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When a loved one dies, there are many ways to commemorate their memory. It’s such a personal thing that it usually takes the form of something very dear to the deceased person’s heart. From a quirky headstone memorial to naming a star, the sky really is(n’t) the limit. But perhaps one of the most common is turning a loved one’s ashes into glass and using it in a piece of jewellery.

Why Turn Ashes into Glass?

While some people choose to carry a small vial or urn on a locket as a means of keeping their loved one close, having a piece of jewellery made from the ashes of loved ones often means a heartfelt memorial that can be carried with you wherever you go.

It can help you feel connected to your loved one and creates a beautiful tribute that’s totally unique. You pick the type of jewellery you want, you pick the colour, you choose the precious metal (was it your loved one’s favourite?), and you can even choose to have it engraved.

People also choose to have their pet’s ashes created as keepsakes.

A Tribute

As obvious as it sounds, it’s not just a comforting piece of jewellery that gets created, a piece of remembrance jewellery can be a piece of art too. The process of firing glass is undertaken by skilled craftspeople who have honed their craft over years and years and understand the nuances colour and glass when creating these bespoke pieces.

You can also have a variety of pieces made at the same time too. Having ashes made into glass jewellery is a heartfelt way to share the memories with other family members and those closest to the person who has passed away.

What Glass Jewellery Can be Made from Ashes?

It’s a bespoke piece, so the options are hugely personal, but the common pieces to have as remembrance pieces are:

  • Pendent
  • Ring
  • Cufflinks
  • Earrings
  • Canvas
  • Bracelet and charms
  • Pendant
  • Brooches

They offer perfect solutions to deeply connect with a loved one who has passed away and give something you can take everywhere you go.

It’s perhaps less widely known that you need around a teaspoon or less of ashes to create most of the jewellery or pieces listed above. It’s really not a lot at all, and when it comes to glass the less inside the more the piece can shine and show off the colours.

Things to Consider When You Turn Ashes to Glass

Are you emotionally ready for it?

It may seem a strange thing but an urn of ashes that have sat on a fireside for a decade isn’t the most uncommon thing in the world.

It can take years for a family to decide on what to do with the ashes of a loved one, and the process of creating keepsakes from ashes can be stressful. From sending off the ashes in the post to waiting for the final piece, each can add an extra dimension of worry, during what’s an already difficult time.

With most companies, any unused ashes are sent back, although you should always check first, and some provide a simple measuring device so you can send the right amount without having to worry about anything larger getting mislaid in the post.

You’d then be looking at anywhere from perhaps two to six weeks, depending on the size of the company and the size of the order, for your special piece to be returned.

  •    Choosing your materials

So far we’ve discussed glass as the primary medium for your memorial jewellery, but another option is resin. They differ in that resin is easier to work with and is cheaper. To create your keepsake, the resin will be poured into a mould.

With glass, it’s blown, so every piece is intricate and unique. As you might expect, this costs more as you are paying for a higher quality material and the skills of a seasoned craftsperson.

Glass is brighter, whereas resin can dull and get scratched. The choice is yours, but it’s one worth considering when you get such a precious piece of jewellery created.

  •    Precious metals

One thing that you will also want to consider is the metal you want. If you’re choosing gold or silver, you should make sure the piece comes with the proper hallmarks. Your metal can be engraved too. It’s your chance to create that extra special message, something entirely personal that reflects your relationship with the deceased.

But consider how small or large the piece is when it comes to engraving and for your own enjoyment make sure you are asking for something that you’ll be happy with and isn’t forced into a small space.

When you’re considering having a piece created, you should do a lot of research first. Look into the company that’s creating the piece, speak with the artist themselves if you can and if you have any questions ensure they are answered fully to meet your expectations.

What If I Want to Scatter Ashes? 

There are no specific laws to restrict the scattering of ashes in the UK, and to do so is legal almost anywhere. But you may need to take into contact the local environmental departments when executing your loved one’s final wishes.

You can scatter them on any private land as long as you have the landowners permission. Consider though if you were to scatter the ashes in your own garden and moved house you have no legal right to later visit that place.

Scattering into rivers or at sea is another popular choice but consider doing so away from populated beaches and fishing areas. Also, you should ensure there are no water extraction points nearby. These are areas used to prevent floods, irrigate fields and can become drinking water when treated.

Think too about the weather conditions. If it’s windy, as the seashore tends to be, make sure the ashes don’t get blown towards people. You should never cast urns or personal mementos into the water, as it’s water pollution.

In general, you should be considerate and not damage the ecosystem where the ashes are being scattered. And of course, you don’t have to have them scattered in one single place. You can even have them turned into fireworks and sent rocketing into the sky.

How S. Stibbards & Sons Can Support You

Bereavement is a difficult time, and extra stress makes it harder. If you need to discuss any element of planning your funeral or need any advice on what to do next, our experienced team are happy to talk with you.

We’ve been directing funerals since 1867. Over five generations of our family, we’ve grown into one of the most trusted funeral directors in the region thanks to our values of care, compassion and professionalism. We’re a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors, so we are required to meet their high standards of membership.

Protecting Loved Ones

If you want to protect loved ones from future stress, call us to discuss a pre-paid funeral plan. Not only will it take the stress out of a difficult time, but you’ll also be protecting your funeral even if the costs go up.

And each plan includes an allowance to cover any extra costs such as burial or cremation fees, someone to officiate over the ceremony.

Get in touch with the team at S. Stibbards & Sons to see how we can help. Phone us on 01702 922267 or email [email protected].

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Supporting You Along The Way

If you wish to have a discussion with one of our funeral arrangers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can talk through yours and your loved one’s needs and discuss how we can best celebrate their life.