Death is the natural conclusion of life, but that’s little comfort when you are grieving a loved one. If you’ve experienced the loss of someone close to you, then you will appreciate the mission at Everence; they allow you to create custom jewelry and even tattoos with the DNA (by cheek swab), hair, or the cremains of your loved one.
In 1991, my brother Mark was murdered by gunshot; he was 21. Years before, Mark and I had talked about what we wanted to be done with our bodies when we died; neither of us was interested in being buried in a cemetery, we both said we’d rather be cremated and spread or buried at our family’s ranch. Of course, when Mark and I talked about death, we weren’t thinking that either of us would have to do this for the other any time soon; we were thinking someday. But now it was someday.
The remaining members of my family buried the heavy plastic box holding Mark’s cremains under a copse of live oak trees in his favorite pasture on our family’s ranch. I was 24 at the time; I had dealt with familial death before, but it had always been an elderly relative who died after living a full life. My brother’s death was too soon; it was tragic, and it felt meaningless. Mark had been in the prime of his life, and now his life was suddenly over.
I’m not even sure how I had the presence of mind to take a scoop of Mark’s cremains to keep, but I did. I eventually purchased a small bronze urn to keep them in, and the urn has sat on a shelf in every home I’ve lived in since. Macabre? I’ve never thought so; having that small urn as a reminder that my brother had existed, that he had lived, was comforting somehow.
Over the years that have passed since Mark’s death, I’ve noticed various companies offering to use the cremains of a loved one to make everything from a lab diamond to a paperweight. My brother was not a paperweight kind of guy, and lab diamonds made from cremains are very expensive, even for the smallest ones.
The purpose of Everence is emotional connection to those people or pets who matter most. Everence allows you to have a piece of jewelry that you can wear every day or a tattoo that lasts forever so you can carry with you those who have impacted your life and inspired your journey. We like to think of this as a modern-day relic, an actual physical way to keep these connections close, all with the help of our innovative technology.
When I first wrote about Everence, it was to mention their service of using DNA for tattoos for our holiday gift guide. I thought it was an imaginative and affordable memorial. Everence has recently started offering jewelry that’s been embedded with DNA from a cheek swab, hair, or ash; what sets them apart from other services I’ve seen is that the jewelry they make is fashionable and affordable.
I know I keep hammering on the affordable aspect, but like so many things connected with the funeral process, memorial items tend to be prohibitively expensive. Everence memorial jewelry is well made and it looks good; their items come with prices that are accessible to almost everyone.
Everence Bracelet Features
- Handcrafted custom beaded bracelet with semi-precious 6mm stones and sterling silver accents
- Everence Bead created from consumer’s choice of human/pet DNA – a cheek swab, hair, or cremains
- Available in one, two, or three DNA preserving bead options
- Users can customize stone and bead colors and clasp style of each bracelet
- DNA bead color offerings include blue, green, clear, or grey
- Semi-precious stones come in eight color waves
- Manufactured in an ISO certified, GMP compliant facility
- Made from non-erodible materials that enable it to last forever
My brother’s favorite color was blue, so I was drawn to the Summer Wind style, which can be ordered with one, two, or three beads. After you’ve decided which bracelet you prefer and selected your wrist size (7, 7.5, 8, or 8.5″), getting your Everence bead bracelet becomes a two-part process.
If you opt to do a DNA cheek swab sample of a living person, you’ll be sent a collection kit specific to that. I opted for the ashes kit. It came with a container for hair or ash, instructions, and a return shipping label.
Cremains are something not many people have ever had reason to see. They aren’t fine ash, like what comes out of your fireplace; instead, they are a chunky mix of ash, bone, and teeth fragments; there’s no DNA in the ash, but some might be present in the bone and teeth fragments.
I filled the container to the halfway mark, as instructed.
Everence includes a card with your customer ID on it and a place for you to write the name of the person whose sample you are sending in for your records. I accidentally included the card in my return kit, but it’s okay.
All that was left was to send the package in and wait a couple of weeks. Unlike the DNA-infused diamond making process which takes months, Everence has a relatively quick turnaround time.
This week, I received a box with the finished bracelet inside.
The bracelet is composed of Lapis beads with sterling silver findings. In the center, there is a clear bead that has been infused with my brother’s cremains. You can also select infused beads in green, gray, or blue.
I asked for a 7″ bracelet, and this is what I received.
The bracelet is beautiful, and although I haven’t ever had one with this type clasp before, I like it; it looks good on my wrist, and it is secure.
There’s no need to be morbid about death; it’s just a part of life, after all. Being able to keep a close and personal reminder of your loved one can help you remember to treasure their life, the life you have, and the days you have left.
The Everence Bracelet is available with one bead or two; the price for a bracelet with a single DNA, ash, or hair infused bead is $98. The price for a bracelet with two beads is $139, and the price for a bracelet with three beads is $189. They are available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: A fashionable and well-made memorial of a loved one that can be worn daily; It’s not obvious mourning jewelry; It’s affordable; It doesn’t take long to receive after sending in your sample; Multiple wrist sizes are available; Multiple color combinations are available; You can get up to three infused beads per bracelet
What Needs Improvement: Nothing