What is Remembrance Jewelry?

Remembrance jewelry, also known as mourning jewelry, is used for grieving and remembering departed loved ones. Often, it is a simple ring or pendant with the deceased’s name and date of death engraved on it. In ancient times, depending on the wealth of the family, remembrance jewelry could be more elaborate. Pieces featuring precious stones and incorporating hair were very popular. Today, these items are not only worn in the form of a memorial or cremation jewelry, but also as a token of love during physical separation from loved ones.

There is often a debate about the definition of remembrance jewelry. It’s often merged with memento mori jewelry, a concept popular in Georgian Era. This concept served as a reminder of one’s mortality. The pieces heavily used haunting imagery like skulls and skeleton motifs. In the Victorian Era, the more macabre elements were replaced with motifs of clouds and angels, as the mourning jewelry was meant to remember the loss of a loved one.

The History of Mourning Jewelry

Memorial and remembrance rings trace back to Ancient Rome. The Roman elite would remove their gold rings and replace them with iron rings when remembering the deceased. During the Renaissance, rings were inscribed with the name and date of death and given to family members or close friends of the person who had died.

The most significant time period for memorial jewelry was during the Victorian era. Queen Victoria publically mourned the death of her husband, King Albert, and in turn influenced fashion trends immensely with the onset of mourning jewelry. Mostly incorporating the color black, another important feature of remembrance jewelry was the use of hair. The hair of the deceased would often serve as a keepsake in a locket or pendant or be woven in elaborate designs, becoming a beautiful element of the jewelry itself!

Remembrance jewelry with braided hair in the center against beige background.

Trending Memorial Jewelry for Today

Remembrance Jewelry for Ashes

These pendants and lockets are meant to carry a small part of the ashes of the deceased.

Small silver necklace containing ashes against white background.

Engraved Jewelry

Inspired by the trend of the Renaissance, these jewelry items are engraved with a loving quote or the dates of birth and death of the loved one.

Closeup of silver necklace with engraved writing honoring a mother.

Photograph Jewelry

A trend since photography began, lockets and other jewelry featuring the picture of the loved one, decreased or separated is a popular way to hold onto these fond memories.

Small heart locket with picture of a young and old couple.

Fingerprint Jewelry

Fingerprints or footprints of children are engraved onto the metal. it’s a brilliant way to personalize a jewelry piece while also keeping it stylish.

Matching golden pendants with fingerprints and handprints.

Why is Remembrance Jewelry Popular?

In an age where mass production and uniformity are seen everywhere, adding a personal touch and sentimentality is much sought-after. Memorial jewelry gives such an opportunity. Hold your loved ones close to your heart and cherish them forever. Be it your parents, spouse, children, or pets, remembrance jewelry is a great way to showcase the special place they hold in your life and heart.

Remembrance jewelry helps create momentos of the special events in your life, like the birth of your first child. What special event or special person do you want to celebrate with your remembrance jewelry? Let us know in the comments below!