When a loved one passes, those left behind seek comfort from family and friends. Some seek out a place that was special to the person that has passed, others even cling to dear memories but often something tangible often provides the most comfort.
Lockets for ashes could just be the answer.
These items date back to approximately the 16th and 17th century. Initially, humans kept hair, nails, and even bones of those who had passed. Later, droplets of blood were kept behind plated glass.
In the Victorian Age, it was common practice to take a family photo called a “death photo” and this is where memorial jewelry can be first seen. Hair of the deceased was woven into hats, brooches, scarves, necklaces and even bracelets. This made the mourning and the passing less heartbreaking to those left behind.
Queen Victoria made the present-day mourning jewelry popular when she wore mourning jewelry on the death of Prince Albert.
Is it Weird to Wear Ashes in a Necklace?
Memorial jewelry has changed and evolved over the ages. Over time, it became considered bad luck to carry around nails, teeth, and skin of the deceased so people started keeping locks of hair, dirt from the burial site, or even a handful of the cremains. This enabled the grieving to carry around a piece of the loved one without worrying about bad luck following them.
Today, using the ashes to preserve the memory of the deceased is common practice and this comes in many forms: scattering the ashes in a special spot, using the ashes in paintings and tattoos, keeping them in an urn close by, and lockets for ashes.
While there are several different religious views on how to keep the ashes of the loved one and even if you should keep them at all. Wearing ashes in a necklace is a personal choice, and is not weird at all for those who find comfort in it.
However, religious views should be considered. Certain religions frown upon cremation, and others believe that the cremains must be buried, to name but a few areas of concern.
I spoke to a range of people of different ages, genders, and nationalities for this article, as I was not sure how I felt about lockets for ashes. The word “weird” was not once mentioned; however, each person commented on their comfort level.
Some people loved the idea of keeping a loved one close and the constant presence of the departed. One person suggested that the idea of a memorial piece and regret was closely linked and expressed that they might regret not making more of an effort to memorialize the loved one and keeping them close as time moved on, however others wonder if this will bring comfort or hinder the healing process.
Ultimately, the choice to wear a memorial piece is a personal one, but the idea is not that different from adding a memorial tattoo.
How Much Does it Cost to Put Ashes in a Necklace?
Lockets for ashes are commonly bought by the person wishing to have such a keepsake. They receive the chosen piece of jewelry as a kit along with instructions, a funnel, and glue to seal the vial.
The cost to put ashes can range from anywhere between $70 and $2500 to have it done professionally or free (plus the necklace) if you do it yourself. This all depends on the type of jewelry chosen.
Typically, the ashes are placed into the vial by the person who intends to wear the item, so the cost is only that of the jewelry. However, for a fee, certain funeral homes will assist. They may even charge a fee for a separate urn if you request a portion of the ashes.
Important things to consider:
- The quality of jewelry. Jewelry of a cheaper quality will not be as long lasting. It may break or get tarnished quicker than that of a better quality.
- How often the item will be worn. If your cremation jewelry will be worn regularly a stronger piece should be selected. For example, perhaps a thicker chain, chunky bracelet, or even a ring.
- Style Preference. These pieces come in a variety of styles: Celtic, Gothic, or plain and simple, the piece could even be a statement piece that the wearer prefers.
- Selecting a piece that is representative of the deceased. Many people choose a piece that, besides holding the loved one’s ashes, is also in the form of something the loved one liked. For example, the loved one was an avid bird watcher, then so the wearer could pick a pendant in the shape of a bird as the memorial piece
- Returns. Possibly the most important consideration could be, not many places will accept returns on this type of jewelry due to the personal quality of the piece.
It is advised to consider these points carefully to avoid disappointment. Read reviews carefully to ensure that you are not misled by cost or subpar jewelry that will not last.
How to Store Ashes in a Necklace
This process is a relatively simple one and easy to accomplish at home. Once the cremains have been delivered, a small amount of ash (approximately half a teaspoon) is removed and then inserted into a compartment in the jewelry this cavity is then permanently sealed, either with the same metal used in the jewelry design or a small drop of glue.
If in doubt, there are several jewelers who will offer assistance or even carry out the task for a fee.
An interesting option to storing ashes in jewelry is to have the ashes compressed and made into a lab-grown diamond which can then be set into an item of jewelry.
9 Great Lockets for Ashes
1) Infinity Symbol
Symbolic of an infinitely big number, this too could be a symbol of never ending love or devotion to the one that has passed. It could also be representative of the loved ones occupation; mathematician, IT professional, or even an engineer
Cost may range, especially if you are looking for one in a precious metal. If so look for an affordable silver plated option.
2) Tree of Life
The tree of life symbolises togetherness and serves as a reminder that you are never alone or isolated.
- ♥ Immortal Tree of Life life ♥ The tree of life symbolizes positive energy, growth and strength, rebirth, a bright future, longevity, good health, and a fresh start on life. Screws from the back of tree of life urn, allowing you to place a small amount of ashes in it. like: Perfume, Essential oil, Sand or Ashes etc.
- ♥ Tree of Life Urn Necklace Size ♥The Rolo Chain of tree of life cremation necklace length : 18+2 inches adjustable,The Cremation urn ashes pendant weight:8g,tree of life cremation pendant size:1.11 inches *0.8 inches.
This is a particularly favourable option, especially if you wish to hide the ashes through the filigree tree as you can glue the locket closed.
3) Praying Mantis
A praying mantis is symbolic of peace and mindfulness
- Copper Praying Mantis: It comes with mantis design, which is creative and unique.
- Garden Sculpture: The adornment is made of brass material, very durable and practical to use.
Interestingly, in the African culture it is believed that if one sees a praying mantis in their home it is an indication of the presence of the loved one and a sign of good luck.
- Personalized Urn Necklace : You can custom this ashes locket/ necklace with a photo of your passed beloved ones and engrave message text or symbol on back side. Take the memorial cremation necklace with you no matter where you go. It must be unique urn necklace for you.
- Keep Memories Forever : This keepsake urn necklace will save the memories of your loved ones and bring you comfort. Keep it close to your heart wherever you are. With this high quality ashes necklace for women & men, you will never lose your memories!
These are especially noteworthy as they can serve a dual function. One can keep the cremains and a small photo, lock of hair or even an item dear to the person who has passed.
These make a unique option as they measure time that has passed or even distance between loved ones.
They come in a variety of colours and can be flipped when the wearer is anxious or facing a particularly hard time when dealing with the loved ones passing.
6) Crystal Pendants
- ❤Mnimalist and romantic heart design urn necklaces with one-piece 12 month birthstone inlaid, very sparkly and dainty. Keep your loved one's ash or hair close to your heart and help you get through this difficult time tenderly and slowly.
- ♚ Material: Made of 316L stainless steel with excellent polishing craftsmanship, which will make it look gorgeous and sparkling. Our heart urn necklace for ashes is nickel free, lead free & cadmium free, safe for sensitive skin and not break, tarnish, fade. To keep the ashes dry and well, we adopt waterproof design by adding a sealing ring on the cap nut.
These come in a variety of colours and shapes, allowing the wearer to personalize the item at great length.
7) Celtic Knot
This design allows the wearer a great variety of choice. One can choose between; round, oval, square or tubular designs.
- ♥ Celtic Trinity Knot Necklace ♥ The Trinity Knot is a Symbol of Eternal Love.As an unending knot that cannot be untied, Trinity Knots are now seen as a beautiful symbol of eternity, unity, love and commitment not just here in Ireland but worldwide.
- ♥ Celtic Knot Necklace Size ♥Celtic Pendant size:0.81*0.98inches,with 18+2 inches Box Chain,Weight:5g.
It is suggested that one works closely with the jeweler to avoid disappointment and to read reviews carefully.
8) Infused Artisan Blown Glass Pendant
This is where the cremains are infused into the glass. It is advised that one seeks out a willing glassblower in a large area and that one meets with them to discuss your options.
9) Memorial Diamond Pendant
Instead of the ashes being inserted into a locket, they are taken and compressed they are then lab grown into a diamond. These diamonds come in a variety of colors (clear, red, blue, green, yellow or black) and carats, ranging between 0.1 and 3 carats
Prices may shock the wearer but considered worth it.
Purchasing these items has become a relatively simple procedure, whether it be from a funeral home, a local jeweler or even online
Writing this article has been a journey of discovery in dealing with grief and the human need to comfort.
Initially, there was no way I would consider this, but after understanding the history and need for these items, I have changed my mind. These items, in my opinion, keep the loved one close, honor their memories, and can give comfort to the wearer. I lost my gran six years ago, and while I have photos and trinkets of memorabilia, they are not the same as having her here, feeling her presence.
Considering personal preference and the need to feel her presence, I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone looking to honor the one who has passed to consider lockets for ashes or some similar type of cremation jewelry.
What would you do?