Cremation Jewelry

What is Cremation Jewelry and what are all the options

In Uncategorized by Jason Van Duyn

Turned Wooden Urns - Spalted Magnolia Cremation Urn

I am a wood sculptor from Raleigh, NC making turned wooden urns similar to that of my wood sculpture.  This variant is what I refer as urn artistry.  Aside from the traditional vessel or cremation urn this article looks into some of the other nice options for a memorial of your loved ones.  Specifically I am writing about cremation jewelry.

What is Cremation Jewelry?  How is it different?

Cremation jewelry, and is synonyms funeral jewelry, memorial jewelry, remembrance jewelry, urn jewelry, etc., is a piece of jewelry that is designed to hold a small amount of cremains or ashes of your loved one.  Those pieces are essentially an urn necklace, etc.  They come in a wide array of styles, i.e. rings, bracelets, key chains, etc. – however the necklace or pendant is the most common.
In some cases, as with cremation diamonds, it is possible to have a precious stone made from the cremains and placed in a setting.  There is a similar process for using ashes to be made into a piece of artglass.
victorian hair broochAdditionally, there are pieces of jewelry that do not hold any cremains.  Those pieces are intended to act as memorial jewelry.  This is often the case for jewelry that contains a birth stone of your loved one.  This idea is not a new one either.  Mourning jewelry came into fashion in the Victorian era following Queen Victoria’s mourning of Prince Albert.  It was decreed at that time that Jet jewelry was to be appropriate for mourning dress.  That paved the way for other styles, such as cameos, to start depicting carvings of loved ones.  Other styles started to contain locks of hair incorporated into their jewelry designs.
In many ways cremation jewelry has just as many options as that of traditional jewelry.  Memorial jewelry is similar to traditional jewelry but is intended to be sold as a remembrance.  Otherwise, most of the jewelry that holds ashes are made to convey a normal appearance while still holding some physical component of your loved one.  That is either your loved ones cremains or some object being made from those cremains.

A necklace of ashes – how much does it hold?

cremation jewelry vialWhatever style of jewelry it is, they have a discreet compartment intended to hold a small amount of remains.  Often these compartments are threaded and hold approximately one pinch of remains.

What is the jewelry made of?

There is cremation jewelry made in just about any material that you can think of.  The most common being metal of some form.  Steel, Brass, Bronze, Stainless Silver, Sterling silver and gold are the most common materials used.  Gold and silver come in varying alloys, grades, and karat weights.
Pendants made from wood, ceramics, and glass, with literally thousands of possible options to choose from.

Is it possible to have the jewelry engraved?

Depending on the material, yes it is possible to have the pendant engraved.  Often there is an additional fee for the engraving.

How much does Cremation Jewelry Cost?

In this medium the sky is the limit, so it really depends on what direction you want to take it.  All of the large online urn brokers carry multiple thousands of choices on their websites.  As with most all of their products these jewelry options are produced overseas.  One site to the next basically have the same product.  That being said, the majority of the options they provide look to range in the $15-$200. 
Prices easily expand beyond that range when higher quality metals and precious stones are selected.
There may also be additional costs for the chain for a pendant as well as engraving options if desired.

Where can I look for Cremation Jewelry?

As with all things cremation related most people don’t want to look into it till they have to.  Thus, the majority of selling channels are online urn brokers, as it makes it impractical to have a brick and mortar store offering thousands of options.  
Do a google search for anything cremation or urn related and you will find around a dozen to two dozen sites.  Regarding cremation jewelry specifically, there are thousands of options available so it helps to be as specific as you can in your searching. 

Why choose cremation jewelry?

Victorian Jet Mourning JewelryThe idea of cremation jewelry has been around for quite a while.  Practices of ancient Roman nobles to replace gold rings with iron ones as a memorial to the dead is just one example.  Mourning jewelry gained new heights in the Victorian era as there was a demand for black jewelry, typically made of jet.  So the idea is certainly not a new one.
Cremation jewelry is just another option to honor the remembrance of a loved one.  After working with many families in selecting a vessel for their loved ones I see the weight that death can carry.  I think that for some it’s a step in the process of mourning and moving to a point of closure.  Some events are very devastating and take great emotional tole of people for years.  For some it may last the rest of their lives.
Personally, I believe that anything that helps people move on day to day during those times is a good thing.  Cremation jewelry may just be the medium that speaks to you, and there are many really attractive options.  People like beautiful things and there is much to the idea of keeping a loved one in a beautiful vessel. 
On a practical point, cremation jewelry often takes only a small amount of cremains, so it’s a good option to consider in the overall planning of what to do with the ashes of a loved one.  I often try and get people to think about their plans before selecting a vessel so cremation jewelry may work in nicely with those plans.

What are the really nice options for Cremation Jewelry?

To me this is actually the really neat part in seeing all the creative and beautiful options that people have come up with.  One of the main reasons why I started making urns as an adaptation of my sculpture is that I found much of the industry to offer the same products that, to me, feel rather cheap.

Cremation Diamonds

Cremation diamonds are fascinating to me as I hold a degree in materials engineering and I have worked with equipment similar to that used in the forming of these diamonds and precious stones.  Essentially, the cremains of your loved one, at that point is primarily carbon, and are processed into diamonds.  There has been technology for making diamonds for many years now, and this is an adaptation of that tech.

Lonite Yellow Diamond

The process is advertised to take around 6-9 months from order to delivery, and while the costs are high, in some cases they do make an interesting appeal.  In that, it is a convenient memorial while avoiding the costs of burial, which in some cases can be extremely expensive.  In certain situations the costs of getting a diamond made and set could be less than a traditional burial.

Cremation Glass

glass cremation jewelry

LockedinArt Cuff Bracelet

Cremation glass works off the same idea as that of cremation diamonds in that the remains of the loved one is used in the crafting of a piece of art glass and glass jewelry.  The glass works are as simple as glass beads and pendants, to infused display memorials, and rings.  The limit of what is possible is left to the creativity of the artisan.  The infusions typically do not require a lot of the remains so it could be another option to consider in the overall cremation plan.
Many of the companies have a collection kit that they mail to you for a small sample of the cremains to be used in the crafting of the jewelry.  There are certain regulations for the shipping of human ashes but many of these artisans cover that information.

High End Jewelry

Lee Alexander remembrance pod

Lee Alexander remembrance pod

There are a few high end companies (e.g. Lee Alexander & Co.)working in cremation jewelry.  They have taken a similar approach as me, meaning I wanted to make a more appealing better quality urn.  Those jewelers are just doing this in their media.  These companies strive to create better quality product and incorporate a remembrance pod into their designs. 
Lee Alexander Brio Pendant

Lee Alexander Brio Pendant

Typically using the highest quality metals, i.e gold and platinum, and a variety of high end precious stones.  The overall quality of their work is much more desirable than that of the mass market online urn brokers.  These pieces of cremation jewelry while much more attractive are significantly higher priced.