History of Memorial Jewelry and Cremation Jewelry

Published: 23rd February 2010
Views: N/A

When cremation jewelry as we know it today was introduced in the mid-1990s, many people just didn't know how to react. Some people considered jewelry for ashes to be a novelty or a matter of curiosity; others saw it as distasteful or morbid. In the years that followed, ash pendants gradually gained acceptance, and today cremation jewelry continues to grow in popularity as a dignified and personal way to memorialize a loved one.

What a lot of people don't know is that the concept of memorial jewelry really is not new. The keepsake pendants we see today, with hollow chambers designed to hold cremated remains, a lock of hair, or crushed flowers from the funeral of a deceased loved one, are a relatively new creation, but memorial jewelry in one form or another has been around for centuries.

In Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries, brooches and rings featuring skulls or cameos made of black and white enamel were worn as a reminder that life does not go on forever and death is inevitable. Later, during the 17th and 18th centuries, mourning rings were presented as gifts to friends and families of the deceased. The memorial jewelry rings of that era signified deceased's position in society (married or single) and often featured images related to death such as a coffin, a cremation urn, or a serpent - or sometimes a likeness of the deceased. Mourning rings often bore an inscription with the name of the deceased, along with dates of birth and death.

Following the death of Prince Albert of England in 1861, his wife, Queen Victoria ordered her court to adopt the same strict code of mourning she embraced herself. The only jewelry allowed during the mourning period was dark memorial jewelry made from such materials as gutta percha, black oak, jet, and black glass. During the same period across the ocean in America, the Civil War was being fiercely waged, and many soldiers lost their lives. Before a young man marched off to war, he would leave a lock of his hair with his family. If he did not return from the war, the women in his family would braid and weave his hair into memorial jewelry, or encase the hair in locket on a keepsake pendant or brooch.

Modern-day cremation jewelry is another step in the evolution of the memorial jewelry of centuries ago. Today, cremation jewelry also answers a social need, allowing family members to share a loved one's ashes among themselves, even when they are separated by many miles.
For more information regarding Cremation Jewelry and memorial jewelry , please visit www.cremationjewelry.com

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore