Mourning Jewelry as it was once called (in some parts of the world, still is) is a general term for jewelry that people have used over centuries as a way of honoring and remembering deceased loved ones. It has been around since the 1600’s and the earliest known pieces were hand rings. Pearls were particularly favored as they were thought to represent tears and sadness.
Cremation jewelry began to gain momentum during the Victorian Age - named after Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901. Victoria’s husband Prince Albert died of typhoid in 1861. The Queen went into full mourning for 3 years along with her court and remained in mourning for the rest of her life. The Victorians were extremely superstitious, especially where death was concerned and hung black drapes over all the mirrors in the house when in mourning. It was said that if you looked into a mirror when a body was in the house, you would be the next person to die. Cremation Jewelry was popular in England during this era and in the United States during the Civil War hair work was a symbolic art that often served as a keepsake or a "love token" to show affection, commemorate the loss of a loved one or to keep a loved one close during times of physical separation.
The first style of cremation jewelry involved intricately woven hair. Today, most people use a piece of hair or some cremains or ashes as they are more commonly known. Historically hair ‘art’ often served as a love token or keepsake to show affection or commemorate loss or during times of physical separations like war. When people died, hair was often clipped from the head of a deceased person and then woven into a bonnet that would be given to the next of kin.
Nowadays hair is still used in keepsakes and remembrance jewelry but it is more common to use ashes or cremains. The type of jewelry we (www.celtic-ashes.com) offer is bespoke and entirely unique to the wearer and the deceased because it fuses the ash (which for every single person is different) with glass and this fusion creates not a mold but a unique shape, texture and color.