Rings, bracelets, and necklaces can all be made from sterling silver and umbilical stump pendants, and the results are surprisingly stunning.

By Lauren Pardee
Courtesy of Ruth Avra

November 8, 2018

A newborn's umbilical stump—the crucial life-giving source connecting a mother and baby during pregnancy—is still attached to their sweet little tummy for about 1-2 weeks postpartum. Once the stump dries up, it falls off, and there in your hand is the last token of that miracle pregnancy (besides your baby, of course). To the average person, the useless remains of the umbilical cord are pretty unappealing; something only a mother could love as the saying goes. That was until professional metalsmith Ruth Avra started creating beautiful jewelry out of them 6 years ago. Now, mothers who feel attached to their baby’s nub can wear them proudly around their necks, or wrists rather than storing them away in the family archives or tossing them out.

In a process called lost wax carving, Avra creates stunning sterling silver jewels with the umbilical stump preserved like a gem as the focal point, which she sells at a starting point of $195.

“I let the natural shape of the stump determine the shape and form of each pendant. So, each one is handmade by me and entirely one of a kind. The design itself is reminiscent of my other jewelry work, organic texture with a bit of sparkle,” Avra explained.

She likes to keep the stump in its original form, making each necklace a custom piece. Even the color is perfectly preserved and put on display. But lately, she’s been exploring new designs—like her bracelet options—allowing her to, “spread my creative wings a bit more.”

“About two years ago I started doing ‘shape requests.’ Sometimes the stumps mimic a familiar shape—a heart, a circle, a teardrop, etc. So, I let the outer form take on that familiar shape, and the inner form fit the stump perfectly,” Avra said.

Shockingly stunning, right? Avra credits her children’s stumps to the birth of this innovative idea; at one time she was searching for a way to immortalize her pregnancies, too.

“A close friend gave me her son's umbilical stump and asked me to make jewelry out of it. I was a jeweler, it should have been a no-brainer, but the stump sat on my desk for several months,” she told Parents.com. “I was pregnant at the time with my first child and as soon as my son was born, and I put my stump next to my friend's stump... Well, the sheer difference between the two made me realize exactly what I needed to do. And I have been making them pretty much the same way ever since!”

We applaud Avra’s innovation and sentimental nature along with her impressive jewelry making skills. But, she isn’t the only one riding this unique trend. Here are other impressive designers creating amazing umbilical cord jewelry to shop from:

Speckled Milk

Tree of Opals

Willow Beyond the Tree

Keepsakes by Ry

Breastmilk Jewellery

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