Cremation diamonds are simply diamonds made from the ashes of a loved one, though it can be more than that. Let’s learn more about what cremation diamonds are, how they are made and the benefits of having them created in the first place. We’ll also warn you about would-be cremation diamonds and give tips on making the most out of this difficult process.
Cremation diamonds are diamonds that are made from ashes of the deceased, often as a keepsake. They are sometimes called memorial diamonds since the diamonds serve as a memorial to the person who died. On occasion, the diamonds are made from locks of hair of the deceased since there aren’t ashes to be used. However, most cremation diamonds are made primarily from ashes, also called cremains, as an alternative to keeping the ashes in an urn.
Cremation diamonds are manufactured diamonds. The only difference between these diamonds and man-made diamonds you may have bought at the jewelry store is that you are providing the carbon used to make them
Cremation jewelry made from ashes
The process to convert ashes to diamonds starts with extracting the carbon out of the ashes, once they’ve been submitted to the company. The submission process itself varies from company to company. You may mail in the sample of ashes, send them all of the ashes, or they may pick it up from you. A few companies can work with the crematorium itself so that you don’t have to handle the ashes personally.
You cannot turn ashes into diamonds directly due to the other minerals like salts that exist in the cremation remains. Note that your body is about 18% carbon, while calcium, salts and other minerals make up the rest. Depending on the chemical makeup of the remains and amount of carbon extracted from the ashes, it may be necessary to add general carbon to the extracted carbon to have enough to turn into cremation diamonds. This is typically done by adding the sources of carbon to a solvent that removes all unstable chemicals and compounds other than carbon. Another treatment removes heavy metals, such as mercury from the deceased’s fillings or metal shrapnel that may still have been in the person’s body at death.
Depending on the manufacturer, you could combine other sources to get enough carbon or simply include the cremation diamond, like hair from the loved one or hair of your own. Cremation diamond manufacturers like Lonité will allow you to combine pieces of your own hair with the ashes of a deceased spouse or other family member to create an immortal memorial diamond.
Lonite cremation diamond
It is also possible to combine ashes from two or more deceased family members, such as combining Mom and Dad’s ashes to create a single diamond or set of diamonds that signifies their love together. They will end up together forever in a unique form.
The carbon is exposed to a high pressure, high-temperature environment that turns it into a diamond, while oxygen is removed from the environment. This process mimics the process that creates natural diamonds deep underground before volcanic activity brings it back up to the surface. Temperatures in the lab that create diamonds from ashes heat up to over 3000F and more than 60,000 atmospheres of pressure; in fact, the machine to create this is called an HPHT machine.
The pressure is applied continuously and evenly to create as flawless of a diamond as possible. The time frame to do this depends on the company performing the service and how big you want the diamond to be. A small diamond from an excellent sample created by a top-notch service takes two months. A large diamond from a mid-grade sample and by a manufacturer who doesn’t have the most powerful equipment at its disposal may require several more months to create a cremation diamond. In general, the bigger the diamond, the longer it takes, and two months is the minimum. If this sounds like a long time, remember that it takes many years for natural diamonds to form the same way. If you want the job done faster, you can request multiple small diamonds be made from the sample instead of a single, larger one. Remember that you can combine several small cremation diamonds into rings and other jewelry.
One of the many cremation diamonds in a ring
The diamond that results is cut and polished like a natural diamond. The cremains are not disposed of, since they are now an integral part of the diamond itself. The resulting diamond cannot be guaranteed to come out in the perfect shape for a princess cut, but they can aim to create a round or square piece. The diamond can be cut down to almost any desired shape, though if the resulting diamond isn’t close to that shape, the final diamond may be somewhat smaller than the one that came out of the HPHT machine.
The cremation diamond can then be put in almost any piece of jewelry or several pieces of jewelry. The cost of making the diamond is separate from the cost of any jewelry the diamond is set in, though you can provide a ring or brooch for the diamonds to be placed in. The end result is a piece of diamond jewelry per specification delivered to you or sent to your home unless you ask for the diamonds to be sent to you to be put in jewelry by a jeweler of your choosing. You may or may not get a certificate of authenticity or a grade as to the diamond’s quality. Yes, a cremation diamond can be rated just as your engagement ring was – or put in a setting on your existing wedding band.
The process described above is the ideal case, what one expects to be done when paying for cremation diamonds. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies drill a hole in an existing diamond and put the ashes inside before calling it a day. In other cases, they use chemical vapor deposition to start the crystallization process. With this, you still get a memorial diamond but of poorer quality than what you expect given the cost of the service.
Cremation Diamonds: Zoom In
One of the benefits of cremation diamonds is the fact that you have a unique way to keep your loved one close to you at all times or bring them with you in spirit when you choose to wear the memorial jewelry. You can combine the ashes of two loved ones and their hair so that they are together forever in a form your family will actually treasure. You could take the cremated remains of a loved one and the flag he was buried with to create something your children will pass on to their children.
Your children and grandchildren are far more likely to accept rings, bracelets, pendants, and earrings made from cremation diamonds containing a loved one’s ashes than an urn that sits on the mantle. Conversely, you could use the entire set of ashes to create memorial diamond jewelry for the entire family so that you don’t have to find a place to put the ashes. You could eliminate the need to pay for a plot in a cemetery for the ashes, while the memorial diamond jewelry will likely be passed on for generations because it has both sentimental and broadly recognized value.