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“It’s a real comfort to know that person is near to me.”

Fiona Herron, co-owner of J Herron & Son in Blyth, Northumberland, talks about a custom silver locket created in her very own workshop.

My perfect piece is a silver memorial locket that my husband and I designed together. It contains the ashes of a loved relative and has the word “love” in their handwriting inscribed into the silver. 

The locket itself is very subtle. I didn’t want an obvious piece of jewellery. Apart from the vintage design on the locket, there is nothing to suggest the priceless sentimental value it has for me. 

To have the design created by my husband John using our laser engraving technology and hand finished in our workshop was incredibly special. J Herron & Son has been trading since 1841. John is the sixth generation to keep the family business going. 

The locket is the most precious piece of jewellery that I have. A lot of people ask about it and compliment me on it, even if they don’t know its deeper meaning. 

Its anonymity is a big thing for me. No one else outside of our immediate family and friends knows how important the locket is. Keeping it private and not showcasing its purpose makes it much more special for those who actually knew the person in question. 

I wear it all the time. It goes with everything. It’s a real comfort to know that person is near to me, both in challenging situations and also day to day. It helps me to confront the cycle of life and it gives me strength when I need it most. It’s nice to have that constant and visceral connection. 

I hope one day to leave it to my daughter. I want to give her an opportunity to know the person too and to tell her stories about their life. 

The process of having the locket created was cathartic. I learned a lot about myself and my own handling of grief during that time. To see something designed and created from scratch, with a single-minded vision, was lovely. I recommend it to anybody who has lost a loved one or wants to commemorate something personal. It needn’t be a loss. It could be a child’s handprint, pet’s paw print or the handwriting of a loved one. Every person has a completely different story. Special people and moments deserve to be remembered. 

Fiona’s memorial locket was designed by her husband John Herron and manufactured by J Herron & Son

The Perfect Piece is a series of stories from CMJ members and staff about the pieces that mean the most to them.

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