05 April, 2017
The first known pieces of cremation jewellery date back to the beginning of humanity, where men wanted to hold a keepsake of their loved one and used everything from skin to nails, tears or even drops of blood behind plates. However, cremation jewellery has evolved over time and nowadays represents a more symbolic way to deal with the death of a loved one - and keep the memory long-lasting.
Losing a loved one is hard and we remember our loves in different ways. In the Victorian era, people made family portraits whenever someone in their family died, with their loved one posing in the portrait. As this tradition died out the Victorians replaced this and cremation jewellery took its place.
However, the first pieces of cremated jewellery were not for ashes - they were in fact made from hair from the person who died. People would clip a piece of hair from the deceased and then have it woven into a bonnet that was given to the next of kin. And for richer people the hair was placed into a glass locket - very similar to today's cremation jewellery for ashes.
The first cremated jewellery that actually included body remains was the form of woven hair pinned into rings, pendants or even pins. This practice was known as hair art and was developed into different forms of jewellery over time - including earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other decorative accessories made from human hair.
Soon though people started considering the things of the dead such as teeth, skin and nails as bad luck - they began carrying things like burial dirt, locks of hair or even cremated ashes of their loved ones. This was the actual starting point of cremation jewellery for ashes.
Nowadays, cremation ashes are used in everything from jewellery to paintings, or even skin tattoos - all in order to present a valuable keepsake of a loved one.