Would you like to keep something of your beloved close to you at all times? If so, memorial jewellery may be just the thing for you and there are lots of options about.
Memorial Jewellery Traditions
The tradition of wearing mourning jewellery, which was popular before the current trend for memorial pieces, can be traced back to the Middle Ages when death-related designs such as skulls and crossbones were used in both jewellery and art as a constant symbolic reminder of the brevity and fragility of life; the aim of this was to encourage people to live the best and most moral life they could.
When Prince Albert died unexpectedly in 1861, the effects on the UK were enormous. Queen Victoria sank into a deep depression, wearing black and sleeping next to an image of the prince for the rest of her life. This event generated the Victorian era’s obsession with sentiment, sparking the production of items of jewellery bearing such personal items as a lock of hair or a miniature Queen Victoria also made black jewellery fashionable as she wore black for forty years!
Widows were generally expected to wear full mourning for two years. Everyone else presumably suffered less – for children mourning parents or vice versa the period of time was one year, for grandparents and siblings six months, for aunts and uncles two months, for great uncles and aunts six weeks, for first cousins four weeks. Victorians certainly valued rigid structure in their lives! One cannot help but wonder if people often chose to ignore these constraints and just how ‘frowned upon’ were such breaches?
Real Life Experiences of Memorial Jewellery
I talked to someone whose beloved husband died two years ago about the real comfort she gets from her pieces of custom-made memorial jewellery and this is what she told me:
“I was vaguely aware of memorial jewellery before my husband died and sought to find something that would incorporate some of his ashes. I chose a ring so that, however cliched it may be, he could be with me all the time – and he is! I have since seen that there are a variety of pieces (and companies) that I had not previously considered, so it is worth looking around. On my first visit to the Funeral Directors, they asked permission to make a copy of my husband’s fingerprints, which I agreed to, although at the time I wasn’t sure that I would use them. The more I thought about it though, the keener I was to preserve this unique part of him. I then had an indented dog tag made, which I also wear all the time. The indentation fits my thumb perfectly and does give me comfort.”
Where to Find Custom Memorial Jewellery
One such company with whom I have recently become acquainted is See You Memorial Jewellery; Sharon Wood, a fellow funeral celebrant in Norfolk, also offers the service of setting ashes into chosen pieces of jewellery from this range. The wide selection presents a unique and beautiful way to help preserve the memory of a loved one. The defining characteristic of this keepsake jewellery is that Sharon can set the ashes or hair so they are visible in every piece because they are set in transparent resin. She also offers the opportunity for you to view the process as it’s taking place so you can be assured of its authenticity. With some really lovely pieces to choose from, plus the chance to watch the ashes being set, such pieces are special and unique. You will certainly carry your loved one with you always.
For more info please click www.sharonwood.co.uk