When it comes to remembrance, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. People heal from grief on their own timeline, and it’s OK to find your unique path forward. Today, one popular way to honor a loved one is with cremation jewelry.
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Cremation jewelry is a type of jewelry designed to honor someone’s life and legacy. It can be as simple as symbolizing your love to actually carrying their ashes in an urn necklace. There are so many options for customizing, personalizing, and creating something truly unique and meaningful.
In this guide, we’ll share the type of cremation jewelry you’ll encounter nowadays, as well as where to buy them. No matter who you’re trying to honor, whether it’s a beloved family member, pet, or relationship, there’s a way to keep what’s important to you closer than ever.
What is Cremation Jewelry?
Also commonly known as memorial or mourning jewelry, cremation jewelry is wearable jewelry that holds someone’s urns. It’s not actually created during the cremation process, as the name implies. It’s either made using someone’s ashes or with a special compartment for ashes.
Cremation jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be worn on the arm, neck, finger, ears, or even keychains. People use these to honor someone’s memory and feel close to them after their passing.
Is cremation jewelry only for ashes?
While it’s commonly believed that cremation jewelry is only designed to hold someone’s ashes, this actually isn’t true. It’s also possible to store strands of hair, pet whiskers, and other sentimental items belonging to a loved one.
Though it’s not what you think of when you hear “cremation jewelry,” this term also refers to anything that holds a memento related to your loved one. In the Victorian era, hair mementos were common. Today, this could mean any of the following:
- Pet hair or fur
- Pet whiskers
- Baby teeth
- Cremated ashes (cremains)
- Cremation stones from companies like Parting Stone
- Dried flower petals
- Ground from the burial site
- Piece of their clothing
- Paper with their favorite perfume or cologne
There are no limits to remembrance, so it only makes sense for there to be different ways to honor a loved one. Most people only secure a small sample of their keepsake, whether it’s ashes, hair, etc., within the memorial jewelry. The rest is kept secure in an urn, scattered, or buried.
Where does cremation jewelry come from?
Believe it or not, cremation jewelry is far from a new concept. In past centuries, it was common for people to wear things to show they’d experienced a loss.
Mourning jewelry was commonly called “memento mori,” and this Latin phrase literally translates to “remember you will die.” While it sounds morbid, it was simply a reminder that life was fleeting, and we must focus on the now while remembering those who came before us.
People wore memento mori rings to honor their loved ones who passed, and these rings commonly had engraved names, dates, and more as a tribute. In the Victorian era, a new wave of mourning fashion took hold of society. It was common to wear mourning clothing, jewelry, and even locks of hair belonging to deceased relatives.
While mourning culture and dress isn’t quite so extreme nowadays, many of these traditions still stand. For example, it’s common to wear black at modern funerals. Similarly, wearing something that reminds you of your lost loved one is a powerful tribute, and it helps many find peace amidst grief.
Different Types of Cremation Jewelry
Now let’s talk about different types of cremation jewelry available today. While we’ve come a long way from Victorian mourning, many of today’s creations reflect this history.
From sparkling diamonds to personalized engravings, there are so many ways to honor the ones you love, regardless of your personal style and budget. More importantly, it’s never been more accessible to find the right cremation jewelry for your needs.
1. Vial urn
The easiest cremation jewelry to recognize is the traditional vial urn. This is literally a vial pendant that has a secure interior for keeping someone’s ashes or other mementos. The vial is often engraved with designs, wording, names, dates, and so on to create something truly personalized.
Vial urns come in a variety of metals, materials, and sizes. They can be discreet or more noticeable depending on the particular style. This is the most commonly recognized type of cremation jewelry since it resembles a traditional urn. Jewelry Keepsakes offers a variety of vial urns in all styles and materials.
2. Locket necklace
Another type of cremation jewelry is a locket-style urn. These lockets typically have space for a photo of your loved one as well as ashes or another memento.
The most common shape is a heart, but you can also find different symbols as well. When it comes to white gold cremation jewelry, these are available from custom sellers on Etsy.
3. Cremation bracelets
A cremation bracelet is an option for anyone who prefers to keep their loved one close. These either contain a pendant for holding someone’s ashes, or they can also be hollow through the interior.
Cremation bracelets come in both masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral styles, making them easily wearable.
4. Cremation rings
A cremation ring is usually in the style of a traditional banded ring. The interior is usually hallowed, allowing for a small amount of ashes or hair to be stored securely inside.
These are more discreet, and the wearer can choose to wear them as a ring or as a necklace on a chain. Everlasting Memories offers these rings in a variety of styles.
5. Resin crystal
A common element of memorial jewelry is to feature a resin crystal. These are crystals created from clear resin, ashes, and other colors. The ashes create a unique pattern and style, allowing someone’s legacy to turn into beautiful art. These crystals adorn jewelry of all shapes and sizes.
While you can find unique resin crafters in-person and online, they’re most commonly found on Etsy. Another retailer is Spirit Pieces, which turns remains into custom glass and resin jewelry.
6. Memorial diamonds
Did you know you can also turn your loved one’s ashes or hair strands into memorial diamonds? It’s true, using a pressured carbon process, it’s possible to transform ashes into a memorable, gorgeous diamond.
These diamonds can be used in any of your favorite jewelry settings, from rings to necklaces. They’re a powerful form of remembrance, and they show that beauty truly can come from love. Eterneva is the leading source for memorial diamonds online, and they’ll work to find the perfect way to honor your loved one’s life.
Last but not least, it’s important to recognize that not everyone wears jewelry daily. However, most people carry keys with them everywhere. A memorial keychain serves the same purpose as all of the jewelry above, and it’s still a stylish accessory to carry with you.
A memorial keychain typically has a pendant or hallowed interior for securing your loved one’s ashes, hair, or another memento. Because you always carry your keys with you, you’ll never have to worry about your loved one not being near.
Cremation Jewelry Tips
Whether you choose to turn your beloved pet ashes into diamond or save pieces of your loved one’s hair, memorial jewelry is a powerful tribute. Knowing that your loved one is always close can help ease the burden of grieve, no matter where you are in your personal journey.
When choosing the right cremation jewelry, consider these tips:
- Wearable: Not every type of cremation jewelry is wearable for every day. For instance, you might not feel comfortable wearing a memorial diamond on a daily basis. This depends on your personal style and comfort level, so keep this in mind.
- Durability: You’ll also want to ensure whatever you choose is built to last. The last thing you want to worry about is whether your loved one’s ashes are safe.
- Discrete: How discrete do you want this jewelry to be? While rings and bracelets easily blend into your current style, a vial urn might be more obvious. Consider whether you’re open to people asking you about the jewelry and its meaning to you.
- Back up memento: Ensure you’re not storing all of your loved one’s ashes, hair, and so on in your cremation jewelry. While it’s powerful to have this close throughout the day, you also wouldn’t want to lose your only reminder of them. If possible, keep the majority of their ashes at home in an urn.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your comfort. Grief takes many forms, and what feels right to you might not feel right to someone else. Trusting your gut and your intuition is the best way to find the right cremation jewelry.
Creating a Lifelong Legacy
Memorial jewelry is just another part of someone’s legacy. When our loved ones die, they don’t really leave us. They continue on in our memories and our love. Cremation jewelry puts these feelings into something physical, giving us something to carry close every day.
Whether you decide on a cremation locket or memorial diamond, know that your loved one is with you during this process. Having something physical to symbolize your love is very meaningful. Legacy comes in so many shapes and sizes. How do you honor those you love?