What is MOURNING Jewelry? | Memorial Jewelry

(fun upbeat music) – This is Jill Maurer
with Your Jewelry Minute and today I’m answering the question, what is mourning jewelry? And mourning jewelry is
jewelry that you wear when you’re in mourning and it’s worn by men and women. And we don’t have a
specific mourning period in our customs today, but in the past we did and people dressed a certain way and wore certain jewelry
when they were in mourning. Sometimes mourning pieces
memorialized a certain person and it might have their image on it, it might be something that
holds a piece of their hair or represents them in some way. Some mourning jewelry is
even specifically made from a person’s hair. It’s woven in intricate ways. A lot of antique jewelry you will find, you’ll find mourning jewelry, but nobody did it like the Victorians. The Victorians for both men and women had about a two-year mourning
period when somebody died. There were rules about how they dressed and often they had to dress all in black and they couldn’t wear shiny jewelry. So they had jewelry specifically
to wear during this period and it wasn’t shiny. A lot of times it was made
out of something black so it would be made out of
jet which was an ebonized wood or out of onyx or other black materials. And watch chains you’d see men wear instead of having their
bright shiny gold watch chain, it might be a chain that
was actually woven of hair so that it wasn’t so sparkly. So while this isn’t a
practice we continue today, when you’re looking at an antique jewelry, there are a lot of
different mourning pieces and people are very curious about them. Well, I hope that answered your question. If you have a jewelry question, just let me know in the comments below. Until next time. (fun upbeat music)

13 Replies to “What is MOURNING Jewelry? | Memorial Jewelry”

  1. I have never heard of mourning jewelry. Such an interesting concept! I really love these jewelry minutes because I've learned so much and have a little bit of knowledge when I go to estate sales and antique or junk shops. Thanks for these little tidbits!

  2. Nice touch wearing black for this video. I knew about mourning jewelry and those strict Victorians. Many people still wear jewelry in honor of people or animals they've lost. I wear a bat bracelet in honor of my Sebastian and there are companies today that will make jewelry with pets' ashes contained or imbeded in them. Not sure if anyone does that with human ashes. I wouldn't consider those mourning pieces, at least not after a certain point. Is there an official name for them?

  3. I think the tattoo is the new mourning jewelry that people are wearing. My 85-year-old aunt still has the families morning jewelry made out of hair The beautiful ear bobs are absolutely amazing to look at I told The relatives how they were made and what they were made of they all wanted to throw them away and I said no no preserve our family DNA

  4. I used to collect mourning jewelry but had problems finding pieces locally. That was so long ago but I think I’ll start looking again. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow and a lady had a collection of mourning rings. Fascinating and some were quite beautiful.

  6. When I was a child I recall my parents were in mourning a whole year. My Uncle had passed on in Mexico City so my Mom signed me out of school for two weeks. I flew with her to be with my Grandfather and other family members. They do not embalm the deceased so they are buried24 hours after passing. I do not recall if our flight made it in rime for the service but we were in time for the first grievance period. It’s starts before noon, everyone is still in black and the house is still dark. Mirrors were covered in black cloth and we prayed for the soul of the departed for a few hours then had a snack. After snack time we prayed some more. We ate dinner and were dismissed until the next day. We did this for nine days. My Grandfather could not smile or laugh until these nine days were over. They dressed in dark clothing for one entire year and we could not attend celebrations. Now when my Grandmother passed we kind of did the same it just wasn’t an all day affair. We had it in the evening and always at our home. People brought food so the grocery bill would not way solely on my parents. My Mom only covered the main mirrors, so we would not be vain, she explained. After the nine days only the adults were not allowed any fun. No card games or attending dances. She tried to put it on the kids but my Dad said we were growing and activities were important to our youth. Trust me, us 9 kids were not allowed that much freedom so the little we were given was a great time. As far as jewelry my Mom wore pearls. She told us, you can only wear a strand of pearls for grieving.

  7. I remember you mentioning mourning jewelry, I believe in your Victorian era video, but I had never heard of it at all until you spoke about it in them. I have however heard of memorial jewelry which I guess is different from mourning jewelry, but closely related to this kind of jewelry. Jewelry made with someone’s hair sounds like it might be flimsy…..is the hair treated so when it’s woven it can hold up with time? Such interesting stuff!

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