Umbilical cords are vital to an embryo’s development. They provide blood and nutrients to the fetus and are essentially the conduit of life — and as such, many mothers feel an emotional attachment to their baby’s umbilical cord. Plenty of moms save the “stump” when it dries and falls off. But if you’re looking for a, um, very special way to honor the unique role of the umbilical cord, look no further.
Because there are plenty of jewelry designers out there — such as Ruth Avra of Florida — who make umbilical cord jewelry. Yep, you heard that right. In fact, Avra has been doing it for over six years.
In an interview with Today, Avra credited a friend for giving her the idea.
“A close friend gave me her son’s umbilical stump back in 2011 and asked me to make jewelry out of it,” Avra told Today. “I was a jeweler, it should have been a no-brainer, but the stump sat on my desk for several months. I was pregnant at the time with my first child and shortly after my son was born, I put my stump next to my friend’s stump. The sheer difference of the two of them made me realize exactly what I needed to do.”
And so Avra began making umbilical cord jewelry. Lots of it.
Of course, these “differences” mean each piece of jewelry is personalized and totally unique.
To order this particular keepsake, parents simply need to mail Avra or their umbilical jeweler of choice the dried umbilical stump (I mean, what else were you going to do with it, really?). The designer then creates the bracelet or necklace from silver and resin, which preserves the cord’s tissue.
That said, Avra acknowledges her jewelry is indeed out of the ordinary. “It’s definitely not meant for everyone, I know that very well,” said Avra.
However, she hopes people will approach her work with an open mind. “I think tomatoes are disgusting. But I smile and am polite when people eat them in front of me. I would recommend for others to do the same when they see something they think is gross that others love.” She makes a good point.