Earrings Served A Purpose, Even After You Died
Although they spent much of their life on the seas, they had no intention of their bodies ending up at the bottom of the ocean, also known as Davy Jones Locker. So, they used their earrings as a type of insurance policy which would be used to pay for a proper funeral.
Whether they were silver or gold, most pirates wore enough earrings to pay for a casket and other funeral necessities in case their bodies washed up onshore. Some pirates were known to engrave their homeport into their earrings in hopes that someone would get their body home.