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In the Victorian era (1837-1901), mourning jewelry was a common way to memorialize a loved one. The fashion was popularized by Queen Victoria, who was so devastated by her husband Prince Albert’s death, that she wore mourning clothes for the remainder of her life.

Queen Victoria favoured jet mourning jewelry, which was deep black – a representation of grief – and quite expensive, so it did double-duty as a status symbol for widows. Victorian mourning jewelry took the form of bracelets, necklaces, and rings made from woven hair of the deceased. Lockets and cameos, featuring the loved one’s portrait, were another way to remember someone.

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