Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spending eternity as sparkling diamonds?

'Each diamond is unique - the colour varies from dark blue to almost white and it's a reflection of the personality.' -- PHOTO: AFP --

At the end of their days, most people end up six feet under or up in flames, others get frozen or mummified. But some lucky ones are spending eternity as sparkling diamonds, thanks to a peculiar chemical transformation. There is a company called Algordanza in the eastern Swiss canton of Graubuenden offers a service to turn ashes into precious stones. And yeah, certainly it won't be done for free...

The whole process costs between 2,800 to 10,600 euros (S$6,000 to S$22,657), depending on the weight of the resulting stone (from 0.25 to one carat), and does not include the setting of the stone. -- PHOTO: AFP --

According to one of the co-founders of Algordanza, Mr. Rinaldo Willy said, "Five hundred grammes of ashes is enough to make a diamond while a human body leaves behind on average 2.5 to three kilogrammes of ashes."

Here goes the process on the transformation of ashes to diamond,
  • Potassium and calcium, which makes up some 85 per cent of the ashes, are first separated from the carbon.
  • The carbon is then subject to extremely high pressure and heat -1,700 degrees C, a process which compresses it into graphite, a carbon allotrope or a structurally different form of carbon.
  • More pressure and heat are applied to the graphite to turn it into diamonds - the hardest allotrope of carbon.
  • The entire process takes six to eight weeks, hardly a fraction of the time it takes for the formation of natural diamonds which take thousands of years.
  • When the process is complete, the crude diamond still requires polishing and cutting. Many are cut into heart-shaped stones which can be worn as a pendant or mounted on a ring.
The industry of 'human diamonds' is booming - Mr Willy acknowledges that it is impossible to prove that each diamond is indeed made from a particular person's ashes. 'DNA burns,' he explained. But not to worry as the 'chemical imprint' of the ashes, determined at its arrival to the laboratory, allows for documentation to be made and for the finished product to be traced.

Though most life gem requests come from families after a loved one's death, Mr Willy said people are starting to ask for his firm's services themselves in living wills before they die. Individuals can even pay beforehand, with an insurance policy that covers their wish to become a diamond... forever... -.-"

'To wear your loved one as a ring and carry it with you everywhere prevents you from distancing yourself and thereby recovering from the loss.' Yet some may not agree with the process and thinks that it's against the ethics of burial and remembrance...

Em.. So what do you think?

Want to make your Memorial Diamond?
For more information, check it out "Algordanza".


  1. this is so weird..imagine next time if someone says my diamond ring is beautiful. i would have to reply, "oh, my late husband couldn't afford to buy me a diamond ring, so i turned him into one"

  2. >>> Jerine <<<

    Gosh! U make me LOL~
    Yeah, it's really weird & funny too! :p

    ---Sweet Lavender---

  3. A counter to ur comment Jerine... Since you turn him into one then he must be ur charm haha... Just my 2 cents ^^


  4. >>> Val <<<

    You also wish to become one ar? *Winks*

    ---Sweet Lavender---

  5. be yours??? Hmm... Why not? Blek...


  6. >>> Val <<<

    Be mine??? -.-"
    I don't like human diamond.. :)

    ---Sweet Lavender---