Cremation jewelry refers to necklaces, bracelets, and rings that include (or encase) a deceased person’s or pet’s ashes.
Also known as remembrance, funeral, or mourning jewelry, a small amount of the loved one’s remains is encased within the jewelry item as a permanent reminder and keepsake.
Such jewelry varies in appearance – heart-shaped necklaces are popular, as are crosses, keys, and ornate flower emblems, while cylindrical and cuboid shapes also act as miniature urns.
Other such keepsake jewelry designs embed the ashes in resin or glass so that they can be displayed. Cremation jewelry also frequently features engravings – messages and motifs to help the wearer better remember the deceased.
How Is Cremation Jewelry Different from Other Jewelry Types?
At first sight, cremation jewelry doesn’t seem to radically differ from regular decorative or plain metal accessories, but it is unique in its inclusion of your loved one’s ashes, displayed or encased inside.
A jewelry brand will usually request that you send a small number of the deceased’s ashes to them, which they will then insert into the necklace, bracelet, or ring centerpiece.
Colored-centered necklaces are popular – the ashes are added to a resin or glass centerpiece and displayed attractively in one of many color choices. For a subtler and more personalized effect, the ashes are contained in a locket with a closing clasp feature.
Alternative cremation jewelry encases the ashes in a miniature urn. The ashes are not – in themselves – a decorative feature but will be kept within a small inner compartment.
A more modern version sees the ashes inserted but hidden within a metal ring. Bands (usually silver-colored) can feature small chambers where ashes are inserted. These types of rings are the most conservative option, with a small mark sometimes indicating the place where the ashes are. Engravings (a person’s name, a pet’s paw print, or dates) are also extremely popular with these types.
While the popularity of cremation jewelry is still relatively low, it is a growing trend and by no means new. As far back as the 16th century, traditions of keeping a lock of a loved one’s hair or other keepsakes within a locket-type necklace, and of keeping ashes, rather than burying them, have been popular.
Cost of Cremation Jewelry
The insertion of ashes into jewelry is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, but the cost is relative to the jewelry type and metal hardware being used. These will be the most important factors relating to cost.
Inexpensive cremation jewelry can be found for as little as $50 on eCommerce sites such as Etsy and Amazon. These types of jewelry will often be made with relatively inexpensive metals (steel is common for urn-type necklaces and lockets) and will use a resin for the decorative element.
A word on resins – there is nothing wrong with this type of jewelry, but for a more consistent finish and an item that will last longer, glass (which is heated to a very high temperature before being manipulated to the desired shape) is the better but more expensive choice.
Expect to pay more than $200 for quality metal-constructed necklaces and bracelets from certified jewelers, with rings starting from around $200.
Of course, prices can exceed this, and the use of rarer precious metals can stretch the.
At the more expensive end of the market, cremation jewelry is the domain of bespoke jewelers, although luxury brands such as Cartier or Bulgari do not currently offer such items.
Types Of Cremation Jewelry for Ashes
Cremation necklaces are one of the most popular types of cremation jewelry. Employing either a central-colored resin that contains and displays the ashes or a clasped pocket function with either a housed-colored resin or an urn inside. They are delicate and attractive and are placed quite close to the center of emotion and love, the heart.
A cremation bracelet can be a discrete way to house a loved one’s ashes. Suitable for both women (traditionally utilizing colored resin to display the ashes) and (for men) a cylindrical or cuboid metal element that houses the ashes discretely in an urn. Bracelets are an ideal choice if you want to have the memento close to hand to look at frequently.
While rings are traditionally a decorative form of accessory, and while cremation rings can still be beautiful and colorful items, they offer a conservative means of housing and displaying ashes, either within a locket-type enclosure at the center of the ring or within a colored (glass or resin) centerpiece that acts as a discerning showcase.
4. Band Rings
A more subtle way of housing ashes is in a band ring. It is suitable for both men and women. The ashes are frequently kept, invisible to the eye, within a cavity inside the ring wall, acting as a miniature crypt. Small decorative elements can indicate where the ashes have been inserted, while personalized engraving such as names or dates adds a personal touch.
Dos and Don’ts of Cremation Jewelry
1. Glass, Not Resin
Glass offers a more durable and better-quality finish than less expensive resins. While there is nothing wrong with resins to contain and display ashes, consider it a slightly less premium option compared to glass.
This factor is often overlooked in favor of the type of metal casing being used or additional design features such as engravings, but for a jewelry item that will last longer and look more attractive, a glass centerpiece is preferable.
2. Demand Hallmarked and High-Quality Metal
As with any jewelry item, metal purity varies so it’s vital to confirm this – affirmed via a hallmark and manufacturer’s assertion – especially with more expensive pieces.
3. Expect an Order Pack
Always check that you will receive an order pack with comprehensive instructions when you place your order online. The cremation jewelry manufacturer is obliged to provide you with these to ensure that your loved one’s ashes are transported and housed securely and that no accidents or mistakes can take place in the construction of the ring.
You should seek every assurance that this is the case, as well as a certificate of authenticity that the ring has indeed been constructed using the ashes that you have provided. While you can expect this minimum level of assurance from most reputable jewelers, you should also expect it when paying for less expensive jewelry online.
Where Can I Buy Cremation Jewelry?
Etsy is a good starting point. The eCommerce site offers a huge selection of rings, necklaces, and bracelets at a variety of price points. While you may choose to shop elsewhere for your chosen item, Etsy is still a good place to look at the various designs available before you make your informed choice.
Here are some reviews from popular cremation jewelry stores on Etsy.
“My Father passed away unexpectedly and I was devastated. I knew I wanted something to carry his ashes that I could keep with me at all times. Looking at keepsakes and the like at the funeral home would’ve cost me over $300. Thankfully I checked Etsy and found this beautiful necklace. It’s perfect! I can’t say enough wonderful things about the owner, Bonnie. She was beyond helpful in creating a custom engraving of my Dad’s handwriting on the pendant… I just love it. The quality is outstanding and something I can wear every day. Her commitment to making this the exact way I requested is something I will never forget. Thank you, Bonnie!”Kschweizer about Just Vial
“Phil is absolutely amazing and so sweet! He endured a million questions from me. My brother unexpectedly passed away this December. Phil is truly an amazing person and I’m so happy we got these rings from him. It’s already something hard to have to do, but now my mother and I get to carry my brother with us everyday. Words can’t express our gratitude! I got two of these rings, 3mm in size. I added a little bit of red in mine. My mom got hers black.”Kyling about Stell Wagen Designs
“The most perfect piece of jewelry I’ve owned. I’m so happy I can finally bring my cat with me everywhere I go.”Dee about The Singing Koala
Are There Good and Bad Choices?
While there are no bad choices when it comes to cremation jewelry, there are better choices. As we’ve already mentioned, glass is a better-quality bedding for ashes than resin, and purer, hallmarked precious metals are always preferable to cheaper, mixed metals and plating.
It’s vital, regardless of the amount you spend, to get an order pack and a certificate of authenticity with your purchase.
In addition to that, consider the practicality and comfort of wearing the piece of jewelry. If you’re someone who uses their hands a lot for work, it might not make sense to get a ring. In this case, opt for a cremation pendant. Considering such factors can help you make the right choice when it comes to your cremation jewelry.
Cremation jewelry is an increasingly popular trend and is a tasteful and attractive way to remember a loved one.
You can choose from a variety of jewelry items, with necklaces, bracelets, and rings being the most popular currently.
Quality can vary and will be reflected in the price, with glass and purer precious metals being better but more expensive. Expect an order pack and certificate of authenticity with any purchase you make.