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A Precious Option For Precious Loved Ones

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Cremating a loved one eliminates the need to choose a headstone and buy a gravesite. However, it still leaves one last question: What to do with the ashes. Some people have the ashes interred in a columbarium or mausoleum, while others scatter them or keep the ashes stored in an urn at home. One newer option is to have cremation jewelry made, which sounds strange at first but actually makes a lot of sense. You have a few choices, and if you and other family members all want to keep part of the ashes, cremation jewelry is a very easy way to fulfill this wish.

Pendant Urns

One option is to have pendant urns made for everyone who wants to keep part of the ashes. These are small metal charms -- sometimes they contain decorative crystals -- with a small chamber accessed by removing a screw. You add the cremains to the chamber, replace the screw, and then wear the pendant. Some pendants come in the form of a locket, where there is a space for the deceased's picture or lock of hair in addition to the cremain chamber.

The advantages are many: The pendants are relatively inexpensive, and they are very pretty, just to name two. The disadvantages are the usual: potential theft or loss, and after you pass on, people handling your jewelry might not realize there are cremains in there.

Glass Cremain Art

A more decorative but less portable option is glass cremain art. This is glass art that incorporates swirls of the cremains in each work. These are often handmade and unique, so you'd really be giving the cremains quite a pretty resting place. The swirls and lines of cremains are visible, albeit colored or placed in a way so that they blend well with the glass. But because you can still see the cremains, this option is only for those who are OK with seeing the ashes daily.

Crystallized Cremains

This option, in which the cremains are transformed into a crystal or even a diamond, is the most expensive option (obviously), and also the one you have to be most cautious about when making your choice. The crystals can be used in rings and other jewelry, but be aware that they do look like fancy gems. Treat them as you would other diamonds or gemstones. If you want to wear jewelry daily with the cremains, you might be better off with one of the pendant urns. But if you're confident that the diamond or crystal will be OK, and theft isn't a concern for you, this crystal option might be a beautiful choice.

Discuss the options with your family and see who wants part of the ashes. Knowing that alone may make it easier to choose a final option.