Today’s Project – Get Rid of 21 pieces of Jewelry

So when you were cleaning out your jewelry last week, did you come across any of your “guilt gems”? These are the pieces that you don’t wear, but have a hard time getting rid of.

I have several pieces, but the main piece that weighs on me is the wedding ring from my first marriage. What do you do with something like this?

It has been sitting in my underwear drawer for six years. I have had various thoughts about this ring: Do I save it for my kids? (Why would they even want it?) Do I just keep it? It doesn’t seem right to take the symbol of my first marriage, hawk it for cash, and then go to Vegas. What to do?

All these thought go through my heard and take up more energy than this little ring should.

That is, until I read Susy Flory’s book So Long Status Quo. Take a look at what Susy has done with her jewelry.

Jewelry for Water

I had jewelry, sitting in a drawer gathering dust. I didn’t wear it much. Some of it was out of style or didn’t even fit anymore. Then by chance I saw a brief video with an opening scene that turned my stomach … filthy greenish water being collected in plastic jugs by African women and children from what looked like a weedy ditch.

Some startling statistics popped up on the screen:

  • 25,000 people die from unsafe drinking water every single day
  • 80% of all sickness is attributed to unsafe water
  • It is the world’s number one killer

The video, from the Africa Oasis Project (link to:, draws support for a charity that drills deep wells and brings fresh, clean drinking water to African villages where none exists.

I wanted to help, but I had no money.

Then I thought about the jewelry in that drawer.

At home I checked the price of gold. It was trading at over $900 an ounce. I gathered up rings, bracelets, and necklaces and headed down to a local certified jeweler. While I waited for him to finish with another customer, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. My heart began to beat hard. What was I doing? Many of the pieces had been gifts for special occasions. A gold nugget necklace had been created by melting down my father’s college ring; he had died when I was 20. A stunning Italian gold bracelet had been a graduation gift. One of the rings had garnets, my birthstone. I began to have serious second thoughts. Was it really worth it? Would I be sorry in the morning? Would people think I was crazy? Would my family be offended? Would anyone understand what I was trying to do?

I thought of Jesus, telling the rich young ruler to sell everything he had. I thought of the children from the video, filling plastic jugs with green water. And I remembered my jewelry drawer, overflowing with so many things I really didn’t need as much as those children need fresh water.

Now that I look back on it, it’s simple. We have jewelry; we don’t need it. They need water; they don’t have it. So I did it; I traded my jewelry for water. And you know what? I don’t even miss it.

——-from So Long Status Quo: What I Learned From Women Who Changed the World, by Susy Flory (link to


I love that Susy took things that had sentimental meaning and traded them for something that could make a difference in someone’s live.

So here is my question for you. Do any of you know of a reputable place where I could trade my ring for cash? I want to use the money to 1) Support my friend Katie who is doing a mission to Cuba, and 2) Do microloans for a group called (More about them in an upcoming post. Kiva Rocks.)

If you know of a place – either brick and mortar or on the net, please let me know and I will get the process started.