history of cremation jewelry

History Of Cremation Jewelry

In the hours of grief, people endure loss in many ways. The ones left behind look for means to memorialize the remains of a departed loved one. Traditionally speaking, most people either spread the ashes or hold the cremains in an urn. However, a rather relatively new concept and on the rise is cremation jewelry. Keepsakes of the dead as they say, a fine mingling of one’s own mortality and an honorary token from the deceased.

In the old times, cremation jewelry was often referred to as grief jewelry, remembrance jewelry or memorial jewelry. Throughout history, people keep tangible mementos to acknowledge one’s passing. Whether it’s for spiritual confidence or a desperate plea to lighten a traumatic occurrence, these commemorative treasures retain their appeal.

Cremation Jewelry Over the Years

Tracing back to the ancient Romans, the earlier mankind eternalized their mourning by creating keepsakes from bones, skin, and blood. Apparently, these concrete portions are used as necklaces, bracelets, and pendants carried around as a sort of remembrance.                                             

Sixteenth Century

At the spark of the 16th century, cremation jewelry took a plethora of shapes and forms. Back then, it was nicknamed “Memento Mori”, a Latin word that translates to “remember you must die”. Initially, donning these ornaments didn’t exactly pride a specific person. Its main resolve is to encourage righteous living and to pray for the life’s lost. Though it seems morbid parading pieces depicting death, its popularity soared and took in many forms.

Seventeenth Century

Transcending into the 17th century, memorial jewelry brought in a fascinating light. In this period, the concept of honoring memories of loved ones through wearing a ring became widespread. It’s a daily reminder of a loss that continues to gain influence. The name, age, dates of birth, and death of the dearly departed are carved on the ring. 

Victorian Period

Famous for her boundless cultural expansion, Queen Victoria spearheaded memorial jewelry’s popularity in the Victorian era. She even had one made to mourn her late husband Prince Albert, a trinket created from fossilized coal. With her uncanny preference, the ordinary population took an everyday liking.

Rings became the most prevalent remembrance jewelry. However, as the keepsakes grew extremely common, it’s form extended to bracelets, lockets, earrings, necklaces, and even pendants. These items of jewelry often incorporated a lock of hair from the person who perished.

Evolution to Cremation Jewelry

As time progressed, memorial jewelry or remembrance jewelry took a new life as cremation jewelry. Technological advancement allowed sophisticated techniques to integrate ashes leftover into elaborate jewelry pieces such as cremation earrings and cremation bracelets

Though the old ways basically link memorial jewelry as a sign of mourning, nowadays it symbolizes optimism for life. Its creation represents a person’s wonderful times here on earth, evoking happiness and warmth, fashioned to last for many years.

For centuries, mankind has found ways to honor the life of someone who’s passed away. Death may leave a permanent mark, a heartache no one can heal. But, over time the pain loosens and the bereaved regain their vitality to continue living. While tangible pieces of jewelry embedded in ashes will never suffice, it is a poignant way to keep memories alive.

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