Mourning jewellery (also known as Momento Mori jewellery) has been around since the medieval times. Momento Mori is a Latin phrase that means remember that you will die when it is translated into English.
What is it?
The concept behind mourning jewellery is just as it sounds. It is worn by people who have lost someone to express sadness during their time of mourning. It is also a symbol to remind people to live each day that we are given because death is inevitable. Mourning jewellery often features macabre images such as skulls and coffins.
It wasn't until the Victorian period when Queen Victorias husband Prince Albert died that mourning jewellery really rose in popularity. The queen and the rest of the country entered a sombre period of mourning during which mourning jewellery made from dark stone such as jet, onyx, amethyst and garnet became very popular.
Different colours were said to represent different stages of the mourning period. The traditional Victorian way of wearing mourning jewellery was to only wear mourning jewellery for the first two or three years of deep mourning. After this time different colours and types of jewellery could be incorporated to represent the different stages of grief.
At Laurelle Antique Jewellery we stock a collection of antique mourning jewellery ranging in age from the 18th century through to the Victorian period.