Mourning jewelry is not a new concept. After all, mourning jewelry can be described as an adornment that the living wear to remind themselves of deceased loved ones. However, while this display of grief isn’t new, the design of mourning jewelry has changed – especially over the last several decades.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is Modern Mourning Jewelry?
- What Are Some Different Types of Modern Mourning Jewelry?
- How Much Does Mourning Jewelry Typically Cost?
- Where Can You Buy Modern Mourning Jewelry Online?
Cremation is now more popular than burial in the U.S. This fact has caused mourning jewelry designs to change. First, we will discuss the most prevalent type of mourning jewelry today and give you a list of the kinds of mourning jewelry used throughout the decades. Then, we will help you find sources that sell these types of adornments.
What Is Modern Mourning Jewelry?
With the rise in popularity of cremation over burial, modern mourning jewelry typically refers to necklaces, bracelets, and rings that have small receptacles designed to hold a minuscule amount of cremation ash. However, there are many different styles of cremation jewelry.
Additionally, modern mourning jewelry may also refer to jewelry displaying diamonds or gems created using a tiny portion of cremation ash.
Even though cremation jewelry continues to rise in popularity, mourners sometimes ask jewelry designers to make customized pieces of remembrance jewelry. These pieces do not necessarily hold ash or are made from ash. Instead, they may be pieces with a design that reminds you of your loved one.
For example, you might choose a cross or other religious symbols that remind you of the afterlife. Others might have a piece engraved with a phrase such as “always in my heart” or the deceased’s initials.
Let’s discuss some of the different types of modern mourning jewelry in more detail.
What Are Some Different Types of Modern Mourning Jewelry?
You can’t learn about grief jewelry without knowing about the practices of the Victorians. Queen Victoria popularized mourning dress after her husband Albert died in 1861. The jewelry utilized in this period ranged from cameos and hair jewelry to pieces made from black glass, enamel, agate, ivory, pearl, garnet, gold or yellow metal, and onyx.
Of course, you can find vintage jewelry or new jewelry made to look like Victorian mourning jewelry online. However, here are some modern versions of jewelry that commemorate a loss.
Cremation diamonds refer to diamonds made with a tiny portion of cremated remains. During this process, carbon is extracted from the cremains (or hair) to grow a diamond. The diamond looks no different from another diamond, thus increasing its appeal.
Cremation diamonds are relatively expensive. The cost depends on the size and cut, but they may cost tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, some cremation diamond companies will also set the diamond in a piece of fine jewelry that further adds to its cost.
Cremation diamonds also take months to grow.
Even though cremation diamonds are expensive and require patience, there are many benefits to this type of cremation jewelry. A cremation diamond will become a treasured family heirloom. Do you remember the tagline used by the diamond industry? (“A diamond is forever.”) While pieces of furniture go out of style and China is difficult to store and clean, a diamond is a coveted family heirloom.
Cremation diamonds are also sentimental pieces. Since a tiny portion of cremation ash is used in its creation, those wearing the jewelry may feel closely connected to the one they love every time they wear it.
Another benefit of cremation diamonds is that because so little ash material is used in its creation, you can make as many diamonds as you can afford. Or you can divide the cremated remains and scatter some, inter some, and create with some.
Finally, owners of cremation diamonds can share the creation story of the diamond with others – or they can choose to keep the fact that cremation ashes were used in its formation close to their hearts. On the other hand, cremation urn necklaces may be harder to mask.
Perhaps diamonds aren’t your preferred style, or another type of gemstone speaks to you. If that’s the case, you can hire a company to grow a cremation gem in your preferred cut and color. Perhaps you can select a favorite color of the deceased.
Depending on the company, cremation gems or crystals may not take as long to create as a diamond. The process is also less expensive than growing a diamond.
Like cremation diamonds, cremation crystals or gems are great family heirlooms. You can share the story of how they were created with others or keep it to yourself.
Cremation glass pendant
While the carbon from cremated remains can be used to grow synthetic diamonds or gemstones, you may also purchase a glass pendant that holds a tiny portion of cremated remains. The cremains are added during the glassblowing process.
While cremation glass pendants are available, it seems that decorative glass orbs are the most popular style of this type of artwork. The decorative glass orbs can be created in any color and displayed in your home as a remembrance piece.
Urn necklaces go by several different names. This jewelry style may also be referred to as ash necklaces or jewelry for ashes. Unlike the previous examples, urn necklaces aren’t made from or with cremation ash. Instead, they are designed to hold a tiny unaltered segment of cremation ash.
It is worth noting that some people choose to insert a tiny portion of soil from their loved one’s grave instead of using cremation ash. This would be an appropriate choice for a person whose loved one was buried or had their cremated remains interred in a cemetery plot.
There are many different urn necklaces styles, and none of them look like a traditionally-shaped urn hanging around your neck. In some designs, it is clear that the wearer is wearing a pendant that holds something. This style may even be engraved with the phrase “I carry you with me.”
However, some urn necklaces are less noticeable because the receptacle may be hidden within the design.
Other types of urn jewelry
While most of our discussion has centered on necklaces with pendants, you can also find other pieces of jewelry that hold cremated remains. You can purchase rings, bracelets, earrings, and even keychains. Both masculine and feminine designs are available.
Flower petal jewelry
Do you still have the flowers from your loved one’s funeral? Some choose to do something special with the dried petals. Projects range from funeral flower rosary beads or necklaces to pressed flowers used in jewelry pieces. This might be a DIY project if you are crafty, or you can hire a designer of Etsy (or a local artist) to complete the task for you.
Like the Victorians, you may also choose to wear a piece of jewelry that reminds you of the deceased. For example, you might select a locket that holds a tiny picture of your loved one. Perhaps you might choose a heart pendant with the deceased’s initials engraved on it. The meaning behind the piece can be less obvious. For example, if the deceased loved elephants, you can buy an elephant pendant to wear in memory.
Some jewelry designers specialize in memorial jewelry, or you can commission a customized piece.
Pet remembrance jewelry
Many remembrance jewelry designers have distinct categories for pet mourning jewelry.
How Much Does Mourning Jewelry Typically Cost?
Mourning jewelry ranges in price from less than $50 to tens of thousands of dollars. Inexpensive pieces of cremation urn jewelry can cost less than $50. However, creating a diamond out of your loved one’s ashes will be a relatively expensive process.
Where Can You Buy Modern Mourning Jewelry Online?
There are an abundance of online retailers that sell mourning jewelry. Here are a few to consider.
Several companies create cremation diamonds, but Eterneva seems to have a significant portion of the market. Growing a cremation diamond with Eterneva starts at $2,999 and takes 10–12 months.
EverDear is a company out of California that will create a diamond out of your loved one’s ashes or hair. The beginning price point is cheaper than Eterneva’s, as this company’s projects currently start at $695.
If you are interested in a piece of glass jewelry created with a small portion of your loved one’s remains, consult with Spirit Pieces. This website has a wide variety of offerings, including some that also use flower petals in the design.
If you would rather, Spirit Pieces also sells glass orbs and other non-jewelry items that are made using a portion of your loved one’s remains.
Cherished Emblems sells a wide variety of cremation urn pieces, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and keychains. Most are designed to hold a tiny portion of remains, and the website has a special category for those mourning the loss of a pet.
Not Sure What To Do With Cremation Ashes?
We know that many families struggle with what to do with cremation ashes. Some families argue about the decision – especially if a plan was not made by the deceased before they died.
In some cases, a compromise may be obtained if a family divides the ashes among the family members (if permitted by your faith group). That way, a portion of the ashes may be interred in the family cemetery plot, and another tiny segment may be used to grow cremation diamonds.