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Ashes to Diamonds, Turning Cremains into Gems

Headquartered in Switzerland, a company named Algordanza makes Memorial Diamonds, and claims that for a fee they will transform the cremains or cremated ashes to diamonds of a deceased body.

Ashes to Diamonds-The Family Jewels

cremated ashes into diamonds

Photo from USGS, public domain, minerals

The diamonds that are made from the ashes are similar in composition to synthetic diamonds, similar to the type grown in labs.

Synthetic diamonds are clearly detectable as such to jewelers and subsequently are valued less than mined or real diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds are on average 20%-30% lower in price per carat than real or mined diamonds.

A lab grown diamond is not the same as cubic zirconia, which many people are familiar with since they frequently mimic diamonds. A cubic zirconia is not chemically the same as a diamond, made in a lab or dug from the earth, and are in a separate category of gems called ‘diamond stimulant’.

To find 1 carat of real pure diamond an average of 250 tons or earth must be dug, sifted and moved.

Photo credit Wikimedia, USAID

Photo credit Wikimedia, USAID

Last year TIME reported that by the year 2017, 1 out of 2 Americans will choose cremation over burial.

Besides a very personal choice of what to do with the physical body after someone passes away, there are logistical reasons for the rising trend in cremation-not just in America, but internationally. Some of these factors have been described as a decision based on the reduction of costs (compared to a burial in a casket), space constraints in cemeteries, and even cited as an ecological choice.

Human remains contain carbon, those elements are extracted, heated and transformed into graphite through a crystallization process. Basically gemologists have been able to recreate in a lab the process of how diamonds are made naturally-to a certain degree (not the 2,500 degrees that the Earth’s mantle uses to make the precious stone).

The Memorial Diamonds created by Algordanza from cremated remains, or cremains, create unique diamonds, meaning each one varies slightly (even visibly) like the person they once were, one of a kind.

While the concept of turning nothing into something is always popular, turning death into diamonds is an interesting concept, certainly adding a different type of value to the “family jewels”.

All of the diamonds created from human ashes have a slightly bluish color, they can be nearly all clear or be dark and even black based on boron levels in the cremains (found in the foods we eat).

Sentimental or just mental, wearing diamonds the requests keep pouring in to various companies who can turn ashes to diamonds. The next time you hear the term “Diamonds are Forever”, some really are life everlasting.


Featured image by Mario Sarto via Wikimedia Commons.

About Tonya O'Dell