Wonderful Victorian Mourning Jewellery
During Victorian times, there was a particular procedure families were expected to follow when they had suffered a loss, especially among the wealthiest. Those who were left behind were expected to dress a certain way to show their grief, but it was also common practice for people who had lost a loved one to wear mourning jewellery.
Families who suffered a bereavement used to give rings to close friends and family members; this was so that they would always be remembered, and it also brought an element of comfort.
Often, those who were from a wealthier background would write in great detail how they wanted their rings to look and this would all be written into a will to ensure their wishes would be fulfilled. The rings would come in many designs, including a skull, or later the rings would depict coffins and urns; these carvings would be surrounded by beads, pearls or deceased hair.
Usually, the mourning ring was made from a material called jet, a fossilised wood that is light to wear and which is now considered collectable.
Mourning lockets were another tradition back in Victorian times. The lockets would contain an image of the person that had passed away, and it would be made from plated metal. These items are highly collectable today and they can be found on auction sites like eBay or in auction rooms.
Mourning necklaces and earrings
Another common type of mourning jewellery was the necklace. Dark in colour to reflect the grieving process, the jet necklaces would be worn alongside a dark beaded necklace and a dark satin ribbon.
Earrings were often worn too; more often than not, women in the Victorian era would wear a mixture of mourning jewellery during their period of grief.
Perhaps the most famous person to show their grief in this way was Queen Victoria; she was regularly seen wearing mourning jewellery after the death of her beloved Prince Albert. At funerals, when the Queen attends, (normally reserved for family) Queen Victoria’s mourning jewellery can be seen if you look for it.