Ultimate Guide to Memorial Jewelry

What is Memorial Jewelry?

Memorial Jewelry is a special sort of jewelry intended to memorialize a loved one. 

Most pieces contain some ashes or some other meaningful relic. 

Memorial jewelry is also commonly referred to as cremation jewelry, funeral jewelry, or as remembrance jewelry.

What are the main benefits of Memorial Jewelry?

These are the most commonly stated reasons that both we — and our customers— love our memorial jewelry:

  • Because it is ultra-meaningful.
  • Because it allows us to keep our loved one with us at all times.
  • Because it helps us always feel connected to our loved one.
  • Because it helps us channel our grief into something positive and beautiful. 
  • Because it is subtle and elegant enough for carefree wear, no matter the occasion. 
  • Because it feels right to honor our loved ones with something that is both beautiful and everlasting.
  • Because planning to pass the piece on to our children brings us great joy.

How long has memorial jewelry been popular?

There is evidence that jewelry has been used for the purpose of memorialization for millenia.

There is a clear historical record of mourning rings being popular among the patricians of Ancient Rome. 

But the greatest historical example of memorial jewelry is Queen Victoria. Following the 1861 death of her husband, Prince Albert, the Queen commissioned an ornate brooch that contained locks of Prince Albert’s hair. 

Queen Victoria would wear the brooch around her neck for the remainder of her life. Naturally, this started a trend; memorial jewelry was quite common among the elite of Victorian England. 

What are the different types of memorial jewelry?

Memorial jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes — there are almost as many options for memorial jewelry as there are for traditional jewelry. 

There are memorial rings, memorial necklaces, earrings, bracelets, keychains, and much more.

However, our collection is limited to memorial rings and memorial pendants, all of which include an adjustable matching chain. 

This is so we can focus on our core mission of crafting new family heirlooms: luxury memorial rings and pendants that are as beautiful as the lives they honor and durable enough to span generations. 

What materials are used in memorial jewelry?

There are a wide range of metals and gemstones used in memorial jewelry. 

Most of the memorial jewelry out there today isn’t made to be on par with luxury jewelry. Those pieces typically don’t have any set gemstones and are made from either stainless steel, sterling silver, or copper.

Lee Alexander & Co only uses Platinum, 18K Yellow Gold, 18K White Gold, and 18K Rose Gold for our memorial jewelry. Not all of our pieces include a gemstone, but most of them do. 

We offer dozens of different metal and gemstone combinations, and we are happy to accommodate custom requests. If you know exactly what you want, book a Virtual Shopping Appointment.

Is there diamond memorial jewelry?

Absolutely.

We feel that memorial jewelry is both a celebration and reflection of the life it honors, which is why many of our pieces include diamonds. Our diamond memorial jewelry is elegant, beautiful, and everlasting, just as it should be.

Like all our materials, we only source the highest quality diamonds. All of our diamonds are of VS F+ quality, and always with traceable origin.

How are diamonds and gemstones sourced?

Every component of your memorial jewelry will be sourced ethically and of the highest quality. To that end, and to ensure the perfection of each piece, every diamond and gemstone is sourced on an individual basis. 

Your diamond will be sustainably mined in Canada’s Northwest Territories and be 100% conflict-free.

Your gemstone will be sourced only from vendors who comply with every relevant law and regulation, as well as with a Vendor Code of Conduct based on international industry standards of social responsibility and environmental sustainability. 

Each piece is then handcrafted entirely in the United States of America.

Do I have to cremate in order to purchase memorial jewelry?

Absolutely not. Any relic with significance can be used.

Inclusivity is important to us, and we know many do not cremate and that cremation is verboten within many religions.

Everyone has the right to memorialize their loved one with elegant memorial jewelry in whatever way they see fit.

As Queen Victoria showed, everyone memorializes in their own unique way. 

Popular choices of material include: 

  • locks of hair,
  • earth from the ground of the burial site,
  • dried petals from their favorite flower,
  • a small piece of fabric from a favorite garment, 
  • or anything else that is meaningful and can fit within the piece. 

Contact us if the material you wish to encapsulate is not listed.

How is typical memorial jewelry usually made?

Memorial jewelry is no different from any other jewelry, save for the inclusion of the ashes or other material. 

Traditionally, memorial jewelry has been hollowed out to create an interior cavity. This cavity is supposed to hold the remains and is most often secured by either a threaded bail or screw. 

The founders of Lee Alexander & Co. wanted to know the ashes of their departed were safe, and the jewelry to remain beautiful for generations, so they developed the exclusive, permanently-sealed Signature Platinum Remembrance Pod.

How are the remains or relics secured within the piece?

Traditional memorial jewelry is usually delivered empty and with a filling and sealing kit.

Unfortunately, this means the responsibility for filling and sealing the piece is in the hands of the recipient. This, along with concerns about the safety of the relics, can be a source of significant stress.

Will this keep my relics safe?

Probably not.

The traditional cavity method of securing your relics is not airtight, which means the relics will degrade with time. If the bail or screw is removed, the remains within the piece will be exposed and vulnerable. That’s especially true when the metals used are not premium and susceptible to rust or corrosion.

Because we wanted to eventually pass down our memorial jewelry, durability was a significant concern of ours. 

We didn’t consider the traditional method to be safe enough for peace of mind, especially when desiring a piece of memorial jewelry for everyday wear.

So, how does Lee Alexander and Co secure remains?

We wanted to make Lee’s remains as secure as we possibly could; we had to make sure the pieces would stand the test of time so we could pass them down one day. 

It took years of experimentation to develop our Signature Platinum Remembrance Pod. It’s a small platinum pod that is permanently sealed with a laser to create an airtight vacuum and then encased within the heart of each piece. 

We’ll use the utmost care to fill your Forever Pod with your relics — so you don’t have to worry about that part — before permanently sealing the pod and encasing it within your piece.

All shipping costs associated with both the Introductory Kit and delivery of the finished piece are included in the price of each piece, and all packages are fully insured.

Will my relics (and my finished piece) be safe in the mail?

We won’t lie — shipping irreplaceable relics and invaluable jewelry will probably be a bit stressful. 

Thankfully, we’ve been doing it for years. We know the process inside and out and we will support you from start to finish.

You won’t have to worry about addressing anything, or selecting which sort of mail, or making sure there’s a tracking number. We take care of all of that.

Every package is pre-addressed, pre-paid, pre-insured, and fully trackable, and we’re familiar and compliant with every relevant regulation. 

We do recommend adding your newly received piece to your property insurance policy.

How exactly does the process work?

Don’t worry! We stay in close contact with you throughout the entire process. Here’s a summary of what will happen:

Upon the placement of your order, we ship out a pre-paid and fully insured Introductory Kit. This will arrive within 10 business days.

The Introductory Kit includes a protective jar for relics, a prepaid return parcel, a ring sizer (if applicable), along with extremely detailed instructions for filling the protective jar and returning the Kit. 

Once we’ve received the returned Kit, we will fill your Forever Pod with your relics, permanently laser seal the Forever Pod, and secure it within the heart of your piece.

The finished piece is then shipped back. 

Every cost associated with the shipping of both the Introductory Kit and delivery of the finished piece is included in the price of each piece, and all packages are fully insured.

How long does this take? When will I receive my memorial jewelry?

Our Introductory Kit will arrive within 10 days of your order being placed. 

We kindly request that our clients allow for up to six weeks from the return of the Introductory Kit for production and delivery. This is to ensure each and every piece receives the same level of craftsmanship and attention that our own pieces received. 

Can I expedite the production of my memorial jewelry?

Yes. We are able to expedite production of any order for a surcharge.

In the case of ring orders, we cannot begin production until we know your ring size. The Introductory Kit includes a ring sizer, but if you already know your ring size, communicating this to us prior to the return of the Introductory Kit will allow for accelerated production. 

Can I order memorial jewelry to honor my pet?

Of course! In fact, pieces honoring pets are nearly as popular as pieces honoring people.

Is there memorial jewelry for men available?

Of course! We do have pieces designed with men in mind. 

With that said, everyone has their own unique aesthetic. 

Our entire collection is available to all irrespective of gender identity. 

What about memorial jewelry for my children?

Of course! With that said, memorial pendants are more suitable for children than memorial rings — your child will grow out of the ring quickly. 

What if I want something truly one-of-a-kind?

Our designs are meant to inspire. Because each is available in a range of metals and gemstones, and with or without diamonds, there are hundreds of options to choose from.

But if you want something that is truly one-of-a kind, we get it. 

That’s exactly why we got into this in the first place. 

We are happy to create custom orders; however, there is an additional Design Fee.

If interested, book a Virtual Shopping Appointment

What if I want pieces for multiple members of my family?

We do offer discounts for group orders.

This is the only circumstance in which we will discount our pieces.