If you're looking for something different than the typical urn, and would like a unique keepsake urn, then you have lots of choices. Not every urn has to resemble a vase that sits delicately on your mantle. There are urns that are more unusual looking, and can be kept on your desk or even on your person. This is great for people who don't want the overly serious urn. So, here's a few examples of the unique and not too formal urns that you can choose from.
Hardwood Box Memorial Urn With Photo Inlay
You can get a finely crafted hardwood urn that is made from a beautiful wood such as ash or maple, and polished to a beautiful shine. The urn box can be designed to hold a memorial photo of your loved one. The boxes will contain the ashes in the inside, and can be designed to have a secure latch to prevent any spills. The cool thing about a decorative hardwood box is that, unlike a fragile glass vase, a hardwood box urn won't shatter and cause a terrible mess if it falls off the mantle. So, if you do want to house the urn on your mantle, or high up on a shelf, you can do so without being worried about any sort of accidental breakage.
Musical Box Urn
If you prefer a more relaxed urn, something that does not sit on your mantle in a solemn manner, and would prefer a less staid urn, then a beautiful, and still respectable urn would be a musical box. These can be made of either hardwoods, metals, crystal, or a combination of the three. The box could contain a memorial photo as well. When the box is opened it would play a beautiful song. You might like to choose a song that was your loved ones favorite, or a simple religious tune, if you prefer.
Etched Silver Locket Urn
If you're looking for a way to keep your loved one close to your heart, literally, then you should look into a silver locket urn. These are small pieces of jewelry that will contain a bit of your loves ones ashes. You can get these lockets in the design of a cross, or a heart. In addition to the beautiful design, you can have them etched with a thoughtful inscription such as your loved ones date of birth, or even a psalm.