Ms. Brown-Taher was so moved by the project that she created a similar pendant in memory of her own dog, Stevie Licks.
Creating personalized jewelry as a tribute to a pet is no less involved than undertaking any other bespoke project, according to Ms. Brown-Taher. She consults with each client in person or via video conference, drawing out intimate memories that might inform a design. “They share memories of places and things that have personal meanings,” she said. “It can take months before we get to the engraving.” The entire process, which includes preliminary meetings and preparatory sketches, begins at $10,000.
The newest offering from Ms. Brown-Taher’s brand Renna is for the pets themselves: sterling silver ID tags from $195, which can be engraved for an additional charge. A portion of the proceeds goes to the animal rescue organization Animal Haven in New York City.
With its ancient origins and aristocratic associations, the signet ring has attained renewed fashionable gloss in the 21st century. It’s not unusual for pet owners — usually bereaved after a loss — to commission a keepsake from Rebus, a London jewelry brand specializing in hand-engraved signet rings (from $1,000 to $6,000).
“We do a lot with heraldry, family crests that have gun dogs, greyhounds, whippets,” Emmet Smith, the company founder, said. “If you trace the genealogy of those elements far enough, they’re present because someone loved those animals.” He said he considers customized signets created in memory of an animal to be a kind of domestic pet memento mori, referring to artworks that are reminders of inevitable mortality and the importance of using one’s time well.
When clients are unsure about what to incorporate into a design, the brand will encourage them to assemble “a memory mood board with the most important elements they want in the ring. Along with a photo, we can also add things like lettering, banners, florals,” Mr. Smith said. However, given the limited room on the ring’s surface, he said, “less is more.”