A piece of jewelry with a mixture of transparent resin and cremation ashes in the setting. A method of mixing ashes with a resin and hardener, flowing into a setting and allowing to harden.

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This application claims priority from U.S. Application No. 61/844,798, filed Jul. 10, 2013 incorporated by reference in its entirety.


1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to mementos for recalling and respecting loved ones who have passed.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There has long been a demand for mementos or keepsakes to allow survivors to feel close to and recall the memories of loved ones, including pets, who are no longer with us. Traditionally, the remains of the deceased were often interned in a human or pet cemetery and that resting place would be visited on a regular basis by the heirs and survivors.

In more recent times, with the lack of space and more modern thinking, cremation of humans and animals alike has become so common place that up to nearly fifty percent of all remains are now being cremated to produce what is referred to as cremains.

Various different devices and methods have been originated for preserving cremation ashes such as in urns, sometimes maintained in the survivor's household or possibly interned at a local cemetery. Other efforts have led to the proposal of devices which would allow the deceased's ashes to be housed in a piece of jewelry or the like. For instance, locket compartments have been proposed which carry a small quantity of cremation ashes, so the ashes can be viewed in their unaltered states. It has also been proposed to encase a small quantity of cremation ashes in molten glass formed into a jewelry piece to be worn, for instance, around the neck or wrist of a loved one.

Lockets for receiving cremains have certain appeal but suffer the shortcoming that the ashes are not exposed for instantaneous and ready viewing by the wearer and can sometimes become dislodged and lost.

Encasement of cremains in glass can provide for convenient display and viewing through the glass itself but suffers the shortcoming that typically the resultant glass piece must be of considerable size and the ashes sometimes have a rather dark, grey, dull appearance which may not be particularly appealing to the viewer.

It is known that cremation to oxidize human remains typically produces a somewhat unattractive grey and dull appearance. This shortcoming has been recognized in U.S. Pat. No. 7,255,743 to VandenBiesen et al. There, the inventor seeks to overcome this shortcoming by extracting carbon from the ashes to be exposed to a high temperature and pressure process to produce a keepsake diamond. While serving to produce a durable and somewhat attractive memento, this process is prohibitively expensive and ends up altering the appearance of the ashes from their natural state, something that is preferred by many survivors.

Conventional jewelry, such as finger rings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, pendants, charms, wrist watches and the like are often worn for aesthetic purposes and provide a ready expedient for mounting cremains, subject to a satisfactory medium available to mount the cremains. The mounting of cremains in a small piece of jewelry, however, presents challenges and has thus left those working in the art with the dilemma of either accepting the commonplace display of the cremains in an urn, embedded in pottery or the like or possibly encased in transparent glass by a molten torch procedure or wearing oversized jewelry to display the cremains in a glass encasement.

Various types of resins have been proposed to encase documents or provide a protective coating over valuables such as gems. What is needed, however, is a convenient and effective means for entrapping cremains for aesthetic display in a keepsake. It is thus, an objective of the present invention to provide a jewelry piece to display a compact, shaped display of cremains through a transparent medium to thus provide an aesthetically pleasing keepsake which can be more sentimental than just a locket or, for instance, glass encased ashes.


The jewelry memento of the present invention includes a resin encasing cremains to mount in a jewelry setting. The method of the invention includes flowing resin into a jewelry setting with cremains mixed therein.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a jewelry piece held in a holder and exposing a setting;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of resin and hardener being mixed in a container;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a transparent plastic bag containing cremains;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of liquid resin and hardener being poured into the transparent bag of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the mixture of resin and cremains being piped into the setting shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the mixture as it hardens in the jewelry setting;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a cover layer being applied to the hardened cremains and resin mixture;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the cremains mixture covered by a transparent cover layer as it hardens;

FIG. 9A is a perspective view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the top surface of the mixture being buffed;

FIG. 9B is a perspective view of the mixture in the setting of FIG. 9A depicting the mixture stirred about to create a design for the ashes;

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of the jewelry piece of FIG. 9 as a protective coat is added;

FIG. 10B is a sectional view, in enlarged scale, of the finished ring depicting three protective coatings on the hardened mixture;

FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram of a method of making the jewelry piece shown in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of second method of making the jewelry piece shown in FIG. 10B.


Referring to FIGS. 1 & 6, in one aspect the memento of the present invention includes a finger ring 21 having a setting 23 thereon configured with a rim defining a bezel 25 to form a central cavity which receives a resin and cremation ash mixture 47.

Cremation ashes may be treated in many different ways, to prepare for the method of the present invention as by utilizing without special treatment or as by grinding with a pestle and maybe screened through a sieve or the like to provide for fine, uniform particles. The ashes themselves often have some coloration to them but may be for the main part of a relatively grey color. For keepsake purposes, many surviving relatives and loved ones have a demand for a keepsake to display the ashes in the natural state and be readily available to be displayed in a discrete and readily viewable state.

Jewelry pieces come in many different forms and are worn as finger rings, bracelets, pendants, hair pieces and many other forms, often having a relatively small setting, a setting which sometime is not of sufficient size to conveniently and effectively receive an operable locket or a meaningful size of molten glass or the like which might enclose or encase cremation ashes.

The settings for finger rings and the like come in many different forms such as in the form of a mount having a bezel strip around the edge which may then be soldered to a gem or the metal worked up over the edge of a stone or the like to retain it in place. Other settings include prong settings which may be bent up around the stone to hold it in place. Even other settings are in the form of channel settings which include two bars or strips of metal that may be linear in shape and which may contain a series of stones. There are also bead settings for setting a stone directly into metal using gravers called burins which are essentially tiny chisels. An even further type of setting is a burnished setting sometimes referred to as a flush setting similar to a bead setting but after the stone has been inserted in place instead of using a graver to lift beads, a burnishing tool is used to push the metal around the edges of the stone to hold it in place. I have found it to be expedient to employ jewelry pieces having a bezel type mount which typically forms a dish-like configuration having side walls which define a cavity into which the mixture of resin, hardener and ash employed in my invention is received.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art any piece of jewelry with a recess or the like defining a setting will serve the purpose of my invention, whether the setting is incorporated in a traditional piece of jewelry or maybe even a recess specially formed in a piece of jewelry, it only being important that the recess have a rim made up of sidewalls to contain the flowable resin.

Referring the FIG. 3, as will be appreciated by those skilled in that art, each jewelry memento made in accordance with my invention will produce a custom made piece of jewelry employing the cremains of a loved one or deceased pet.

To acquire the ashes, in some instances I forward a double package of plastic envelopes to a customer for packaging of a small quantity of cremains to be employed in my method. When I receive those cremains, I examine them and, to the extent necessary might grind them into a fine powder and in some instances shake through a sieve or the like to remove any irregular or oversized granules.

The customer might supply a piece of jewelry or select a desired piece such as a finger ring 21. The ring shown in my preferred embodiment includes the setting 23 formed with the peripheral bezel 25 to define a cavity of a selected depth for receipt of the mixture to complete the process.

Of course other settings may be employed depending on the preference of the artisan. I may mount the ring in vise or a holder 35 to hold it upright for flowing of resin into the setting 23.

I then mix resin and hardener in, for instance, a container 36 (FIG. 2) utilizing a mixer 37 to provide the desired resin mixture 39. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, many different commercially available resins and hardeners will suffice in this combination. One commercially available epoxy resin I have found satisfactory is clear RAINDROP® epoxy resin available from Rio Grande, 7500 Bluewater Road N.W., Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87121. As will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art, while many different ratios will suffice, I typically select a ratio of 1 to 1 a resin and hardener mixture which will be readily flowable. I have discovered that the ashes and resin may be mixed in various ratios to produce the desired viscosity for the resultant mixture. Ratios I have found desirable are 1/2 resin/hardener and 1/2 cremains or 1/3 resin/hardener and 2/3 cremains to produce a thick workable substance, not unlike the texture of cement with, of course, the finer granules.

The resin, mixture 39 and cremains 41 may then be mixed together as by squeezing and manipulating the envelope 40 to form the resin/cremains mixture 47. The resin itself may be selected to provide the desired end effect, such as to provide the desired opacity, full transparency, translucence or coloration to enhance the desired viewing effect. In some aspects of my invention the mixing may take place by stirring in a container similar to the container 36.

Once the mixing is complete, the corner of the envelope 40 may be cut off at 45 (FIG. 5) to form a type of funnel or pipe to allow the workman to pipe the mixture of cremains, resin and hardener into the setting 23.

The setting 23 may be filled to within a couple of millimeters or so from the top of the bezel as shown in FIG. 6 to thus leave a small vertical rim 49 of a few millimeters or so above the top surface of the mixture 47. I have discovered that with a setting having a relatively flat, planar bottom wall, the ashes typically settle downwardly around the periphery of the setting producing a somewhat uniform, circular pattern. As set forth below, in order to add to aesthetics, at this stage of the process, I sometimes stir the mixture during the hardening process to re-distribute the ashes to a more uniform distribution of to form a design such as into a swirl pattern or other non-uniform pattern.

In practice, I leave the mixture 47 in the mount 21 for several hours, for instance, four to six hours or in some instances overnight or up to a couple of days to set up and harden. The mixture typically hardens with a sufficiently smooth top surface so that buffing is not necessary. To enhance the finish, however, I sometimes buff the top surface using a buffer 51 (FIG. 9A).

In another aspect of my invention, to achieve a more uniform distribution of ashes throughout the mixture I mix the cremains with a mixer 47 during the hardening phase (FIG. 9B). This step may be repeated as the hardening progresses.

In one aspect, after hardening I add some clear resin and hardener 50 at FIG. 7 to form an additional layer 52 (FIG. 10B) of protective coating over the top surface of the hardened mixture 47. This then is allowed to set up for two or three hours or so and I then add another couple of layers 54 and 56 of the resin and hardener 50 repeating the step of FIG. 7 to thus provide further protective coating and add to the aesthetics. In one of these coatings, I mix some cremation ashes to further add to the aesthetics.

Referring to FIG. 9, for some aspects of the invention I utilize a stir stick 50 (FIG. 9B) to stir the mixture of ashes and resin in the setting 23 during the hardening process to move the ashes around and away from the edge of the bezel. In one aspect I stir the mixture repeatedly, up to 12 times, stopping about 4-6 hours before the mixture fully sets. In another aspect I provide particular designs from the ashes such as a swirl design 58 or the like (FIG. 9B). Thereafter, in some aspects of the invention I apply another clear mixture of resin and hardener at 53 (FIG. 10A) to provide a final finish coat to present a clear transparent protection.

The resultant memento provides a secure, discrete keepsake, attractively displaying the selected cremains. The resin mixture itself, in the hardened state, positively adheres the cremains mixture in the setting.

Referring the FIG. 11, in the method of the present invention, I prefer to select a piece of jewelry as in step 1 which incorporates a setting having a bezel to provide some depth to the recess and oftentimes has a dished bottom so that, even for a small setting having a diameter of just a ⅜ to ¼ of an inch, there is some volume to the recess for receiving the mixture of my invention. In one preferred embodiment I select jewelry piece like FIG. 1 wherein the bezel 25 is continuous and projects entirely around the cavity. These types of settings are often found in readily available finger rings, cufflinks, tie clasps, hair clips, pendants and many other readily available pieces of jewelry known to those skilled in the art.

I have discovered that a preferred ratio of resin and hardeners selected for step 2 of FIG. 11 is 1:1 but other ratios will work, such as 40% to 60% either way. I have discovered that the particular make-up of the resin mixture is effected by temperature and atmospheric conditions so that a set up that works one day may not work so well on another day so it is beneficial to experiment along the way. In some instances I have discovered that the resin/hardener mixture will sometimes take on a coloration, such as yellow, which detracts from the overall aesthetics of the end product so I seek to adjust the procedure accordingly.

In step 3, I mix the resin and hardener in a container 36 as shown in FIG. 2, or sometimes in a baggie or other convenient container.

In practice for step 4, I secure the cremation ashes 41, oftentimes by supplying a customer with a double baggie arrangement so that the customer can double bag the ashes and forward them to me by regular mail or courier.

In some aspects of my invention, I grind the ashes to a finer state than that received and in some instances even filter the ashes through the sieve or the like to provide a uniform powder arrangement which serves to provide a relatively appealing result for the process.

In step 5, for example, I mix the resin and hardener mixture 39 in the baggie 40 containing the ashes 41 to mix the ashes and resin mixture together.

For step 6, I have found it convenient to merely cut off a lower corner of the baggie 40 at 45 (FIG. 5) to provide a convenient piping arrangement to flow the cremation mixture into the recess of the setting 23, typically filling the recess to within about a millimeter of the top edge of the bezel 23 to leave a rim 49 for additional layers of resin or other protective coating.

At step 7, I allow the cremains mixture to cure for 4-6 hours or sometimes even overnight to provide a hardened mixture in the setting for display or further processing. I have found that the end result at this stage of my method provides a relatively attractive product typically displaying the ashes through the transparency of the resin so that the viewer can readily observe the ashes. I have discovered that the resin actually provides a rather attractive appearance as light is transmitted and reflected through the resin and from the ashes so that there is some coloration providing an enhanced appearance different from a dull grey which is often the case with prior art displays.

I have discovered that the resin mixture can sometimes, depending on the atmospheric conditions, form tiny air bubbles and I sometimes solve this problem by allowing the mixture to set for a time or by adding heat, as by either heating the jewelry piece ahead of time, as for instance, under a faucet of hot water, or sometimes applying a flame torch to the setting to thus dissipate the bubbles and render a more attractive appearance. In some instances, I actually leave the bubbles present to add a somewhat different appearance to the overall product.

As shown in FIG. 12, the method of the present invention in some instances includes stirring or otherwise disturbing the fluid mixture of resin, hardener and cremation ashes to form a design 58. This is accomplished by, before the mixture sets up, inserting a mixing device 50, (FIG. 9B) so that the ashes can be stirred about and raised from their settled position toward the bottom of the recess and guided about the resin mixture to a desired configuration as the mixture progresses toward a hardened state, a state sufficient to support the ashes in their suspended position. One design that has proven popular is a type of circular swirl which is considered attractive by many customers.

In this process, I actually polish the surface of the cured mixture at step 8 of FIG. 12 by a polisher 51 (FIG. 9A) to provide a smooth surface and thereafter apply one or more layers of resin and hardener with or without ashes mixed in to provide an even, smooth protective surface. In the end, I sometimes further polish the top surface after step 11 to be assured that I have a smooth even finish. In one aspect, I fill the setting with a sufficient amount of mixture to leave a crown 60 (FIG. 10B) on the top surface of the mixture or layer, as the case may be.

From my experimentations, I have discovered that this final polishing process is not an essential step and as the top layer tends to settle and cure into a relatively smooth surface without polishing.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the method and memento jewelry piece of the present invention provides a particularly attractive memento displaying the cremation ashes of a loved one or pet in an inexpensive and reliable manner. I have discovered that the resin mixture as it cures actually provides a somewhat wet look to the ashes which adds to the aesthetic of the overall appearance. The coloration is better than many prior art glass encapsulations which often end up with a relatively dull grey look to the ashes themselves.

Although the present invention has been described in detail with regard to the preferred embodiments and drawings thereof, it should be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various adaptations and modifications of the present invention may be accomplished without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the detailed description and the accompanying drawings as set forth hereinabove are not intended to limit the breadth of the present invention.


1. A decorative jewelry memento comprising:

a jewelry piece including a setting formed with a recess;
a mixture of resin and hardener having optical transparency in the recess; and
cremation ashes in the mixture about which the mixture is hardened and viewable through the mixture.

2. The memento of claim 1 that includes;

the jewelry pieces in the form of a ring with the setting.

3. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the mixture includes resin and hardener in substantially a 1 to 1 ratio.

4. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the ashes are ground.

5. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the ashes are mixed in the mixture to form a non-uniform design.

6. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the mixture of resin and hardener are transparent.

7. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the mixture of resin and hardener is translucent.

8. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the setting is formed with a continuous bezel defining the recess.

9. The memento of claim 1 wherein:

the ashes are distributed in the mixture to define a swirl design.

10. The memento of claim 8 that includes:

at least one layer of resin and hardener containing the surface of the mixture

11. A method of making a jewelry memento including:

selecting a jewelry piece with a setting defining a recess;
selecting a resin and hardener;
mixing the resin and hardener;
selecting cremation ashes;
mixing the resin, hardener and ashes to form a mixture;
flowing the mixture into the recess; and
curing the mixture.

12. The method of claim 11 that includes:

before the ashes mixing step, grinding the ashes.

13. The method of claim 114 that includes:

after flowing the mixture into the recess, stifling the mixture to distribute the ashes to form a predetermined design within the mixture.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein:

the step of selecting the resin and hardener includes selecting the resin and hardener in a 1:1 ratio.

15. The method of claim 11 that includes:

heating the mixture to remove air bubbles.

16. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the curing step, flowing a protective coating over the mixture in the recess.

17. The method of claim 16 that includes:

after the protective coasting has hardened, flowing a second protective coating over the first mentioned coating.

18. The method of claim 11 that includes:

heating the jewelry piece to above atmospheric temperature.

19. The method of claim 11 wherein:

the curing step is between four and six hours.

20. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the cure step, buffing the surface of the mixture to smooth to a smooth finish.

21. The method of claim 11 wherein:

the cure step includes curing the mixture for 24 hours.

22. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the cure step, adding multiple layers of protective coating.

23. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the step of mixing the resin, hardener and ashes to form the mixture, stirring the mixture a plurality of times.

24. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the cure step, adding a mixture of resin, hardener and ashes to create a protective coating.

25. The method of claim 11 that includes:

after the steps of creating the coating, adding a further layer of clear hardener and resin.

26. A method of making a jewelry memento including:

selecting a jewelry piece with a setting having a recess;
mixing a resin and hardener to form a resin mixture;
selecting cremation ashes;
mixing the cremation ashes with the resin mixture to form a flowable cremains mixture;
flowing the cremains mixture into the recess;
adding heat to the cremains mixture;
partially curing the cremains mixture;
stirring the cremains mixture into a design;
allowing the cremains mixture to harden to form a top surface;
buffing the top surface to form a buffed surface;
mixing a resin and hardener to form a flowable finish mixture;
flowing multiple layers of the finish mixture onto the top surface.
Patent History
Publication number: 20150013382
Type: Application
Filed: Jan 21, 2014
Publication Date: Jan 15, 2015
Inventor: Gina Murphy (Huntington Beach, CA)
Application Number: 14/159,691
Current U.S. Class: Ring (63/15); Cap Or Cup-like Preform (e.g., Container Closure, Etc.) (264/268)
International Classification: A44C 9/00 (20060101); A44C 27/00 (20060101);