disasters and demons. At the same time, ornaments distinguish people from animals and other tribes. In the process of decorating themselves, people gradually get rid of the original wildness and shape a unique cultural environment. 

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The importance of earrings

Earrings were considered symbolic at various points in human development. In ancient Rome, earrings identified slaves -- the Nubians, who usually pulled carts; The court buffoon wore an earring in his left ear; The pirates wore long, large earrings in their ears, hoping to gain god's protection. 

Long tradition of earrings wearing

Sailors from almost every country in the world have long liked to hang a new earring while crossing the equator. The Gipsy hung an earring on the earlobe of his son, born after the death of his last child. The Cossacks put the clan code into the earrings they wore: the left earring was the last child in the family; An earring in the right ear is the last child in the family. According to the tradition of the Cossack family being above all else, the chief was supposed to protect these men in the war and had no right to send them to risk their lives. Russian women also used earrings as amulets to protect their husbands from injury in the war. Hence the proverb, "for the sake of a good friend, even take off the earring you are wearing and give it to him."With the passing of time, many of the symbolic meanings of earrings have become blurred and completely disappeared, and now earrings, bracelets, beads, and necklaces have become a tribute to the beauty and perverse behavior.

As pirates rarely visited ports or had access to purchase new clothing, they had to take care of repairs needed to their clothing on their own. They had to be resourceful and use whatever tools they had handy onboard which included some of the goods stolen at seas such as exotic silks and fabrics.

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Differentiate a pirate through earrings: wealth symbol 

Another way to differentiate a pirate from an ordinary sailor is that pirates often wore jewelry. Jewelry was an easy way to keep your money and wealth close to you at all times.  Rings and necklaces were easily portable wealth and hard to steal since they were on their person. A famous pirate captain named Bartholomew Roberts was known for wearing a huge diamond-encrusted gold cross as a souvenir that was stolen from the Spanish royal family. Common sailors were known to wear a single gold earring in one ear. Besides being portable wealth, a single gold earring had an important purpose for the pirates. Religion influenced people to believe that in order to get to heaven, you needed a funeral. As life expectancy was limited during the 18th century, and pirates had an even shorter life expectancy as they lived a dangerous lifestyle, the single gold earring was often used to pay for their funeral after they died.  What a way to prepay for your funeral!

Gail Selinger, a pirate historian, says the myth does seem to make sense. "If you were a pirate or a thief, you would never be buried. But if you die on land, then you have money to bury yourself, "she said of earrings. Pirates don't just wear earrings to show off their wealth. In the golden age of piracy, it was known that pirates would drill holes in coins and wear them on necklaces and bracelets. "They will wear them on their wrists or necks so no one will steal their wallets. Quite a lot of these [money and jewelry] have been found. So it's not just a myth, "Salinger said. However, it is not clear how widespread this practice is.

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In addition to being the first payment for funerals, earrings and jewelry were also the targets of rebellion. In the 17th and 18th centuries, when piracy was the most rampant, most of Europe, especially Britain, made some luxurious laws, stipulating what ordinary people can wear and how to live. "It's a legitimate way for the ruling class to separate themselves from the civilian population by regulating what they wear, drink and live in," Salinger said.

The stifling laws prescribed things down to what colors people could wear, what genders could sport jewelry—men weren’t allowed—and where they could show off the approved things they could afford. Those who refused to obey these laws could face jail time or heavy monetary fines. Unsurprisingly, this culture of control didn’t really gel with the freewheeling lives of pirates. “Pirates basically gave [these laws] a, ‘to hell with you!’ The mindset was, ‘I no longer allow you to tell me what I can and cannot do,’” says Selinger.  

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Pirate flag


As a professional Gothic Ring supplier, we have a special chapter to show our pirate jewelry. You can find one that suits you in it. I bet all of these items should be put into your collection!


U live the pirate rings yall have. I ordered the skull and crossbones ring. I race motorcycles and our Team logo is Pirate Mafia.

Shane Rose June 27, 2021

Thank you! i’m thinking ab being a pirate for halloween and this really helped me seek what to and what not to wear.

Max October 28, 2020

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