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Popular Cremation Jewelry Symbols

Every culture, religion, and person holds their unique means of processing and coping with the passing of a loved one. How our experiences and emotional upbringing influence our ability to process our grief is also unique, and there is no set right or wrong mourning practices since everyone reacts to and approaches grief in various ways. 

Mourning jewelry, or cremation jewelry, may not be for everyone, but it remains a powerful physical representation of the life of a loved one who gave us so much joy. Modern cremation jewelry allows many to hold or have a part of their loved one close to them wherever they go, and many find this idea immensely comforting. 

Brief Look at The History of Cremation and Mourning Jewelry

It was during the 16th century that the Latin expression “memento mori,” meaning “remember death” or “remember you will die,” came about as the name for jewelry meant to signify passing. While it was gaining popularity, cremation jewelry often consisted of rings or armbands, rarely necklaces or brooches. Mourning jewelry was often used to pray for a dearly departed in contemplation. These early pieces served as a token to remind people of their loved ones and also as a reminder that life is a cycle with a finite end.

After Memento Mori jewelry came the Georgian era of mourning jewelry in 17th-century England. The 17th-century jewelry saw more personal pieces as a sentimental remembrance of a specific person instead of one’s inevitable end. Mourning jewelry and jewelry in general during this time was still a costly luxury that few could afford as each piece would be crafted by hand by skilled artisans. The Georgian era also brought something new to mourning jewelry, which was creating small compartments within these pieces that could hold a lock of hair from the deceased or a pinch of dirt from their grave.

Many of these pieces were intricately and masterfully crafted, using ivory or stone and hand painted, with scenes of forests or sitting rooms, somber faces, or engravings of names and dates. 

Modern Cremation Jewelry and Their Symbolism

Over time, cremation jewelry evolved to adapt to the cultures and world, with modest appearances or beautiful precious artificial diamonds or gems created from the ashes of loved ones, thanks to today’s cutting-edge technology. 

Cremation jewelry can be as simple as a pendant, a bracelet, a ring, or a pair of earrings and offers the wearer privacy to mourn and find comfort by having and holding a part of their loved one close. There is a wide array of heartfelt symbolism to be found within cremation jewelry, and today, we’ll share just a few of the most common you’ll find today. 

Circle Cremation Jewelry

The circle is a symbol used by various cultures worldwide to represent many concepts, such as wholeness, totality, original perfection, the infinite, eternity, timelessness, and the cycle of life and death. 

Within cremation jewelry, a circle represents nature’s cycles, a reminder that life is a journey with no beginning and no end, and the interconnectedness of all living things. It also serves as a reminder for many that our loved ones touched our lives and as a memento of how their influence and memories live on through us. 

The Heart and Heart-Shaped Cremation Jewelry

The heart symbol is recognized worldwide, representing the heart itself, the center of emotion, including affection, love, and romantic love. Many of us, when we lose someone we love, feel deep and sorrowful heartbreak. Many turn toward cremation jewelry in the shape of a heart to represent both the love they had for their loved one and the memory of it, for solace on their journey toward healing. 

The Butterfly

Indigenous peoples have long regarded the butterfly as a symbol of transformation, hope, and rebirth. In Chinese culture, the butterfly is associated with freedom, earthly beauty, love, and the human soul. For many, a butterfly can symbolize the transformation of the human body into the spirit, flying free of its mortal form. 

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is another widespread symbol common to many religions, beliefs, mythologies, and folktales. At times, it can represent the source of life, a force that connects all lives, or the cycle of life and death itself, and is closely related to legends of The World Tree, such as the sacred tree Yggdrasil and the tree of Knowledge said to have grown in the Garden of Eden. 

No matter the symbol, personalized cremation jewelry is a touching means to keep the memory of a dearly loved one close to us and our hearts. They provide a sense of security, closure, and love for many around the globe.

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