Jewelry can be a touching and sentimental way of remembering a lost loved one – and it's another reason many people look for custom-made pieces.
'Mourning jewelry', normally jet black in colour, has existed for hundreds of years as a way of commemorating death. Jewelry collectors believe it was the most popular way for wealthy people to remember their loved ones before the days of photography.
And it's still popular today – only now there are more options open to the bereaved and all are more affordable.
A feature which caught our eye this week was about Swiss start-up company Algordanza, which takes cremated human remains and transforms them into diamonds. Lab technicians grow synthetic diamonds from ashes which have their useful carbon extracted and then heated at high temperatures. The company claims each resulting diamond is completely unique and even varies in colour depending on the person, from blue to near-black.
There's no doubt that this kind of service is still geared towards the wealthy – while it might be cheaper than a traditional burial, the transformation into a stone still costs up to $20,000. But we think this is a fascinating article, and that the company is doing something really special with this process.
We're not able to offer that service at Chris & Alix – but we've come up with many meaningful and much more affordable ways to help people remember family and friends who have passed away.
Two pendants we created were done in memory of children who had lost their lives, and in both cases they were designed in such a way that the parents could place some ashes inside. The pendants were also customized in terms of design, one resembling a knife with a french poem engraved on the side and the other a cassette tape where the ribbon forms the shape of a heart.
We also produced a pendant based on St Francis of Assisi, in memory of a customer's grandfather who died. Dates were engraved on the back, and the design on the front was a tribute to her grandfather's favourite saint and his love of animals.
The family pendant was created by a group of friends who contacted Chris & Alix wanting to make a pendant for their friend who had recently lost her husband. The couple had two young children and a bulldog, which are depicted in the design.
And there are various meanings to the other images pictured. The cufflinks were a tribute to the people who were killed or injured in the Boston marathon bombing, the angel wings pendant was in memory of a customer's daughter who passed away, and the C pendant was created in honour of a young man who had been battling cancer.