Often, when a loved one is cremated, you think about memorializing their ashes in an urn within your home, or perhaps scattering them in the ocean or an area outdoors that they enjoyed when they were living.
But there are alternative options for those who want to keep their beloved family member’s memory alive in a less traditional way.
If you like the thought of keeping your family member close to you, there are companies that can show you how you can turn your loved one’s ashes into jewelry.
Cremation jewelry is more than just a loving tribute to the person you lost – it’s a chance to honor them by crafting something that either contains or is made from their cremated remains.
Choose from a variety of beads and pendants that can be placed on necklaces or bracelets.
You can even have the remains made into a stone or a diamond to be worn on earrings, a ring, necklace, or bracelet.
Cremation Beads and Pendants
There are several categories of cremation beads and pendants: standard, custom, and stones like crystals or diamonds.
Standard pieces are small, pre-made containers. When you order one, you’re given instructions on how to fill the piece with ashes. Usually these pieces include small screws and funnels to help you fill the opening without spilling, and to allow you to tightly close the chamber after so nothing comes out.
Standard jewelry is usually a pendant or bead, since these can be hollowed out and filled with mementos. You can even find Pandora-style beads, so if you own a Pandora bracelet, you can add a bead as a tribute to your loved one.
Custom jewelry is made using some of the ashes. Often these pieces are made of glass. You can choose from new or recycled glass; new glass can usually be tinted different colors, but recycled glass will be a pale green color.
The glass is heated to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to liquefy it, and the ashes are added to the liquid glass. Because the heat is so high, the carbon in the ashes tends to burn off, leaving the normally dun-colored ashes a sparkling white.
Cremation Diamonds and Crystals
Cremation diamonds are different than custom jewelry because they are made entirely from a person’s ashes. To make the diamond, ashes are placed in a metal container and heated to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In this heat, everything but the carbon oxidizes.
The carbon is heated until it turns to graphite. This graphite is placed inside a diamond seed crystal and put inside a press, where it is heated up once again, this time to about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The graphite is then set aside to turn into a crystal, which takes a few weeks. The crystal is cut and polished to your specifications and anchored inside a setting of your choice.
Cremation crystals are also made in a similar process, and can be offered in several colors and settings.Alternatives to Jewelry
If you like the idea of using cremated ashes to create something but you’re not interested in jewelry, there are other options.
Glass keepsakes and cremation crystals are beautiful items you can use for health or add to your home décor as a way to keep your loved one close by.
Cremation crystals differ from cremated crystals because they are not jewelry. These crystals are used for meditation, and to improve health and uncover happiness and positive energy.
Like the jewelry, the ashes are a part of the crystal-making process. The crystals are cut like an emerald and their color remains unaltered.
Glass keepsakes can be made using the same method as glass pendants. You could choose a glass sculpture, paperweight, or an orb. If your loved one was an animal nut, you may want a sculpture in the shape of their favorite animal.
You could also have several keepsakes made, in case there are some other family members who would like to have a tribute in their homes as well.
Honoring Your Loved One
What you choose to do with cremated ashes depends on how you want to remember your loved one and honor their legacy. If you want to explore alternative ways you can store ashes but you’re not sure about jewelry, consider contacting Better Place Forests about our spreading forests.
These protected areas of land allow you to place ashes under a designated tree, turning your family member’s remains into a beautiful, living memorial.
We’re happy to answer your questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 1-888-958-7674.
Written by Brad Milne
Co-founder & COO of Better Place Forests