Cremation jewellery has been steadily rising in popularity over the years. Keeping a loved one’s ashes in an accessory is a lovely memento to remember the person we lost, but also a pretty morbid one. Let’s take a look at this type of jewellery and why it is on the rise.

The reasoning behind cremation jewellery

From a historical perspective

Wearing jewellery to mourn loved ones is a coping mechanism that started back in the 14th century. During medieval times women wore little rings that contained ashes. They made a comeback in the 16th century, commonly known as memento mori jewels.

These mourning jewels did not necessarily contain ashes, but were mostly gold or silver rings and necklaces laced with jet black accents. One of the most famous examples of accessorizing whilst mourning, was Queen Victoria. She mourned for decades after losing Prince Albert to typhoid fever. She always wore jet-black sets of jewellery.

Urn necklace

Photo credit:

Intriguingly morbid

At first glance, you might wonder why you would wear someone’s ashes on your fingers. After all, it is a bit creepy. Nonetheless, you oguht to see it as part of the mourning process. Usually you see people wearing the ashes of their deceased pets or family. All wearers tend to say that they feel closer to their lost one, and therefore more at ease.

So, not exactly creepy when you think about it. I like to think about it as something to remember one by. It makes you think of all the good times you had with that person, or pet. Could you call the selling of your loved one exploitative? If you want to believe that? Sure, but it gives people comfort and peace of mind. That definitely counts for something. Besides, plenty of crafters started making these jewels because they lost someone themselves. I doubt they do it to exploit a passing.

The types of cremation jewellery

Glass-blown jewellery

Here in the UK, we see a lot of people make and wear glass baubles. The glass-blown jewellery is also known as memorial glass. These rings, necklaces, or bracelets are made from a blowing ashes into glass. Usually people will customize and get to pick a pattern or colour.

Usually a spoonful of ashes will do the job. Many craftsmen send the remainder of the ashes back to their customers. The result is a little coloured bauble, which is polished into a nice stone. Most stores give you the option for a gold, or sterling silver band. If you’re curious as how memorial glass is made, then definitely check out the video below.


The most traditional way of wearing cremation jewellery. Capsules are rings or necklaces that contain a tiny amount of ashes. They vary from intricate locket-designs to little flasks. Price ranges vary, but capsules are usually the cheapest option compared to the other two.


In order to create synthetic diamonds, you will have to extract pure carbon from ashes. According to Heart in Diamond, a company that creates these stones, the 2% remaining carbon that remains after cremation is mixed with a diamond foundation.

Once the chemicals are mixed, they use high temperatures and pressure to make a diamond. They might be lab grown, but are very real. So much so, that there is barely any difference between a mined diamond and a synthetic one. As with the other types, these diamonds come in a wide variety of rings, necklaces and bracelets.

memorial diamond

Photo Credit: Ashes to Diamonds

Would you wear cremation jewellery?

With all this information we can safely say that cremation jewellery might be a slightly weirder way of remembering your beloved pet or grandmother. Nonetheless it is a beautiful memento, especially when you look at all the different options you have. Most importantly, it helps people cope with the loss of a loved one. If you are interested in cremation jewellery, definitely check out the various stores on Etsy, for diamonds I highly recommend doing some research to find the best place possible. It’s a costly effort after all. A good place to start would be Heart in Diamond. They provide a lot of info about the process and pricings.