The History of Mourning Cremation Ashes Jewelry.

The History of Mourning Cremation Ashes Jewelry.

Victorian Mourning Jewelry

Victorian mourning jewelry has always inspired me. More and more people are realizing just how beautiful it is. It comprises cremation jewelry, urn jewelry, ashes jewelry, pendant, rings, and memorial jewelry. Cremation jewelry, also called memorial jewelry, funeral jewelry or remembrance jewelry is simply a way for people to hold close to a loved one. As people host modern memorials, Victorian mourning jewelry is increasingly being worn when someone passes away.

I have been making jewelry for over 25 years, but when my mum died my collection took a different turn. I wanted to have my mum with me always, so the Holding Collection began. My mum’s symbol to me was the Crescent Moon.

I designed the moon, placing her ashes inside and permanently sealing the piece so that the opening is not visible. Her favorite color was Purple, so I set an Amethyst Stone to add to the beauty of the Moon.

Pieces are inscribed with messages and modern technology is even used to embed the ashes or infuse the DNA of your loved one. The truth is that the appeal of cremation jewelry is nothing new. Cremation jewelry comes in all shapes, styles, sizes, and price ranges depending on how you want the piece adorned.

People looking for jewelry to keep their loved one or pet close will feel the comfort the piece brings. Grieving pet loss/ people loss is what inspires the creation of my cremation ashes  jewelry. Each handmade piece takes anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete. All you need to do is mail half a teaspoon of the ashes. The remains are added inside the piece and permanently sealed to ensure that you are close to your loved one.

Symbolism and History behind Victorian Mourning Jewelry

From the macabre to the nostalgic, understanding the symbolism and history behind antique mourning jewelry will make you realize what it is all about. Mourning jewelry has a history that goes back to the 17th century. However, it was not until the 19th century when Queen Victoria wore mourning jewelry on the death of Prince Albert that mourning jewelry gained immense popularity. Since Prince Albert died at the age of 42, he passed away at a very young age. His death devastated the Queen which led to her entering a deep state of mourning and only wearing black for the rest of her life.

Visual symbols of death tend to be traditional in most societies across the globe. There are different types of mourning jewelry that indicate bereavement. The fact is that mourning jewelry has roots that go back to the Tudor period. Now, as you might already know, the Victorians had strict etiquette and dress code for mourning. Things were much harder for women as they had to keep up with traditions. Although mourning was not expected to last a lifetime, widows had to grieve the death of their husbands in public and wear clothes for anywhere from 2 to 3 years.

The first year of the demise was a deep mourning period which required widows to wear plain black clothes and a veil which was not allowed to be removed when in public. However, accessories were not permitted. Once this period ended, women could wear appropriate styles of jewelry.

The half-mourning period lasted until 6 months. Then, women had the option to not wear an entirely black dress. It was a societal expectation for women to wear mourning clothes during the Victorian period. If any woman failed to adhere to the pressure, their reputation was affected along with their status symbol. It was only during the latter part of the mourning period that women sought the most expensive and elaborate mourning clothes and jewelry. In addition to this, mourning was symbolized by wearing individual pieces of jewelry such as a cremation pendant/necklace, urn jewelry, and cremation jewelry. The development of mass production paved the way for more people being able to afford the jewelry.

Which Type of Jewelry Was Worn by Victorians During Mourning?

Just about any type of jewelry, from earrings to rings and necklaces to brooches could be designed specifically for mourning. In fact, lockets were very popular. The same goes for watch chains which men wore while mourning the demise of their late wives. It was quite typical for Victorian women to wear a brooch on a high collar. The modesty of the wearer was just as important.

Symbols of Victorian Mourning Jewelry

Victorians used to preserve the hair of the deceased to memorialize the loss. Apart from preserving hair, it was quite common to incorporate other symbols such as skulls and bones in the design no matter how morbid it might be. Death and mourning were symbolized by clasped hands, chrysalis, Catherine wheel, bones, and arrow. Similarly, weeping angels, urn, teardrops, lamb, curtains, and crossed swords were included as well.

Why Did People Stop Wearing Mourning Jewelry?

Since wearing mourning jewelry was very popular, it sounds strange for its popularity to experience a decline. Mourning jewelry was only one aspect of the culture of death. The thing about fashion is that it is quite common for it to become unattractive and outdated with the passage of time. Women were increasingly frustrated by the restrictions in place in the 19th century on dress codes during the Edwardian period. This led to a more independent attitude towards fashion including what should be worn during the mourning period.

The spectacle surrounding mourning clothes was questioned as garish and old-fashioned by both men and women. The same perspective was adopted for mourning jewelry. Even though the practice continued until the 1920s, the periods of mourning were eliminated after a few years. The abandonment of mourning jewelry continued for decades to come until just recently when we rediscovered the importance of supporting the bereaved who want to display their true emotions and discuss the importance of death.

What Makes Victorian Mourning Jewelry Unique?

If you are intrigued by the history behind Victorian mourning jewelry, you are likely to want to know about what makes it unique. Here are some of the things that make it different from just about everything.

Features Reminders of the Person Who Has Died

One of the things that makes Victorian mourning jewelry and mourning jewelry, in general, unique, is that it shares reminds of the loved one who has passed away. It includes symbols of death, a photograph, or even hair. Thus, anyone who wears mourning jewelry gets to remind others and themselves of life without someone whom they loved deeply.

Include Symbols of Death

There is just something about symbols of death that many people find attractive. The reason behind it might be difficult to describe. However, looking at symbols of death simply makes sense. It tells us that everything will be fine even if someone whom we loved is no longer with us. As mentioned earlier, a variety of symbols of death can be used to remember a loved one. You can even choose a symbol of death that your loved one is associated with. In fact, most of the emo and Goth accessories are inspired by Victorian mourning jewelry and the display of the symbols of death.

The Use of Black Settings and Stones

If there is one thing that many people will agree with, it is the fact that everything is much better in black. It explains why cremation jewelry, urn jewelry, ashes jewelry, and cremation pendant/necklace are so popular. The use of black settings and stones allows one to express love and grief over the death of a loved one. Black enamel along with gold and silver were used to create mourning jewelry


The best thing about mourning jewelry is that it is elegant. It tells us about times when things featured more elegance. Unlike the world of today, things had a sophistication in the past. There is a sense of nostalgia that comes with wearing something from the past and believing that it is somewhat superior to items that are made using the latest technology.

Considered a Token of Affection

If you have lost a lover, you can symbolize young love by wearing mourning jewelry. It serves as a token of affection for someone whom you loved deeply and cannot stop thinking about. Having them by your side in the form of mourning jewelry is just what you need to make it through the difficult times. You do not have to feel guilty about trying to live if a loved one has departed from this world.


In addition to the above, mourning jewelry is highly valuable. Only the highest quality materials are used to produce it. Therefore, it is highly demanded and makes for the perfect accessory. Wearing mourning jewelry allows you to mourn and look stylish at the same time. Besides, it is valuable and ensures that you look your best. There is no reason for you to look bad if a loved one has died. The least that you can do is look good at the end of the day. It is something that would make your departed loved one feel content.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.