A Guide To Cremation Jewelry

Most families and cultures have their own traditions regarding how to memorialize a lost loved one. Some stick to a traditional burial funeral, while others opt for cremation. In the case of the latter, the question of what to do with the loved one’s ashes is sometimes one for debate. Some families commit their loved one’s remains to nature; others place them in cremation urns. Another option is to turn them into keepsakes, such as cremation jewelry.

A Brief History of Cremation Jewelry

Though new to many, the concept of cremation jewelry has its roots in many cultures of recent and ancient history.

In the past, some mourning customs dictated that jewelry be worn to signify that someone had recently suffered a death. This practice was especially widespread during the Victorian Era when mourning jewelry was often worn to express grief. These jewelry pieces also became family heirlooms to pass down from one generation to the next.

While they frequently took the form of lockets with the photo of a loved one inside, mourning jewelry using the hair of the lost loved one was also common. These pieces were intricately designed and lovingly worn or displayed by family members in memory of the deceased.

Cremation ash jewelry only became popular in the late 20th century. Before this, cremated remains in Western cultures were generally only placed in an urn before being buried, scattered, or placed in a columbarium. In the early 1990s, a family who suffered the death of their mother commissioned a piece of jewelry to contain her ashes. Not long afterward, the company began offering jewelry for ashes to other customers as well.

Types of Cremation Jewelry

Jewelry for ashes has grown in popularity since the 1990s, especially as cremation has become the preferred way of honoring lost loved ones for more and more people. Often selected as personal mementos following cremation, cremation jewelry is available in a nearly limitless array of styles, from classic to whimsical. You can also have a personal message engraved on the inside to make the jewelry piece even more meaningful. Below is a list of the common types of cremation jewelry you can find:

  • Cremation jewelry pendants and necklaces: A cremation necklace or pendant keeps your loved one close to your heart. You can find cremation pendants in every shape, size, style, and material to honor your loved one. From simple cylinders to glittering crystals, gemstones, and colored glass, the options are endless. Cremation pendants can also be personalized with the initials of the deceased or a meaningful sentiment.
  • Cremation bracelets: A cremation bracelet allows you to carry the memory of your loved one in the palm of your hand. It can also be comforting to feel the weight of a bracelet encircling your wrist, reminding you of your loved one’s presence wherever you go. You can also convert a cremation pendant intended for a necklace into a charm for a bracelet of your choice.
  • Cremation rings: This is probably one of the most personal types of cremation jewelry. These are typically made to fit the finger of the individual who will wear the ring.

What Materials Are Used In Making Cremation Jewelry?

In general, keepsake jewelry is crafted from high-quality materials that are made to last. Thus, you’ll find cremation jewelry in precious metals like sterling silver and gold, as well as other materials like titanium, bronze, pewter, and stainless steel. Some companies also offer gold vermeil and gold plating as alternative options.

Keep in mind the different properties of the metals when selecting urn jewelry for ashes since some might cause irritation for those with sensitive skin or metal allergies. Pieces in 14-18 karat gold, stainless steel, sterling silver, and titanium are some of the more hypoallergenic options out there. Also, note that some metals are more prone to tarnishing than others. Sterling silver is one such metal. Pewter is another. Stainless steel, on the other hand, does not discolor and will only require occasional cleaning if you wear the piece every day.

Why Choose Cremation Jewelry?

Everyone processes the grief of losing a loved one differently. While some might be unnerved by the thought of wearing cremation jewelry, others might find solace in keeping a small portion of their loved one’s cremation ashes on their person. It can also be a way of coping with the loss of the deceased’s physical presence by carrying a small daily reminder of them wherever you go.

Keepsake cremation jewelry can also make for a thoughtful funeral or sympathy gift if someone you care about has lost someone dear to them. Of course, you would need to discuss it with them beforehand to find out if they would appreciate this kind of gift since everyone has different opinions on how to honor lost loved ones.

Ultimately, these beautiful pieces serve as memorials for those who have passed on, bringing a small measure of comfort to the ones they leave behind.

Caring for Cremation Jewelry

The steps you need to take to ensure that your memorial jewelry continues to look good for years, even decades, to come depend entirely on what the piece is made of. Most precious metals will require cleaning every few years to keep them looking their best. This can be easily done at home provided the item is not heavily soiled. However, note that cremation jewelry for ashes should not be submerged in water or any other liquid. It is, therefore, recommended to remove them before swimming, showering, or bathing.


What is cremation jewelry?

Cremation jewelry refers to any kind of jewelry that can hold ashes. It allows the wearer to carry the cremains of a loved one wherever they go. The options for jewelry for ashes are endless, from cremation necklaces and pendants to bracelets and rings.

What kinds of jewelry for ashes are there?

The most common type of cremation jewelry for ashes is the necklace. These feature a pendant with a compartment for holding a small amount of ashes. There are many unique cremation pendant designs, ranging from simple cylinders to hearts, crosses, and angel wings. Cremation jewelry pendants can also be converted into charms for bracelets.

How do you fill cremation jewelry?

All cremation jewelry pieces come with a filling kit for inserting the ashes yourself or with the assistance of a funeral specialist. The kit usually comes with detailed instructions and includes a small funnel and adhesive.

Can you wear cremation jewelry in the shower?

It is not recommended to wear your cremation jewelry during any activity involving water, such as swimming, showering, or bathing. Not only can the water, soap, and chemicals damage the piece but also its contents.

Is cremation jewelry a good gift?

Cremation jewelry is deeply personal. If you intend on purchasing it as a gift for someone, find out beforehand if it is something they would actually like to receive.


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