Memorial Jewellery is a beautiful way to keep a loved one close and it's something which has been growing in popularity in recent years. At Hand on Heart Jewellery, we've been creating Memorial Jewellery since 2017. This was the year that we designed and created our first piece, the classic Memorial Fingerprint Heart Necklace, which developed from our standard fingerprint pieces. The Memorial Cremation Ashes Jewellery range later followed in February 2021, which we launched to expand our range of memorial jewellery and offer something for everyone. This range can be created using memorial ashes from your loved one or missed pet, and can even be created using hair.
Our passion for memorial jewellery stems from our customers' experiences with grief and the idea of wanting to keep the memory of a loved one close. Sometimes, people find it difficult to say goodbye to them completely, through traditions such as cremation or burials. They might want to keep a piece of them behind to remember them in their own special way.
The Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery range was our first dedicated range created with grieving families in mind. It was developed alongside funeral directors to ensure that we could use any fingerprint, regardless of the level of detail. We never wanted to tell anyone their loved one's print was not quite clear enough to be used. For us, it's an honour to be trusted to create such special pieces, and we wanted to be able to offer this to everyone, not just those who had used our kits.
We've also received amazing, heart-warming comments over the years from customers who have given the gift of memorial jewellery to a family member or friend, and they've loved such a precious, personal gift.
However, there's no doubt that there are myths and misconceptions about Memorial Jewellery. So, we thought we'd explore the entire process from start to finish and debunk some of the most frequent myths about it.
Myth 1: Memorial jewellery is a new concept.
It might interest you to know that the idea of memorial jewellery isn't a new concept, and that there's an interesting history behind it. In fact, the tradition of wearing 'mourning jewellery' (as it's been known over the years) dates back to at least the Middle Ages! During this period, people wore motifs that served as tangible reminders of death, such as skulls and crossbones.
'Mourning jewellery' then had another significant resurgence in the Victorian era. However, nature and art, such as winged cherubs, took the place of skulls and crossbones. The pieces were made to fit in with the strict mourning dress code and were made from dark materials, such as black enamel, jet and onyx. They often included a small memento of the deceased, such as a lock of hair (if this is something you are interested in, we can also create jewellery in this more traditional style at Hand on Heart). Like today, the jewellery was commissioned as a way to show the world that you treasured a loved one's memory.
Myth 2: It's too late for the funeral directors to take the fingerprints of a loved one.
Fingerprints can be taken by the funeral home at any time before the funeral takes place. Funeral directors are often happy to take your loved one's fingerprints that can be later turned into memorial fingerprint jewellery. They are sensitive to the process, and it isn't an unusual request, so please don't feel nervous to ask them about it. They may use their own kits or fingerprint scanners. If they don't have their own kits, you can also order one from our website if you need to. These are available on standard 1st Class delivery or Express Next Working Day Delivery.
Of course, following a loss, it's absolutely understandable if you're not ready to decide on memorial jewellery at the time. Even if it's something you really want to do, there's no rush to do so. In this situation, we advise you to order a printing kit and obtain the prints before the funeral for future use. There's no time limit once you have the prints; we're here when you're ready, in your own time.
If you are at all worried or concerned about the print taking process, we have create a blog around the topic 'Do Funeral Directors Take Fingerprints' to help answer any of your questions. You can see this on our website here.
Myth 3: If the print isn't clear, it can't be used to create memorial jewellery.
We pride ourselves on our range of Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery, which can be created using any print, regardless of the level of detail in there. So, we promise that we will certainly try our very best! We would recommend that for best results, whoever is taking the prints should try and take as many prints as possible from different fingers and thumbs to give a good range for us to work with. If our dedicated design team has any questions at all about the prints, we will be sure to get in touch before creating your jewellery.
Another option is that we can use the prints you already have. You can simply choose the option 'I have prints I want to use' when ordering and then supply a clear photo of the prints via the magic uploader on our website.
Myth 4: Fingerprints can only be taken with ink.
In the past, we have used putty prints to create some really stunning pieces of jewellery. While we do generally work with ink fingerprints, this is still absolutely something we can look into for our customers (the finished product may look a little different to the items shown on our website). If you would like to know more about this, you can send our friendly team a clear photo of the print you have on firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be able to advise on its suitability.
Myth 5: The prints aren't returned when the jewellery is created.
We always return prints, and we completely understand how precious the prints are and why you might feel nervous or uncomfortable sending them in the post. Our talented and highly skilled designers are nearly always able to work from a clear photo or high-res scan of the prints. But if we think we would get the best results from the original copy, we would always get in touch with you and confirm how to get them to us safely. We also keep a digital copy of the fingerprints in your file for a minimum of two years, and we can use this on any future orders.
One of our recent customers actually asked us about this myth when she was buying our memorial fingerprint necklace in memory of her grandfather. She said: "I was scared to send off my grandfather's prints because I was being silly about letting them go. I was reassured and told I could email a picture (of the prints) instead. The necklace is beautiful, and I will treasure it forever." We can assure all our customers that we'd never want them to feel nervous or silly about their precious prints. We completely understand how important they are, and we'll always do absolutely everything we can to help.
Myth 6: Sending ashes is complicated, and you have to send a lot of them for the jewellery.
We've made sure it's as straightforward as possible to send ashes to be used for your Memorial Ashes Jewellery. When you have placed your order, we will send you a pack which can be used to safely collect and return the ashes to our studio. There are full instructions with the kit, but our friendly team is always on hand if you have any questions at all.
In terms of the amount, we actually only require a very small amount of ashes to create the memorial ashes jewellery. In fact, a teaspoon's worth is enough to make around three or four pieces. Of course, any unused ash will also be returned to you with your finished jewellery.
Myth 7: It isn't possible to make memorial jewellery with hair.
We're happy to say that we certainly can create pieces with hair, as the process is exactly the same. Similar to ashes jewellery, we will send you a kit to collect and return the hair, and we will carefully incorporate the lock of hair into your jewellery when creating your order. You can see our range of Memorial Hair Jewellery on our website here.
Myth 8: You can only use the ashes of one person in each piece of jewellery.
We completely understand that you might want a piece of jewellery in memory of more than one person, such as Mum and Dad or Grandmother and Grandad. We're so pleased that we can certainly create a special piece like this. You can either supply both sets of ashes in the same kit or, if you would prefer to keep them separate until they are made into jewellery, just pop us an email to let us know you would like to be sent two kits, and we'd be more than happy to do.
We hope you enjoyed this myth-busting blog about memorial jewellery. At Hand on Heart, we are incredibly proud to create meaningful pieces that will be treasured forever, and our memorial range is the perfect example of this. If, after reading this, you have any more questions, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team, who will be more than happy to help, and answer any questions or queries you might have.