Cloisonne Cremation Urns: Types: Cost & How to Buy

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If you are unfamiliar with the end-of-life industry, you may assume that all caskets and cremation urns are pretty much the same. You may not realize that both vary significantly in size, style, color, and price. Caskets and urns are also categorized by the techniques used to make them.

Jump ahead to these sections:

Let’s discuss cloisonne urns, learn the different types available on the online market, and give you a list of places where cloisonne urns are available for purchase. 

Tip: If you're looking for something very unique (think a game, their motorcycle, or instrument of choice), you can custom order an urn from a store like Foreverence. You submit a design idea or sketch, then the company designs and 3D prints your urn, so you get a 100% unique container.

What’s a Cloisonne Urn?

A cremation urn is a vessel that holds the cremated remains of a person or pet. A cloisonne urn is made with an enameling technique that originated in the 13th century. At the base of this technique is a metal urn. Small wires are attached to the metal urn to create small compartments (or “cloisons” in French). Those small compartments are filled with different colors of enamel paste, which hardens after being fired in a kiln.

Cloisonne urns are made using this technique. Cloisonne urns can be monochromatic or multi-colored. The patterns can reflect nature or geometric patterns. You can purchase cloisonne urns in every color imaginable.

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How Much Do Cloisonne Urns Usually Cost?

Cloisonne urns typically range between $200 and $400. This price range is based on online prices, and they can vary by the size of the urn and the intricacy of the design. 

Even though cloisonne urn prices seem rather typical compared with any other type of urn, they can be much more or less expensive. You want fast answers to the question, “how much does an urn cost?” but the range depends on the craftsmanship and quality of materials used. 

When choosing an urn for your loved one, remember that you do not have to purchase one from the funeral home or crematorium. If the funeral home doesn’t have an urn in a design or price point that is right for you, you can purchase one from another local establishment or online store. The crematorium should be able to transfer the cremains of your loved one into whatever urn you provide.

If you choose to scatter the cremains, you may not have to purchase an urn at all. Your loved one’s cremains will be returned to you in a temporary, disposable receptacle. If you are not going to have the cremains on display at the funeral, there may be no need to purchase a decorative container. 

What Are the Different Types of Cloisonne Urns?

Cloisonne urns vary depending upon the design, shape, color, and size. Most cloisonne urns are very traditional in style but you may be able to find modern looking pieces as well. 

Here are the different types of cloisonne urns available from online retailers.

1. Cloisonne urns with animal designs

Certain animal designs bring comfort after a loved one’s death. Because of this tradition, some cloisonne urns are made with animal (usually bird) designs. Search for urns depicting butterflies, cardinals, swans, peacocks, hummingbirds, or doves. 

You may be able to find an urn depicting a cat or dog to use for holding the cremains of your four-legged friend, but this may be difficult to find in a cloisonne style.

2. East Asian cloisonne urns

Even though there seems to be a discrepancy as to where the cloisonne process originated, it became prevalent in China and Japan. Because of this, you will see many cloisonne urns that use East Asian imagery. 

Search for cloisonne urns depicting lotus flowers, cranes, and dragons.

3. Floral and leaf cloisonne cremation urns

Flowers, vines, and leaves are extremely popular subjects of cloisonne cremation urns. The art form seems to be specifically made to showcase the myriad colors found in nature. 

From roses to violets to autumn leaves, almost every type of flower is depicted in a cloisonne cremation urn. Look for a motif that reflects your loved one’s favorite type of flower. 

4. Cloisonne cremation urns with geometric patterns

Look for cloisonne urns that include geometric patterns as well. You can find multicolored circles or stripes or monochromatic patterns.

5. Companion cloisonne urn

A companion urn is large enough to hold the cremated remains of two people. They are typically made in two different styles. 

Some companion urns are large enough to hold the cremains of two individuals. A standard urn holds 200 cubic inches of material, which is large enough for a typical person. While you can purchase extra-large urns to hold larger individuals’ remains, they may not be large enough to act as a companion urn.

Other companion urns are designed to be two separate vessels that sit on the same base. 

6. Small cloisonne urn

There could be a variety of reasons that you would need to purchase a small urn. A small urn can be used for holding the cremains of a small person or child. You may also buy a small urn if you and your family members divide a loved one’s cremains. 

Small cloisonne urns can also be purchased to hold the cremated remains of pets. Although there are some rainbow bridge cloisonne urns, you may have a difficult time finding other urns made with this technique specifically designed for animals.

7. Cloisonne jewelry urn

Some mourners feel comforted carrying a bit of their loved one’s cremains wherever they go. For this reason, you can purchase pieces of cremation jewelry designed to hold a tiny amount of cremains.

While most of this type of cremation jewelry is shaped like a cylinder, you can also purchase a tiny cloisonne jewelry urn for that purpose.

Tip: Memorial diamonds are created from the ashes of loved ones, and are another beautiful option for keeping someone's memory alive. Some companies, like Eterneva, create lab-grown diamonds and allow you to pick from several cuts and colors for your gemstone.

Where Can You Buy Cloisonne Urns?

Many people are drawn to the delicate beauty of cloisonne urns. You may be wondering where you can buy one for yourself or your loved one. Here are some ideas on where to look.

Your local funeral home or crematorium

Many funeral homes have a variety of urns available for purchase. Even though you are not required to buy a casket or urn at the funeral home that services your family, you may find it convenient to do so. 

If you have a specific design of cloisonne urn in mind, you may be disappointed to find it not available at your local funeral home. In that case, you may want to search online.

Online retailers

The benefit of purchasing a cloisonne urn online is that there is a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes available. They may also be more affordable than purchasing them from a local company, but this is not always true. 

You must usually buy a cremation urn in a timely manner, especially if you want your loved one’s cremains present at his funeral in a couple of days. Some online retailers promise fast shipping but you may risk it not arriving on time.

Even though some unused cremation urns can typically be returned, you will not have that choice if you purchased a personalized or custom-made urn.

Online auction sites

You may see that there are quite a few cloisonne urns available on your favorite online auction sites.

Before purchasing these items, make sure you understand whether the piece is a decorative item that is large enough to hold your loved one’s cremains. 

Directly from the artist

Support local and global artists by buying directly from them. Whether you find a cloisonne urn on an artist’s studio or on a site created for craftspeople, you support someone who adds beauty in our lives. 

Antique stores

You may be able to find cloisonne urns at antique stores, but you need to know what you want before making your purchase.

Some urns may not be large enough to hold your loved one’s cremains. Also, make sure the lid fits snugly enough to be sealed. 

Other Things to Consider When Purchasing an Urn

Before you purchase an urn, consider its final resting place.

Some choose to bury the urn in a cemetery plot. If this is your plan, make sure you talk with the cemetery superintendent before purchasing an urn. Some cemeteries require urns to go in a concrete vault before burial. You may avoid this additional expense if you buy an urn made out of a specific type of material.  

Others choose to place the urn in a columbarium niche at a cemetery or place of workship. If this is the final resting place of your loved one’s urn, make sure the cloisonne urn will fit in the space.  

If you plan to keep your loved one’s remains on your home’s mantle, purchase an urn that reflects your loved one’s life and is beautiful to you. You may also want to match the urn to the decor of your home.

If you plan to keep your loved one’s remains at home, consider what will happen to them at the end of your life. As you make your own end-of-life plans, you may designate a final resting place for you and your loved one’s cremains. 

If you're looking for more urn buying advice, read our guides on urns for dad and urns for mom.

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