Losing a loved one is always difficult, and grief takes many forms. Having a way to keep a reminder of your loved ones close can bring peace in a time of chaos and pain. One popular way to do this is through memorial jewelry.
Overview: Our Top Picks
- Urn necklace featuring an engraved photo ($23.99)
- Paw print urn necklace ($16.99)
- Praying hands pendant ($105.95)
- Small heart-shaped pendants ($15.99)
- Angel wing necklace ($14.99)
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Should You Look for in Vial Necklaces for Ashes?
- Types of Vial Jewelry for a Loved One’s Ashes
- Types of Vial Jewelry for a Pet’s Ashes
- Types of Masculine Vial Jewelry for Ashes
Memorial or cremation jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes. Some even have a specific vial intended to hold the ashes of a loved one or deceased pet. While many choose to scatter ashes or keep them in a traditional urn, keeping them close on a pendant is a touching tribute.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a gift for a grieving friend, there are many types of vial necklaces for pet or human ashes. Because this can be a highly emotional process, this guide explains the different types of necklaces you’ll find in your search and what to look for.
Tip: If you're looking at a range of unique options for ashes, you might consider transforming them into cremation stones with Parting Stone. Most of the stones you receive will be too large to wear as jewelry, but they make for a moving and lasting tribute to a loved one.
What Should You Look for in Vial Necklaces for Ashes?
A vial necklace for ashes is exactly what it sounds like—a necklace with a secure space for holding a loved one’s ashes. These only hold a small selection of ashes, but they’re an intimate way to keep your loved one’s memory close to your heart.
These come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re designed for everyday use or wear. Before you purchase a vial necklace for ashes, look for these things:
- Security: The most important part of this type of necklace is that the container that holds the ashes is secure. You don’t want to risk the askes falling or scattering as you wear it. Ensure it’s sealed and secure.
- Size: Another important thing to consider is the size of the vial. These typically only hold a small scoopful of ashes, but they come in other sizes depending on your needs. Most people either scatter the remainder of the ashes or keep them in an urn.
- Shape: These types of vial necklaces come in all shapes and sizes. These shapes carry their own significance and meaning, so choose something that has meaning to you.
- Durability: You want your vial necklace to be made of strong, durable material so it can stand the test of time.
- Discreet: Lastly, some of these necklaces display the ashes prominently, and others keep them discreetly secured inside. This is entirely up to you.
Whether you’re shopping for a vial necklace for yourself or a loved one, keep these important things in mind. Now, let's explore the different types of jewelry you’ll encounter.
Types of Vial Jewelry for a Loved One’s Ashes
Jewelry that holds a loved one’s ashes makes the perfect family heirlooms. This is something you’ll cherish for years to come, so it’s good that you have so many types to choose from.
1. Urn necklace
The most common type of vial jewelry for a loved one’s ashes is an urn necklace. As the name implies, this is a small pendant that resembles an urn. It’s a classic, traditional way to honor your loved one’s remains every day.
2. Heart vial
Another option is to choose a small urn pendant shaped like a heart. This represents the love you still have for your loved one, and this is an eternal feeling that lasts even after death. Since it’s shaped like a heart, this is a more discreet option.
3. Memorial diamond
For those who like jewelry with more style, you can incorporate memorial diamonds within the vial design. A memorial diamond is a diamond created with your loved one’s ashes or a lock of hair through a special pressurization process.
Though this takes longer and will be more expensive, it’s a remarkably gorgeous way to honor someone’s life. These types of necklaces are something you’ll want to wear every day.
Tip: You can send in the deceased's remains to a specialized service, such as Eterneva, that'll produce a custom memorial diamond and guide you through the process.
4. Glass vial necklace
For something more delicate, choose a glass vial necklace. Though they’re less durable than metal, these are a classic, beautiful choice. The ashes are kept within the crystal of the glass, creating a display of light and warmth.
5. Angel wings pendant
Another alternative shape is an angel wing pendant. Knowing that your loved one is out there watching over you like a guardian angel is a form of comfort and peace. An angel wing vial keeps this symbolism close.
Types of Vial Jewelry for a Pet’s Ashes
Pets really are man’s best friend. If your furry friend was a close member of the family, honor their memory with a vial pendant for a pet’s ashes.
6. Pawprint vial
A paw print is the best way to symbolize your dog or cat. These vials are shaped like a pawprint or have your pet’s unique print engraved on them. When paired with a small selection of their ashes, your memories of them are always near.
7. Locket necklace
Another alternative is to use a locket necklace with a small vial inside. These can include a beloved picture of your pet, reminding you of the special bond you shared. Because these appear as normal lockets, they’re a discreet way to honor your pet.
8. Engraved vial
It’s also possible to get the necklace vial engraved with your dog or cat’s name. If you choose a metal vial, this is a beautiful way to respect your pet’s memory. You can also include your pet’s birthday, nickname, or any other meaningful memories.
9. Ring urn
For those looking for something that can be worn in multiple ways, a ring urn is a good choice. These can be worn on your finger or with a chain around your neck. They have the same inner vial for holding a pet’s urns.
10. Charm urn
For something even smaller than the above options, you can simply get a small charm vial. These are very small urns that hold a very small portion of ashes. They can be worn on a charm bracelet, necklace, or even a keychain. They’re perfect for pet ashes.
Types of Masculine Vial Jewelry for Ashes
When looking for masculine cremation jewelry, it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. These masculine vials below are the perfect way to keep your loved ones close without attracting too much attention.
A cross or other religious symbol is a popular choice with vial jewelry. These are generally less feminine, and they come in a variety of metals and materials so you can find one that suits your style. Like the others, the cross or symbol opens to reveal a small vial for cremated ashes.
12. Bullet style urn
There’s a type of metal cremation vial known as a bullet because of the shape. The design looks like a bullet from a gun, but it functions much like an urn. It holds a small selection of ashes in a discrete way, blending seamlessly into your daily life.
13. Dog tag jewelry
Dog tags are frequently worn by members of the military as a way to identify them. After someone dies in the line of service, their dog tag is passed down to their family.
However, dog tags are also worn as memorial jewelry outside of the military as well. These can be paired with a simple vial to hold ashes.
14. Vertical bar vial
A recent style that’s gained popularity is known as the vertical bar. These resemble thick rectangles on a chain, and they can easily be engraved with a loved one’s name, birthday, or quote. They easily hold a small selection of ashes securely within the metal without drawing too much attention.
15. Celtic urn necklace
Finally, Celtic necklaces are generally more masculine in appearance than other symbolic styles. These usually feature a Trinity Knot or other Celtic symbols that carry meaning for the wearer. Though simple in appearance, they hold a loved one’s ashes close.
Where Can You Purchase Vial Necklaces for Ashes?
As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to choosing vial necklaces for ashes. There are so many places you can purchase them, as well, and this makes it possible to find precisely what you’re looking for no matter your budget. Here’s where you can purchase vial necklaces for ashes.
First, one of the best places to purchase a vial necklace is on Etsy, the creator’s marketplace. There are so many handmade and custom options to choose from, and this is a budget-friendly option. Better yet, you can read reviews to determine what’s right for you.
Amazon also has many different vial necklaces. When you shop on Amazon, you often get faster shipping and more trustworthy service, so it’s easy to see why this is a popular pick. Though there isn’t as big of a selection, it’s easy to explore different reviews, materials, and personalization.
Created with style in mind, Cara Keepsakes has a large range of vial jewelry. These are designed to hold your loved one’s ashes securely and discreetly, blending with your existing style taste. Their designs are all 10K gold or higher quality, so they do come at a higher price tag.
Another vial necklace provider is Everlasting Memorial. This online retailer helps families remember their loved ones, and they also carry cremation urns and photo jewelry. Their plated urn necklaces are stunning yet reasonably priced, creating a gorgeous treasure.
Oaktree Memorials uses the finest artisan creations to make gorgeous tributes for loved ones. The Hepburn Teardrop necklace is a favorite, and they’re always adding new designs. Available for engraving as well, this is a popular, up-and-coming retailer for memorial jewelry.
Last but not least, Stardust Memorials calls itself the leading cremation urn store in the USA. Owned by a family in Traverse City, Michigan, Stardust Memorials is a trusted source for vial necklaces. They have a variety of options, all of which can be engraved.
How Can You Put Ashes in a Vial Necklace?
When you order a vial necklace, one common question is how to insert your ashes. This is something you’ll want to do safely, and you want to avoid any unwanted messes. Luckily, it’s easier than you might think if you follow the steps below.
1. Review specific instructions
If your vial necklace came from the retailer with specific instructions, review these first. There might be specific requirements related to your individual necklace. Some providers also send a small kit to help you through the steps below.
2. Gather supplies
Having the right supplies makes this process much easier. Though you don’t need anything fancy or expensive, the right supplies ensure your ashes stay secure. What do you need?
- Small funnel
- Measuring spoons
When you’ve gathered everything above, move on to the next step. Remember, some retailers offer these supplies included, or they might have specific requirements.
3. Measure the ashes
Next, take a moment to measure the right amount of ashes. You want to follow the retailer’s guidelines strictly. If you put too many ashes into the vial, you run the risk of having it burst open later on.
You can measure your ashes using a teaspoon or small scale. When in doubt, less is more. You can always add more ashes later, so start with the smallest amount you can.
4. Open the vial
When you’re ready, open the vial necklace. Most have a small screw somewhere discreet. You can typically find it on the bottom or back of the vial shape, though you might also find it at the top. In most cases, you will use a small screwdriver to open your vial.
Once your vial is open, prop it up securely. You don’t want it to fall while transferring ashes. Having someone help you by holding it stable can be a big help.
5. Funnel ashes
Now, it’s time to funnel the ashes into your vial container. Funnel the ashes you sectioned off earlier, moving slowly. Keep your hand as steady as possible to avoid spills. If you do spill any ashes, don’t worry. You can scoop them up later and store them back in their original urn.
6. Secure the vial
Last but not least, secure your vial. Retighten the screw used earlier, making sure it’s extra tight. Test the stability of the vial before wearing it, moving it around to ensure everything stays put. When you feel it’s secure, you’re all set.
A vial necklace for ashes is a meaningful way to carry your loved one close. As long as you follow the guidelines above, this is an easy process.
Hold These Precious Ashes Close
Wearing your loved one’s ashes in a vial necklace is a sign of respect and love. A highly intimate thing, incorporating these symbols of grief and remembrance into your personal style can be a therapeutic, healing process. These vial necklaces above incorporate symbolism and function to help people find their own path through life after loss.
If you'd prefer something more traditional in addition to or instead of a vial necklace, consider creating a custom urn. Foreverence specializes in creating one-of-a-kind urns that reflect your loved one's memory in a meaningful way. This is a great way to compromise between keeping your loved one with you at home and when you're out in the world.
As the author Jandy Nelson says, “Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other.” Wearing these vial necklaces for ashes is an act of love, no matter what challenges might lay ahead. For those who wear them, they’re a small, growing glimpse of comfort.