When a loved one is cremated, it can be difficult to choose what to do with their ashes. You know they deserve to be memorialized in a way that fits their wishes and honors the person they were. You may think about placing their ashes in an urn in your home, or perhaps scattering them in the ocean or an area outdoors that they always loved.
These are time-honored traditions, but they feel so final. Letting go is hard enough — you want to carry on their memory. This is why many people consider turning their loved one’s ashes into cremation jewelry.
If you like the thought of keeping your loved one close to you, there are companies that know how to make ashes into jewelry.
What is cremation jewelry?
Cremation jewelry is any piece of jewelry that incorporates your loved one’s ashes, from cremation diamonds to urn necklaces and bracelets. The process for how to make ashes into jewelry — as well as the price and the amount of time it will take — varies depending on the type of jewelry you choose.
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. Human ashes jewelry can be a conversation piece, allowing you to talk about your loved one and keep their memory alive. It can even become a family heirloom, passed on from generation to generation along with stories and photographs.
How to make ashes into jewelry
There are a few different options to memorialize your loved one with cremation jewelry. Here is everything you need to know about the processes, price ranges, and more.
Urn jewelry is simply a small, hollowed-out container that you will fill with your loved one’s ashes. It can be a charm or a bead you would put on a bracelet, but more commonly comes as a necklace. If you want a necklace made from ashes, an urn pendant is an excellent option.
Ashes aren’t the only option for urn jewelry — many people choose to fill it with strands of hair or soil from the burial site. When you order human ashes jewelry, you’re given instructions on how to fill the piece. Usually, they include small screws and funnels to help you fill the opening without spilling — and instructions on how to tightly close the chamber so nothing comes out. Urn jewelry is the most affordable type of cremation jewelry.
Cremation beads are made by melting down glass and mixing in your loved one’s ashes. You can choose the color — perhaps the color of their birthstone, or their eyes — making each bead as unique and individual as your loved one.
This option is slightly more expensive than urn jewelry, but not as expensive as diamonds or crystals. Cremation beads are very versatile, so you can create your own personalized bracelet or necklace made from ashes.
Custom jewelry is made using the same process as cremation beads, but the end product is formed into a pendant rather than a bead. There is a wider variety of shapes and colors to choose from, and many cremation jewelry makers can add patterns as well. You have the option to choose from new or recycled glass; new glass can usually be tinted in different colors, but recycled glass will be a pale green color.
To make cremation beads and other glass jewelry, 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.
Many people who are wondering how to make ashes into jewelry are thinking of cremation diamonds. This type of cremation jewelry has been growing in popularity in recent years.
Cremation diamonds are made entirely from a person’s ashes. To make the cremation diamond, about 8 ounces of 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. The total process to create a cremation diamond can take anywhere from eight to ten months, and the cost can be in the thousands.
Alternatives to cremation 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 crystals are beautiful alternatives to human ashes jewelry that 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 create happiness and positive energy.
Cremation crystals are made in a process similar to diamonds discussed above and can be made in several colors and settings. Like 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 orb. If your loved one was an animal lover, you may want a sculpture in the shape of their favorite animal.
Glass keepsakes are a great option if you want to have multiple items made for friends and family members who would like to have a tribute in their homes.
Other options for cremation ashes
Cremation jewelry requires a small amount of ashes, making it an excellent supplement to traditional methods of storing or scattering ashes. If you’re still unsure about the best way to memorialize your loved one and want to explore alternative options that will give you a place to visit in their memory, consider a memorial forest.
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. If you want to learn more about creating a legacy that protects the planet and the people you love, schedule a free online forest tour with one of our advisors.