Cremation jewellery can bring so much comfort to those that have chosen to memorialise a lost loved one or pet. Wearing your ring or holding your pendant allows you to keep your loved one close and remember the special times you spent together.
Once you have decided that you would benefit from owning such a personal and precious keepsake, you will naturally start to look at the choices that are available from companies that offer such a service. Some of our other blog posts have been written to help you through this process however, we wanted to talk to you about the materials usually used to make the cremation ash gemstone that is set within your cremation jewellery as this is an important factor to consider that can be easily forgotten about when looking at shiny product images.
Materials usually used to create a cremation ash gemstone
There are 2 materials usually used to make a gemstone with cremation ashes. These are glass and resin.
Glass, the material we use here at Ashes With Art, is a material that has been used to make for many thousands of years. The earliest known man made glass dates back to around 3500BC, with finds in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. Using glass correctly takes many years of specialist training and cremation ash gemstones made with glass can have stunning detail and depth that brings an overall beauty to a piece of cremation jewellery.
Resin, or epoxy resin, is a type of glue that is man made and used for many different purposes. Resin casting is a method of plastic casting where a mold is filled with a synthetic resin which then hardens. Due to the simplicity of the product, this can be carried out by amateur hobbyists with little investment and little skill. Its use in jewellery, whilst frowned upon by master craftsmen, has grown over recent years.
Quality and longevity
It's important to choose the right material for you and this can be difficult if you are unsure of the qualities of each product.
Glass will have a flawless, clean and bright finish, whereas resin can have a more plastic feel and finish which is generally duller less smooth and perfect.
The more concerning differences between glass and resin come with time. Whilst resin has seen many developments in recent years, it is susceptible to UV damage which is caused by sunlight and will turn yellow over time. The speed of this happening very much depends on the amount of exposure to sunlight your piece will receive. This can mean having to choose when and where to wear a resin piece to ensure its longevity. Unfortunately resin is also prone to shrinkage which can cause issues with the cremation ash gemstone becoming too small over time for the jewellery that it is set in and falling out. Glass is fortunate in that it will not shrink over time and its colour will not fade or its surface yellow. Looked after properly, glass will look as good as new forever.
We are all familiar with glass as we use it in our every day lives and due to its strength it is used for a wide range of products from windows to cookware and can even be used for protection when used in windows of military vehicles. Whilst glass can be damaged, it is a hard substance and looked after properly will last for generations.
Resin is different to glass and is much softer. It does harden, however it is still relatively soft compared to glass and is very susceptible to dents and scratches. Resin will only harden when mixed properly and badly mixed resin whilst appearing to be hard can be damaged by something as simple as a nail scraping against it.
Whilst resin has its place in the world, we believe that for memorialisation, it is a substandard product when compared with glass. That said, it's important to make your own mind up and carrying out your own research. If you are unsure which material a company uses, we highly recommend asking whether your cremation ash gemstone will be made from Glass or Resin.
If you have any questions for us about glass, resin or cremation jewellery, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and speak with us.