As the cremation rate continues to rise, and people continue to seek out new and personalized unique services to mark their passing, memorial diamonds are gaining popularity.
So what is a Memorial Diamond?
A memorial diamond is an artificially created diamond made using the carbon DNA extracted from the cremated remains of a human being. The natural crystal synthesis that produces diamonds in nature is simply replicated in a laboratory with increased speed. For some time it has been possible to manufacture diamonds for use in industry, and this process has been greatly refined in order to be able to create totally pure diamonds from the carbon element in a human being.
You may remember the story of the memorial diamond made from a lock of Michael Jackson’s hair, which was facilitated by extracting the carbon in his DNA; or the ‘Jessica Diamond’, the first diamond made from the carbon DNA in a human umbilical cord.
A memorial diamond may also be referred to as a cremation diamond, memorial gem, man-made diamond, memory diamond, celebration diamond, created diamond, cultured diamond, or lab diamond.
A diamond created from the DNA in cremated remains is a unique way to immortalize the memory of a loved one that has passed and establish a family heirloom that can transgress generations.
It is extremely distressing to lose someone you love, be it a lover, spouse, best friend or close family pet, and interring or scattering ashes can often seem to leave behind little in terms of a memorial legacy. As our death ritual customs and culture changes, creating memorial diamonds may prove a new and creative way to create an everlasting memorial that is not fixed in space or time. Imagine possessing such a special diamond that serves as a personal and everlasting tribute to the one that you loved that can be kept close to you at all times and is a beautiful, sparkling reminder of their life and love.
How is a Memorial Diamond made?
When a human is cremated about 2 kg of ashes are generated. Approximately 500 grams are required for the process of diamond growing. In the laboratory, the ashes are analyzed and the carbon extracted, the carbon then forms the basis for the synthesis process. In nature, diamonds are produced over millennia of time using carbon, pressure, and temperature. In the laboratory, this process is scientifically replicated and the carbon from ashes is transformed into graphite. The synthesis process creates a rough diamond crystal, which is then cut and polished into a beautiful diamond gemstone.
Memorial diamonds are much more environmentally kind, requiring no extensive mining operations, but instead being naturally produced in specially designed laboratories. In this way, you can own a beautiful diamond with the knowledge that no exploitation or extensive human labor has occurred to bring this diamond to you. It truly is a unique and lasting memorial treasure! Each diamond is totally unique and solely generated from the cremated remains handed over with absolutely NO additives or admixtures.
How long does it take to make a Memorial Diamond?
In general, the process takes about 3 months, however, as it is a highly complex process it can sometimes take longer. It may also depend upon the cut of diamond you have chosen and whether you are having the cremation diamond set into a piece of jewelry.
Does the person have to be recently cremated in order to create a Memorial Diamond from their ashes?
No. It is simply a process of extracting carbon from the cremated remains, and it does not matter if these ashes have been kept in an urn or container for some time, even years.
Can more than one Memorial Diamond be created from one person’s ashes?
Yes. As about 500 grams of ashes are needed for the process, and on average the cremation of an adult generates 2 kg of ashes, you should be able to create 4 diamonds from someone’s cremated remains.
Why are Memorial Diamonds special?
Since ancient times diamonds have been considered precious jewels that symbolize everlasting love and remembrance. Through the ages, unique diamonds have been harvested from the earth, created into extraordinary jewels, gifted as an expression of love and coveted by those who desire great treasures!
A memorial diamond is special in that it can offer everything that a natural diamond can, but it is a totally unique and personalized gem. A memorial diamond can become a revered family heirloom that can have more symbolism that just a purchased diamond.
All memorial and cremation diamonds come with a special certificate that qualifies the uniqueness of the diamond. The diamond can even be personally engraved by micro-laser inscription.
How much do Memorial Diamonds cost?
Prices for a memorial gemstone do vary, but you can expect to pay anything from around $3,000. Obviously the greater the carat size, the more intricate the cut, having the diamond set into a ring or pendant setting, adds to the base cost.
How do I find a reputable cremation diamond manufacturer?
There are really only a small number of companies that have the technology and can produce memorial diamonds. In the United States, there are companies such as LifeGem, MyMemorialDiamond (Algordanza), DNA2Diamonds. There is a company based in the United Kingdom known as Phoenix Diamonds. Algordanza (which is an old Romanic expression meaning “remembrance”) is based in Switzerland and currently offers memorial diamonds in 20 countries around the world.
Many funeral homes and mortuaries now work as agents for the memorial diamond companies and will be able to offer you the opportunity to have a memorial diamond created as part of their services.
How do I decide upon the type of Memorial Diamond I want?
The companies that offer memorial diamonds have extensive information on their web sites, and will happily send you out a brochure so that you can look at the different options for carat, cut and color of your diamond.
A diamond is typically measured according to the four Cs:
- Cut – this refers to the shape of the diamond, and the facets of a diamond are cut to best enhance the reflection of the light and create the optimum sparkle.
- Carat – this refers to the diamond’s weight.
- Color – diamonds can be measured by their grade of color.
- Clarity – this refers to the number of inclusions in the diamond, which affect its transparency.
Once generated, your human jewel can be personally engraved by the process of laser inscription, and if desired, mounted into a setting to create a stunning item of personal jewelry.
The certificate of authenticity and quality control that accompanies each memorial diamond produced qualifies the origin of the diamond from the DNA and the cut, color, clarity, and carat of the diamond.
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