Following a bereavement, more and more people are choosing to keep their loved one close by with sentimental jewellery. This guide will help you understand the different types of memorial jewellery.
What is memorial jewellery?
Memorial jewellery, or cremation jewellery, is a way to keep the spirit of your loved one close to you, in the form of rings, necklaces, or bracelets. This jewellery can be inscribed, include features that have special significance, or can be jewellery made from ashes.
How to choose memorial jewellery
First, you’ll need to decide if you would like to have ashes incorporated into the jewellery. You don’t have to include them, instead you can opt for memorial jewellery with sentimental value.
If you do choose to create jewellery made from ashes, this means you’ll need access to the ashes of your loved one as well as a designer who can facilitate this for you. You could also choose to have jewellery to hold ashes instead, such as a locket with ashes placed inside.
If you decide you would like to have memorial jewellery, you should consider how many pieces of jewellery you’d like to have made. For instance, you might choose to have matching pieces for a few members of the family.
You may also want to consider the following:
- Rules and regulations
- Types of memorial jewellery
- Precious stones
- Personalising memorial jewellery
There are no laws prohibiting you from having ashes put into jewellery, but you will need to have the rights to use the ashes. Your local Funeral Director can advise you on this, but if you are an Executor (of the will) or relative of the deceased, you should be able to use the ashes in your cremation jewellery.
If you don’t have access to the ashes of your loved one, you can still have a special piece of memorial jewellery made, by including an inscription and even a photo.
Gold, platinum, and silver are all popular choices for everyday jewellery, as they are durable and withstand daily life. The price of your jewellery will depend on the metal type you choose, but each metal looks and feels different.
- Gold: Gold is a popular choice for memorial jewellery. Durable and bright, gold can be yellow or white in colour.
- Silver: Silver is durable, with a sleek and subtle finish. Resistant to rust and hypoallergenic, silver can be easily polished to a bright shine.
- Platinum: A softer metal, this is usually reserved for keepsakes or pieces which will not be worn day-to-day.
If you’d like to use ashes in your cremation jewellery, you’ll need to set the ashes into the piece. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Glass: Shiny and smooth, this is the most popular way to encompass ashes. Because of the complexity of the heating process, you’ll need a jeweller experienced in glassmaking.
- Resin: Resin is likely to be more durable than glass and won’t shatter under pressure. However, resin may scratch or become cloudy over time.
Memorial jewellery comes in various forms, from traditional to modern designs, and from simple pieces to delicate ones. Popular pieces include:
- Necklace (locket, pendant etc.)
Instead of ashes, you may wish to include precious stones in your memorial jewellery. Common choices include:
- Mother of pearl: Soft with a distinct shimmer, this reflects light from most angles. Mother of pearl symbolises the calming of emotions and expresses feelings of love.
- Rose Quartz: A gentle pink, rose quartz adds subtle colour to the piece. Symbolising universal love, Rose Quartz is said to bring deep inner healing and feelings of peace.
- Sapphire: Sapphires range from purple to orange but are traditionally a brilliant blue. Believed to bring protection, the sapphire is a symbol of strength and kindness.
- Ruby: Deep red, rubies signify love, passion and a zest for life. The ruby is hailed as a protective stone, said to guide the wearer away from bad energy.
- Jet: A traditional mourning gemstone, jet is associated with the protection from evil and mental stress. Jet is deep black in colour, with a polished, smooth finish.
- Birthstones: The birthstone of your loved one can be incorporated into the jewellery to signify their life. It is also popular to couple your birthstone with the birthstone of the deceased, to forever unify both spirits.
You may also choose to have the ashes compacted into a diamond. This process involves taking carbon from the ashes to form a diamond, which can be kept alone or used in jewellery.
All memorial jewellery is personal, but you can add a sentimental touch in a number of ways including inscriptions consisting of dates or messages. Fingerprint memorial jewellery is also popular, where the fingerprint of the deceased is engraved into the metal.
Advice on choosing memorial jewellery
If you would like to choose a piece of memorial jewellery in remembrance of your loved one, please contact your local Funeral Director for further help and advice on the different types of jewellery available.
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