Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads have a long and varied history that dates back centuries. It is believed that as early as the 16th century people began wearing mourning beads fashioned from both ivory and jet.

In most societies, the wearing of such jewelry served to signify grief over an individual’s death, particularly when mourning for someone of significant importance. During early periods of time, it was often customary to wear these beads during funerary rites and continuing on for some period afterwards, in order to remain in constant remembrance of the deceased.

The wide range of symbolism attached to these items furthered their prevalence among various cultures. Both cream-colored ivory and jet stones were originally used for conveying the idea of “darkness” associated with death or loss; consequently, dark colors were generally reserved for wealthier households due to their higher amounts of purchasing power.

Additionally, some cultures viewed two colors together as symbolizing Heaven and Earth; therefore this concept may have been further represented by strung together pieces within a single piece of Mourning Jewelry Beads.

By the 19th century, doll-like figures were being crafted inside pearl-like orbs which were hung in necklaces or other types of decorations. These dolls usually featured closed eyes – signifying death – decorated with black enamel paint or fabric cloth filled with wax or charcoal powder; accents such as stringed pearls or glass pebbles encased inside were also common for highlighting features which could later be painted upon them accordingly.

The earliest examples date back to 1830’s England where Queen Victoria famously wore intricate mourning jewelry beads – featuring white fabric dresses and lace trims along with rosary prayer beads made in her beloved petite size form – regularly after the passing her beloved consort Albert in 1841 until her own demise many years later.

When observed closely one can clearly see how far these particular pieces traveled throughout world physically as well as emotionally since then to now; thus making certain elements always reoccurring well into 21st century style adaptations today even if their original meaning has changed somewhat drastically alongside global events influencing society’s values in modern times.

Symbolism and Meanings of Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads are a type of jewelry that is designed to commemorate the life and death of a deceased loved one. These beads have become increasingly popular and can be found in many shapes and sizes, as well as different materials. The use of mourning jewelry dates back over centuries ago where it was used to honor those lost during military battles or from sudden deaths due to illness or accidents.

Throughout history, mourning jewelry has embodied various meanings, with its main purpose being that of expressing grief and remembrance. Generally its purpose is to keep alive the memory of a deceased individual’s life through something tangible which can be seen on display all day and all night with continual reminders of our departed ones.

Types of Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads come in a variety of forms including pendants, bracelets, earrings, rings and even brooches. They can also represent numerous meanings depending on their style or particular design. Amongst these symbols includes angels which symbolize everlasting faith in God; stars represent resurrection and everlasting life; hearts for eternal love; doves for peace; dragons for courage; anchors for hope; the cross for faith and so much more.

Materials Traditionally Used

Traditionally speaking, mourning jewelry was characterized by darkened metals such as jet black jet stone or obsidian glass combined with an amethyst gemstone. Gold threading was often included along with this combination as gold symbolism represents eternity amongst other things in certain cultures.

Nowadays some people opt for silver pieces with various gemstones as opposed to gold; typically Jade is most popular due to semi-precious properties it harbors believed to bring spiritual rebirth to any wearer who wears it close by their heart dedicated to the person whom the piece honors.

Examples of Commonly Used Mourning Jewelry Beads

  • Jet – Jet was frequently used in mourning jewelry because of its dark and somber color. It is a natural form of coal that can be carved into various shapes but is sometimes found in its naturally occurring spherical grain shape.
  • Gutta Percha – Made from latex, gutta percha was also quite common. It ranges from an almost translucent yellow to more opaque blackish brown. It can often be polished to have a glossy appearance like the jet beads.
  • Agate – Agate, a type of quartz with bands and layers of different colors, could be used prominently in some jewelry pieces or subtly to add highlights of color to otherwise plain pieces.

Mourning jewelry beads were popularized in the Victorian era as they were used to honor their loved ones who had passed away. However, mourning jewelry has been around for centuries with ancient civilizations adapting materials like clay, bronze, ivory and gemstones to create unique and meaningful pieces of art.

The materials and precious stones used for the creation of mourning jewelry varied considerably over time depending on fashion and available resources. In the Victorian era particularly popular materials included jet, gutta percha and agate. These provided many options for jewellers looking to create one-of-a-kind designs that would commemorate their loved ones with style and elegance.

Amongst these materials, jet is perhaps the most iconic and recognizable due its frequent use creating mourning jewelry throughout history. Jet is a naturally occurring form of coal that has become popular for its dark and somber color perfect for memorializing someone’s passing away in such an elegant fashion. Jet was often found in its natural spherical shape however it could also be carved into other shapes depending on jeweller’s creative vision.

Perler Bead Jewelry Ideas

Gutta percha is another material commonly seen in mourning jewelry as it was easily accessible during this era thanks to advances in rubber production technology at the time. This material comes from latex giving it a range of hues; often ranging from a faint yellow which appears translucent to an opaque blackish-brown colour depending on how much light reflects off its surface when polished by hand or machine buffing techniques – giving jewellers more flexibility when designing their piece.

Finally, agate is another example of how colour could help enhance mourning pieces without detracting from their primary sombre purpose; providing subtle highlights amidst monochrome design patterns that help give life into craftsmanship honouring those beloved people whom no longer with us having passed away tragically or unexpectedly too soon by our own standards.

How to Care and Preserve Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads, also referred to as memorial jewelry or mourning beads, are related to funerary rites and are intended to be worn in honor of the deceased. Mourning jewelry beads were first popularized throughout Europe in the late 16th century.

While modern conventions involve wearing black clothing for a period of time to commemorate and mourn the loss of a loved one, a wide variety of jewelry was used by wealthy families as acts of remembrance during this era. The types of materials commonly used for mourning jewelry include jet, coral, dark or painted shells, amber, gold with black enamel designs and even human hair.

Care and preservation is essential when preserving antique mourning jewelry since the delicate materials can easily decay or discolor over time due to humidity or other environmental factors. First and foremost it is important to keep such pieces away from either extremely high or low temperatures which can potentially damage them further.

Jewelry made out of coral should never have contact with liquids since they are porous materials and may absorb water that could cause discoloration or weakening of its structure over time. In addition, some components may be aged silver which needs careful attention when handling as exposure to air can accelerate oxidization on such surface areas making them more brittle leading them to crumble in time if not properly taken care off.

In order to avoid damaging mourning jewelry components it is also paramount that items are stored separately, preferably within airtight bags or containers filled with desiccants like silica gel which can remove existing moisture in them thereby keeping them better preserved for longer periods if needed be. Whenever possible try only handling periodic dusting with high grade lint-free cloth cloths only because fingerprints on surfaces can damage their delicacy.

When storing mournig jewelery always keep watch out for any signs that might suggest the components are vulnerable due premature ageing such as any appearance of whitish patina which indicates there is too much humidity present in the surrounding environment where they are kept so that its storage location should be changed accordingly quicky before heavier damage sets in.

Unique Ways to Wear Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads have been part of the mourning process for centuries. These type of jewelry provides a special way to remember a lost loved one and give tribute to their memory. Mourning jewelry can be an important element of healing during the grieving process and is preferred by many as an antique or personally meaningful accessory to wear in remembrance of someone who has made a profound impression on them.

There are various ways that individuals choose to incorporate mourning jewelry into their lives, some unique ways include:

Strung Necklaces

One popular way to use mourning beads is to create necklaces, using the beads as pendants. A necklace allows you to keep the beads close at all times, bringing you comfort in knowing that your loved one is always with you.

Strung necklaces are a great choice for people who want more than just an individual bead but still want something relatively subtle. Depending on preference, there are countless design options available that can be worn alone or layered with other pieces of jewelry.


Using the same technique as necklace creation, it’s also possible to create bracelets with mourning beads by threading them onto a chain or cord bracelet. It’s perfect for those seeking something more discreet than large earrings or oversized pendants attached directly to clothing items like skirts or shirts. Bracelet styles come in all shapes and sizes, so individuals can tailor them according to their own personal style and what they feel best represents their loss.

Wire Wrapped Pendant

Creating a wire wrapped pendant out of a single bead is another unique way to pay homage while still keeping it subtle enough in public settings. This involves wrapping wire around the top portion of the bead until it hangs from the chain in its secure form-just like any other piece of statement jewelry would do.

Wearing mourning beads like this enables individuals not only keep their cherished memories close but also express themselves through their fashion choices every day if they prefer it that way.

What Mourning Jewelry Beads Represent

Mourning jewelry beads are crafted pieces specifically intended to commemorate the passing of a loved one. These memorial beads represent remembrance and devotion, marking a lasting tribute to the life of the deceased. The intention of mourning jewelry is to commemorate both love and grief for the individual who has passed, while also providing comfort for family and friends in their time of sorrow.

Types of Mourning Jewelry Beads

  • Jet Beads: Jet beads are carved from the petrified wood from prehistoric trees, and most often seen as signature components in late Victorian mourning jewelry.
  • Gold-Colored Resin Beads: Commonly used as replicas for much more expensive items, such as amber or jet beads, gold-colored resin beads offer a modern take on period design.
  • Seed Pearl Jewelry: Seed pearls were somber enough to be acceptable to Victorian-era mourners; they have an understated yet elegant look that gives timeless appeal.
  • Glass Jewels: The glass jewels of mourning jewelry typically feature indistinguishable layers – one which appears black during regular lighting, but iridescent rainbow colors when exposed to sunlight.
How to Make Gold Beaded Jewelry

Symbolic Significance

During the nineteenth century, luxury materials like black enameling and silver asserted status in society, while simultaneously serving as bold symbols associated with loss. For Victorians of this era, funerary decorations were deeply meaningful – honoring those who had gone before them with heartfelt expressions of devotion and loyalty. To this day, individuals continue to use mourning jewelry beads for beautiful memorial pieces that capture their deep emotions.

How to Celebrate Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry beads have become more and more popular in recent times. Unsurprisingly, they are becoming a trend among those looking to celebrate the memories of lost loved ones. In the past, most mourning jewelry was made from jet. Jet was an extremely popular material for creating mourning jewelry as its dark color reminiscent of coal represented grief and loss; however it has recently been replaced by glass beads due to its softer and lighter nature.

When planning a celebration with mourning jewelry beads, there are many things to consider. Firstly, attendees should take time to reflect on the memory of their departed loved one while also taking time to appreciate those still present during the occasion.

Furthermore, some kind of memorial craft or activity could be incorporated throughout the event which serves two purposes: an opportunity for reflection and remembrance as well as a joyful form of bonding between everyone attending. Such activities can include making fashion-inspired necklaces and bracelets that combine both vintage materials with modern types of beading such as crackle glass beads which allows for personal expression while celebrating the beauty of life in all its forms.

During or after this event, mourners may choose to commemorate their beloved by displaying their crafted mourning jewelry beads in some form or feature them in a scrapbook along with written notes and photos from the gathering or any other meaningful keepsakes from times had with their lost family member or friend.

This ensures that regardless of our physical distance from those we’ve lost, we will never be apart spiritually because every time we look at our unique piece of positive remembrance artwork we can channel meaningful memories that person brought into each one’s life unconditionally.

Historical Trends and Styles of Mourning Jewelry Beads

Mourning jewelry was popular during the Victorian period in the nineteenth century as a way to remember and honor those who had passed away. Traditionally, mourning jewelry beads were made from jet, which gives them their characteristic black color. However, the trend of wearing mourning jewelry changed over time.

The earliest forms of mourning jewelry featured intricate designs that included symbols such as skulls and crossbones to commemorate death. There were also coffin-shaped appeal beads that served as reminders of mortality. Later on, the designs became more abstract and featured delicate shapes such as hearts, doves, and religious objects.

Materials Used for Mourning Jewelry Beads

  • Jet
  • Garnet
  • Onyx
  • Hematite
  • Coral

Initially, jet was used to make mourning jewelry beads because it had a dark black color that symbolized grief and loss. However, as trends shifted through the years other materials were used including garnet, onyx, hematite and coral. Often times these materials appeared in lockets or necklace charms that weren’t specifically related to mourning but could be worn in memory of someone else. These pieces usually had engravings or inscriptions with messages honoring those who had passed away.


Mourning jewelry beads are a popular form of mourning jewelry that dates back centuries. These beads can be made from a variety of materials including silver, gold, glass, and jet.

They were used to memorialize the passing of a loved one and were most often strung together as necklaces or bracelets. Families would wear these beads proudly to honor the memory of the deceased, the number of beads used usually indicated how many years or generations the family had been grieving.

The composition of mourning jewelry was primarily chosen to represent feelings of grief and celebration through color rather than material significance. Colors like black, gray, blue, and white were chosen for their symbolic value in conveying sadness for those lost while colors like pink, purple, gold, lavender and ivory represented hope for new beginnings in life after loss – with particles often having religious connotations such as stars or tiny crosses etched into them.

Whatever material or color it was made from these pieces of wearable art provided an accessible form of simply expressing grief in times when there were limited mediums available for this purpose.

Today there is a resurgence in wearing traditional mourning jewelry as well as taking its symbolism further by integrating gems which have personal meaning to the wearer’s experience thus creating a truly unique piece meant to honor both life lost and cherished moments.

While mourning or remembrance jewelry has been given modern interpretations they still encapsulate sentiments that resonate strong with any who grieve – providing comfort and reconnecting us to those we care for no matter how great the distance may be between us in time and space.

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