Keepsake and Memorial Jewellery
People have been adorning themselves with jewellery to commemorate special occasions or milestones for centuries.
In early times, objects known as 'memento mori' were worn to remind you of your mortality in the hope you would lead a more 'moral' life. These pieces were often macabre in design featuring skulls and bones.
Commemorative jewellery became popular in Victorian times after Queen Victoria lost her beloved Prince Albert, in 1861. In mourning, she wore black clothing for over 40 years and she commissioned artworks and jewellery as daily reminders of her dearly departed husband.
During this era, people started developing their own ways of creating keepsakes. Wig artists created beautiful delicate pieces by plaiting and weaving human hair to create books and jewellery.
(Images from Victoriana.com)
Keeping a lock of hair is still popular today, also small amounts of fur from a beloved pet. Cremation ashes of loved ones are often placed in an urn in a prominent spot in the home. The desire to keep your loved one close to your heart has become more popular in recent times with keepsake jewellery incorporating small amounts of cremation ashes.
The first time we were asked to create a keepsake pendant was in 2007. Parents had lost their little girl and we were commissioned to make a pendant with sand from the beach where her ashes had been scattered. It was a privilege to be a part of a special project like this and create a unique piece in memory of their daughter.
Jewellery with Cremation Ashes
Deciding on a piece of jewellery that holds such dear sentimental value is a emotional journey. We are very much aware of how difficult it is to leave your precious items with us but rest assured they will be handled with utmost care and respect from start to finish.
Once you've decided on a design either from our collection or a bespoke piece, your ashes or special item is enclosed in its concealed chamber. The pendant is riveted shut to secure the contents, ready to wear and keep those special memories close to your heart. Any surplus ashes will be returned to you.
Some designs from our other collections can be adapted to incorporate ashes. In the past, we've made rings with small amounts concealed behind gemstones in rings. Below these rings were made in gold and in a recess the ashes were mixed with a clear resin as an inlay.
To remember 'Ome Bram'
A few years back after my uncle passed away, I was asked to make four different rings for my cousins in the Netherlands. Each wanted a part of their ‘Pap’ with them every day. Although I was sad to be handling my uncle’s cremated ashes it was also very special for me to be able to help my cousins to stay close to their dad.
Zac's gift to his girlfriend
Ally recently created a pendant for a client to give to his girlfriend to remember her very special cat that had recently passed away. The cat fur was concealed inside and embedded in clear resin for protection. She personalized the pendant by engraving an image of the cat on the front.
Our keepsake commemorative pendants are not just for bereavement occasions. Maybe you have a special item you would like to enclose, a meaningful prayer or love note, a piece of fabric from your wedding dress, or maybe sand from the beach where you were married?
A keepsake could also be like these silver and greenstone earrings. We rolled a piece of fabric from the bridesmaid’s dresses together with a sheet of silver through the rolling mill to leave an imprint. A perfect keepsake gift for a bridesmaid from a wedding day.
If you are after a more bespoke keepsake or memorial piece of jewellery come and have a chat with us! We are always happy to create something unique for you, we love unusual requests and coming up with creative designs for your special piece of jewellery.