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Would You Turn Your Loved One's Ashes Into Diamonds?

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM
  • 55 Replies

From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.

Courtesy Rinaldo Willy/Algordanza

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend. Now, they might also be her mother, father or grandmother.

Swiss company Algordanza takes cremated human remains and — under high heat and pressure that mimic conditions deep within the Earth — compresses them into diamonds.

Rinaldo Willy, the company's founder and CEO, says he came up with the idea a decade ago. Since then, his customer base has expanded to 24 countries.

Each year, the remains of between 800 and 900 people enter the facility. About three months later, they exit as diamonds, to be kept in a box or turned into jewelry.

Most of the stones come out blue, Willy says, because the human body contains trace amounts of boron, an element that may be involved in bone formation. Occasionally, though, a diamond pops out white, yellow or close to black – Willy's not sure why. Regardless, he says, "every diamond from each person is slightly different. It's always a unique diamond."

Most of the orders Algordanza receives come from relatives of the recently deceased, though some people make arrangements for themselves to become diamonds once they've died. Willy says about 25 percent of his customers are from Japan.

At between $5,000 and $22,000, the process costs as much as some funerals. The process and machinery involved are about the same as in a lab that makes synthetic diamonds from other carbon materials.

The basic process reduces the ash to carbon, then slides it into a machine that applies intense heat and pressure — for weeks. That's at least several hundred million years faster than diamonds are made in nature.

"The more time you give this process, the bigger the rough diamond starts to grow," Willy says. After the new diamond cools off, the crystal is ground and cut to shape, and sometimes engraved with a laser.

It only takes about a pound of ashes to make a single diamond, Willy says. His company has created up to nine diamonds from one individual's ashes.

Algordanza isn't the only company blinging out the afterlife, either. AnAmerican company called LifeGem offers the same services, and there are a number of U.S. patents for similar procedures.

Most of the time, Willy says, people take the diamonds to a jeweler to be made into rings or pendants.

"I don't know why, but if the diamond is blue, and the deceased also had blue eyes, I hear almost every time that the diamond had the same color as the eyes of the deceased," says Willy, who personally delivers the diamonds to his Swiss customers.

Each time, he says, the family is happy that their loved one has, in a sense, returned home. And in sparkling form to boot.

National Woman's Party


by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
.Bubbles.
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

My father-in-law wants to do this. His wife is not thrilled about the idea, lol.

LiveinJoy
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM

yep

JaeMommy07
by Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

yes

The_Doodle
by Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

If I had had the money, I would have done it with my dad's ashes.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I think its a nice idea actually. I could see doing this.

SlightlyPerfect
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I think this is a great idea. I would do it if my mom would allow it, but she is adamant about remaining in an urn.


LadyAmaranth
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Wouldn't and didn't. When hubby died last year it was hard enough paying for the cremation let alone paying for diamonds to be made.

VinVanMom
by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Yes especially if I lost a child. Knock on wood I hate even saying that
SuperChicken
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I like the idea.   I don't know if I'd actually do it though.

Saharra
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:49 AM
This is weird. Lol... I keep thinking of the Bible when Christ returns the dead in Christ will ride first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16). I keep thinking about that and trying to picture it if the bodies are in diamonds :) lol. DH and I have joked that we both want to be cremated and have our ashes spread everywhere. Wouldn't that be a site to see? ;)

It would be so expensive. I don't know. I just find it weird.
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