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During the Victorian Era (which lasted from the late 1860s- 1880s) touchstone jewelry was introduced as means to remember those who had passed. While there have been great variances throughout the centuries in items that honor the deceased in the forms of paintings, photographs and sculpture, jewelry is the token memento that has transcended time and remained prevalent throughout history.
In traditional Victorian accessorial fashion there was a strict culturally prescribed uniform for friends, families and widows. Elegant pieces of mourning jewelry that were allowed, “all inscribed with the name, date of death, and age of the deceased ” reiterated the careful attention to detail in treasured jewelry of the time. As time progressed from a period of deep mourning to half mourning, gemstones, inscriptions and various elegant metals were permitted to adorn and celebrate those who passed.