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Living In Another Form: A Cremation Diamond Made From Your Loved Ones Who Have Past Away


As more and more people choose cremation and more and more people wish to keep the ashes with them, the ways of keeping the ashes are also changing. Keeping the ashes in an urn or scattering them is a less popular choice.

Creating a synthetic diamond from cremains is a more personal and loving way to say goodbye to a loved one. A synthetic diamond is a symbol of love, affection, and appreciation.

Do you want to keep a lasting and unique memory of your loved ones after their death? It is now possible to create a lab-grown diamond from the carbon of ashes or a lock of hair. The gemstone can have different colours and is certified to maximise its value.

Lab-grown diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds

Where are the ashes transported after cremation?

Once you have decided to have a cremation, the question arises about what will happen to the ashes. In France, it is possible to bury the urn in a cemetery, such as in a grave, crypt, columbarium, or scattered in nature.

On the other hand, the company LONITÉ™, in Switzerland proposes to transform human ashes into diamonds thanks to the carbon they contain. Turning ashes into diamonds is an original tribute to a loved one. It allows us to keep a precious and lasting memory of the deceased.

What is in the ashes?

After cremation, a human body can produce between 2 and 3 kg of ashes. The human body contains about 20% carbon. This carbon is extracted from the ashes in a complicated process and then heated to nearly 1500° to gradually transform into a diamond. Afterwards, lab-grown diamond can be sold raw or polished. A laser marking is then done to identify the diamond and certify it is genuine.

How much ash is needed to process a synthetic diamond?

Only a portion of the ashes is required to create a commemorative diamond, approximately 200 grams. Some companies, like LONITÉTM offer to make multiple diamonds from the ashes of a deceased person. It allows several family members to own the same piece of jewellery.

How long does it take to make a memorial diamond?

The manufacturing process is very long. Some companies claim they can make a diamond from human ashes in about six months.

How are the ashes turned into a diamond?

Memorial diamonds made in laboratories
Memorial diamonds made in laboratories

This technique is offered by many funeral homes abroad. First, the cremation stage involves reducing the deceased's body to ashes in a machine that can reach 1500°C. After cremation, the first step is to recover the carbon from the ashes, which constitute 20% of the human body. Of this percentage, 1% to 5% of the carbon is heated at high temperatures and under pressure, transforming it into graphite. This material is then inserted into a diamond crystal to begin the transformation process, which can take several weeks depending on the desired weight (carat) of the memorial diamond. Once completed, the initial crystal is removed to preserve the resulting diamond.

Natural diamonds have been mined for centuries in the depths of the earth, where high pressure and temperatures prevail. The process of making commemorative diamonds in the laboratory is identical to forming natural diamonds underground. The only difference is the time it takes from millions of years underground to only a few weeks in the laboratory. The production of a lab-grown diamond, therefore, requires the reproduction of these natural conditions. We can achieve this with the specially designed HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) technology.

What is HPHT?

The HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) process produces coloured lab-grown diamonds. By mimicking the natural circumstances in which a diamond is formed, its colour can be modified by scientists. The HPHT technique consists of mixing carbon (in abundant form) and transition metals (which act as catalysts) and subjecting the whole to very high pressure (about 58,000 atmospheres) and temperature (about 1500°C). The diamond is then formed by nucleation and growth. The temperature gradient method introduces a diamond seed into the reactor before the reaction.

This process is made possible by applying very high pressures and temperatures that directly change the structure and elements inside the diamond until it can change colour. After the process, the diamond is polished and shows its new colour.

The advantage of the HPHT process

It is challenging to find high-quality coloured lab-grown diamonds. They have a very high value because of their rarity. Another advantage of this treatment is that the customer can choose the final colour. The manufacturing process is said to be more environmentally friendly than its naturally mined diamond counterpart.

The brilliance of a lab-grown diamond

The most significant advantage of a diamond undergoing HPHT colour treatment is that it has retained its intelligence and other properties. Compared to natural diamonds and other coloured gemstones, HPHT-treated diamonds have a higher brilliance than all other stones.

The Color of A lab-grown Diamond

As with naturally coloured diamonds, diamonds coloured by HPHT treatment exhibit slight differences in the crystal structure or external elements responsible for the predominance of a particular colour in the stone.

HPHT treatment of diamonds has been around for many years. Unfortunately, in the beginning, the treatment could only produce yellow, green, and orange colours. In the meantime, new processes and techniques have been developed, and it is now possible to create pink and purple hues. Pink diamonds are one of the most valuable coloured diamonds.

Several companies, such as LONITÉTM, use this technique to produce carbon diamonds from the ashes of deceased people and also offer diamonds of other colours obtained through chemical processes.

The reasons for choosing a memorial diamond

Unlike a traditional funeral, a memorial diamond is a way to materialise mourning, the daily memories of the deceased, and the memories of shared moments of joy. The diamond can be customised as a ring or pendant to wear and memorise the dead at any time. This precious memento is kept or refined individually by the bereaved.

Just as no two people are alike, no two memorial diamonds are alike. And each stone crafted creates an everlasting memory of a unique and wonderful life." Diamond memorabilia is an eternal possession, passed down from generation to generation.

Memorial diamonds made in laboratories
Memorial diamonds made in laboratories

How much does it cost to turn the ashes into a memorial diamond?

The cost of turning ashes into a memorial diamond is based on the weight (carat) and colour of the diamond desired. While cremation diamonds are a particular way to memorialise your loved one, the process of creating these diamonds is akin to craftsmanship, making them expensive. Smaller carats generally start at £1400 (0.25ct), while larger carat weights and more refined diamond cuts can go up to £ 28,000 (3.0ct).

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