6 Pieces Of Personal Jewelry That I've Kept Over The Years — And My Reasons For Such Sentimentality

Our personal jewelry can be some of the most timeless and sentimental components of our outfits. In fact, I'm sure jewelry outlasts most clothing... I mean, really nice rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets can become family heirlooms. So I'm taking the time to reflect upon my personal jewelry and why I've held onto certain things above others.

While none of the personal pieces I'm going to be featuring here are necessarily comparable to that level of a keepsake, they nonetheless embody sentimentality for various reasons. I try not to be a hoarder, and I often de-clutter my personal belongings, but there are just some things that we women can't get rid of — and rightfully so.

These six pieces span a timeline, from my childhood to recent years, encompassing different aspects of my growing up and becoming a woman. They serve like physical milestones marking the major points of my female human experience.

The interesting thing is that most of them weren't actually expensive pieces of jewelry, which could possibly be because of my upbringing or lifestyle, or because most of the beautiful, most personal things in life aren't really made up of money. But it's fun to know that I still occasionally wear most of these items, and that they are a lovely reminder of who I am and where I come from.

1. My Panda Ring

I don't exactly remember my age when I got this, but I do recall asking my parents to buy me one. They were a '90s trend I remember all of my friends having and adoring one. I'm not really sure where they came from or who manufactured them, and it's hard to tell from the photo, but there seem to be actual Chinese characters on the back.

Mine can only fit on my pinky these days, but I still wear it sometimes, despite the bent band part (which happened when I slammed my finger in a car door as a child). I think this piece represents my innocence as a young girl who just really loved animals and playing all the time.

2. My Sweet 16 Earrings

Obviously, I got these earrings on my sixteenth birthday. The major presents that year were my driver's license and my first car (I still have the key to as another keepsake from that year). But I remember getting these earrings as a gift from a friend, and I've never been able to let them go. I think because I knew they'd always remind me of turning 16 and the freedom I experienced in that moment.

3. My Great Grandmother's Necklace

I don't know how out of all of her great granddaughters, I got this piece of jewelry when she died, but it never fails to remind me of her. Although I wasn't as close to her as my immediate grandmothers, she was the only great grandmother I knew, and I've come to realize it was from her that I must have inherited quite a few of my loves — like roses, tiny things, and the color yellow. I also got two amazing vintage, yellow chairs and some pieces of her fine china (with tiny roses on them) when she passed. And they've all stayed close to my heart.

4. My DIY Beaded Bracelet

One time in college, my roommate and I came across a cute bead shop in the downtown area of the city we went to college in. We stopped in, and I made the bracelet pictured above. The color scheme tends to go with most of my clothes, which are usually centered around earth tones — so I've kept it. But I think the real reason I still have it is because it reminds me of those four years at my university, the city I basically became an adult in, and the fun and exciting times I had back then.

5. My Rose Earrings

I bought these Topshop earrings in 2010, and though it's only been five years, I know they'll be a staple in my jewelry collection for years to come. Roses will always be timeless and lovely, and these particular buds are quite large and cover the entirety of my ear lobe, so they really act as a statement piece. I love that they are grey, too, which makes me love wearing them even in the winter.

6. My Five-Year Anniversary Necklace

When my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, we renewed our vows in a special ceremony. I bought a pretty dress, got my hair done, and basically had another mini-wedding. Because, hey, who wouldn't want another wedding (without the break up though)? I bought this long, double-chained Dorothy Perkins necklace as the perfect statement piece on the backdrop of my cream-colored dress. The heart next to the pearl on the second chain actually says LOVE, and I couldn't use a better word to describe the reason I've kept this one.

Images: Author's Own