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Urn and Keepsake Differences

Two family members holding a cremation urn at a cemetery as a keepsake of their cherished loved one

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A cremation keepsake is designed to hold a small amount of ashes which is what makes it different from an urn. Keepsakes can be unique and special small pieces of jewelry or other items representing a loved one. Many people wish to have a keepsake after their loved one is cremated. In addition, many families choose to have a larger full-sized urn holding all the loved one’s ashes.

With keepsakes, families can create various memorial pieces for each family member as a special way to keep their loved ones with them. 

Urn jewelry is simply a small, hollowed-out container that you will fill with a small amount of your loved one’s ashes. It can be a charm or a bead you would put on a bracelet, but more commonly comes as a necklace.

Urn Types

An urn is a container used to hold a person’s cremated remains. Traditionally, urns for human ashes were vase-shaped containers with lids made from wood, metal, glass, cultured marble urns, or ceramic.

Funeral planning involves many difficult choices. Choosing the right urn becomes the next big question once you’ve decided that you want to move forward with cremation. The cremation urn is just as important as the gravestone or casket because it serves the role of both.

Finding the average cost of an urn can be perplexing. The size, material, and origin will all have a part to play in the price.

You want to make sure that the urn you select reflects the wishes and tastes of the deceased and their loved ones. A biodegradable urn might be best if the deceased was concerned about the environment.

You probably don’t want an overly ornate version if they had simple tastes. Chances are, you’ll know which urn is perfect when you see it, but keeping the personality of the deceased can help make the process more personal.

Urns range in size, material, and style. Here are some of the types of urns and their uses:

Scattering Urn

These urns are designed to hold ashes while also allowing for easy scattering. 

Water Urn

Water urns are unique because they are entirely biodegradable urns and will completely dissolve in water. These are eco friendly urns. They allow the remains to be dispersed gently without scattering ash or them blowing away or being accidentally dropped.

Memorial Urn

This urn holds a person’s ashes and is displayed inside the home. They are usually engraved with the family member’s name, date of birth and death, and a favorite saying or quote. 

Cremation Urn for Burial

After cremation, many people want to be buried. The burial urn is a secure type of urn that will hold the person’s ashes when buried. You want to choose an urn that is durable and will not inevitably be crushed by the weight of the earth’s gravity or be destroyed, which is why metal or stone are the best options.

Jeff Monreal can advise the best possible materials suitable for the types of burial the family chooses. You can also decide to purchase an urn vault to contain the urn for extra protection and increased durability.

Tree Urn

Some people wish to plant a young tree with the person’s cremated remains. This allows the tree to use the ashes as it grows, and the remains become a living urn by using material for the growing tree to use.

Planter Urns

Planter urns are unique planters for indoor areas that will hold the loved one’s ashes. These are particularly meaningful if the deceased was known to be a plant person. 

Types of Keepsakes

A keepsake is a small token or memento symbolizing a significant person, event, or place. A memorial keepsake is a small item representing, often quite literally, a person who has passed. They’re meant to be kept in a particular place or on display so you can remember the loved one. 

There are many different types of memorial keepsakes, and mini urns and mini keepsakes, and some popular ones include:

Keepsake Urn

A keepsake urn is a smaller, decorative container designed to hold a small portion of the cremated remains (ashes) of a loved one. These urns have gained popularity for several reasons due to the unique benefits they offer:

  1. Personalization: Keepsake urns come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and designs. This allows you to choose an urn that reflects the deceased’s personality, interests, or hobbies, making it a more personalized and meaningful tribute.
  2. Shared Remembrance: Keepsake urns allow family members and friends to have a portion of the cremated remains. This way, multiple people can share in the remembrance of the loved one, keeping a small piece of them close.
  3. Portability: The smaller keepsake urns make them easier to transport, store, or display in various locations. This can be especially beneficial if you want to keep the urn in different places, such as at home, at a workplace, or while traveling.
  4. Comfort in Grief: For some people, having a keepsake urn can provide comfort in grieving. The physical presence of the urn can serve as a tangible connection to the departed, offering a source of solace during difficult times.
  5. Flexibility in Memorialization: Keepsake urns offer flexibility in memorializing your loved one. You can place them on display shelves, mantelpieces, or memorial cases. Some keepsake urns are designed to be wearable as jewelry, allowing you to carry a small part of your loved one with you wherever you go.
  6. Cost-Effective Option: Traditional full-sized urns can be more expensive due to their larger size and construction. Keepsake urns provide a more affordable option for families who want to distribute the remains among several individuals or keep them in different places.
  7. Cultural and Religious Considerations: Distributing the remains among family members is expected in some cultures and religions. Keepsake urns provide a respectful way to honor these traditions.
  8. Commemorative Ceremonies: Families can hold multiple memorial services or ceremonies using keepsake urns with different groups of people. This allows for more intimate gatherings and sharing of memories.
  9. Flexibility for Final Resting Place: If the family still decides on a permanent resting place for the remains, keepsake urns provide a temporary solution while allowing for more time to make decisions.

It’s important to note that the choice of urn, whether standard or keepsake, is personal. Families should consider their preferences, cultural or religious beliefs, and the deceased’s wishes when selecting the appropriate urn.

Keepsake Jewelry

  • Urn pendants are hollow and hold a tiny amount of cremation ash. They can also be engraved
  • Fingerprint jewelry contains the image of your loved one’s fingerprint and can be made into almost any type of jewelry.

Keepsake Cremation Urns

  • Keepsake urns are small and allow numerous people to keep a small part of the ashes

Keepsake Glass

  • These are small, colorful glass pieces, usually handmade and infused with a small portion of ashes. These come in three typical shapes – hearts, orbs, and touchstones.

Urns and Keepsakes

 Here are some of the differences between urns and keepsakes.

  1. The urn is meant to hold a deceased’s ashes. Keepsakes are tokens for the remembrance of a loved one. 
  2. Full-size or portion urns are much larger than a keepsake, even a keepsake urn.
  3. Keepsakes can be anything small that reminds a person of the deceased. They include everything from photographs to jewelry. 

Compassion When You Need It Most

At Jeff Monreal Funeral Home, we work with people from all over Lake County to plan their cremation services, including Mentor, Eastlake, Willoughby, Willowick, Painesville, Wickliffe and beyond. If cremation services are something you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We are only one phone call away from providing peace of mind and excellent service. Contact us to start planning for your family.

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