Is Cremation Jewelry Creepy? Ask An Artist.


Cremation jewelry is a way to keep a loved one’s memory close to you, but you might wonder if it’s creepy to wear it or not.

I asked Leah Crooker, owner of Leah Kathryn JewelryOpens in a new tab., to explain the benefits of this type of keepsake since she creates memorial jewelry. What follows is her article about why she decided to focus on memorial jewelry and how it serves a purpose for people who have lost a loved one.

what is cremation and memorial jewelry?

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Is cremation jewelry creepy?

Cremation jewelry isn’t creepy, but the idea can be off-putting at first if you’re not familiar with it. It serves the purpose of allowing people to feel closer to their loved one, and it can be a comforting keepsake for the wearer.

When I first started making cremation jewelry, I was met with a lot of strange looks and discomfort, when I told people.  

If I displayed these items at craft fairs, most people seemed genuinely unsettled at the thought of wearing jewelry containing someone’s cremated remains.  

I have to admit, I went back and forth quite a bit before choosing to go in this direction, because I too found it a bit…unusual.  

Early on, at a craft fair, I remember a pair of sisters looking at a fish urn that I had on display.  

One sister picked it up, and said “this would be perfect for dad”, and the other said, “wait, I think that’s an urn!” 

The woman holding the necklace dropped it back onto the table and backed up.  

Then both women chuckled uncomfortably, and told me it was a “kind of cool idea,” but their dad was still living…and they awkwardly retreated from my table.  

Does cremation jewelry serve a purpose?

There were, however, people who were genuinely touched by the idea. 

A woman whose daughter had recently passed, came to tears when she saw what I had to offer. She had not heard of cremation jewelry but immediately wanted to discuss a custom order. 

The thought that she could keep a few of her daughter’s ashes close to her heart, in a necklace personalized to honor her daughter, meant a lot to her.  

We ended up talking about her daughter for a while, and she came to find me at that fair again the following year.

I get a lot of messages from customers who are so happy to have found my shop.  

They want to let me know that they are pleased with their purchase and often refer other friends and family. 

Why focus on such a sad business?

Years have passed since I first began creating personalized cremation jewelry and accessories for grieving parents, children, siblings, friends, grandchildren, and pet owners, and the concept has become a lot less uncomfortable.  

My business has shifted away from general personalized jewelry, to focus mostly on personalized cremation jewelry, keychains, Christmas ornaments, etc, along with other (non-cremation) memorials.   

Because most of my customers are dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one, my interaction with them is different than it would be for other items in my shop.  

I have learned that people really want to talk about the person (or pet) for whom they are grieving. 

I have heard stories, seen pictures, and been a sounding board for some of the biggest heartbreaks imaginable.  

When the stamping, enameling, finishing, assembling, and packaging, becomes monotonous, I get a message from someone who is looking for just the right keepsake or piece of jewelry, a vessel to preserve a bit of their lost loved one’s ashes.     

It somehow feels right to have a little bit of background on the person whose life is being honored, as I make each piece of jewelry, keychain, or ornament.  

And this is probably the most rewarding part of what I do.  


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 53,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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